At one point I even took Andy with me to have breakfast and just chat. I tried to explain things that are important to me. I tried to find out what is important to him and how we can function more smoothly as a family unit. I think I bored him to death but at least he enjoyed his pancakes that were drowned in syrup. Maybe the breakfast and chat was more for me but I am hoping he listened not just heard some of what I had to say. I am also trying to be receptive to what he has to say but it's so hard when he is obviously lying. He isn't very good at lying either, he should just give up and come clean about stuff. During our breakfast I asked him if he wanted to carve pumpkins for Halloween. Guess what he said, go on, guess.....
"I've never carved a pumpkin before." What?! I sent the hubs a text telling him what Andy had just told me and we both agreed that he needed to try it at least once in his life. So I got on the phone with my friend and asked her if she wanted to hit a pumpkin patch the following weekend. And as luck would have it she agreed to come, which I am thankful for. Andy doesn't get along very well with peers but he is much better with younger children. Maybe it's a maturity thing? More than likely from what I can tell. And my friend has a little girl that seems to get on well with Andy. I am starting to think that his overbearing, clingy, bossy attitude may be what makes kids his age recoil from Andy.
I had to serve as a chaperone for Andy's field trip. He isn't exactly Mr. Popular and seems to only have one friend. I like the little girl, she is a bit quirky like Andy. Not as ill behaved but definitely forceful and a tad bossy. But her bossy nature is kind of good, she urges Andy not to be rude very often. I just want to say that the field trip would have been much nicer if there were no kids there. I felt sick, tired and annoyed by the time I got home. A bus full of little cherubs all day was far too much for me to handle. Not to mention one of them gave me the plague which interfered with my run the following week. Don't get me started on the Andy's behavior. I feel so sorry for his poor teacher. It's her first year and I don't know where she finds the patience for a class full of kids plus a difficult Andy. I guess some people are meant to teach and some (me) are not.
I've been having a hard time trying to include Andy in my activities during my time outside of work. Or rather when I am not at work I try to find things to do that don't involve him. Yeah, I know... what a bitch! But switching gears from being childless to having to be soccer mom has been hard and time consuming. My life is being robbed from me!!! Save me! Play dates is something I should probably have happen more often. And enriching activities with other kids to socialize Andy is probably something I should do more of. Since our pumpkin patch date Andy has been out with other kids twice. I don't know many kids his age for him to play with other than my nephews. And the neighborhood kids are little shits and I can tell by the screams and fights outside that Andy is NOT fitting in. I will probably need to figure out how to have him play with my friends kids more often. Though they are younger, he is always smiling and having fun with them.
In an effort to get along with Andy I have been trying to pay attention to things I didn't notice at first. He likes to help, I guess it makes him feel important and included. That's just my guess though. Sometimes it borders annoyance when he is in my hair, under foot or in my kitchen (I hate people in my kitchen when I am in the zone, making a feast.) So we try, TRY being the operative word, to give him chances to help out. Though more often than not he is in the way, we are TRYING. He does well with chores around the house with exception to cleaning his room and putting his laundry away. Go figure! He is really interested in BBQ's, any time we have attended one he gravitates towards the grill. Sometimes to the dismay of the cook, sorry! But my boss and my friend Jess have allowed him to help. I learned from them that you give Andy a task related to BBQ'ing and he will actually stay focused and not bugger too many things up. Though it takes several times to ask him to put the wood down because he just wants to feed the fire continually.
So this should wrap up the end of October, November whizzed by too quickly. Or was it not quickly enough, it was NOT a good month. It was bad for Andy, me and the hubs. Things were looking quite bleak at one point but maybe we needed a mini-meltdown to put things into perspective and air some concerns. Yelling reached an all time high. I started looking for answers at the bottoms of bottles. It was just ALL bad and it was all due to poor communication. A young married couple with a problem child that is foreign to both of us made for a pretty toxic combo. Looks like we will be digging in for the long haul. We almost sent the little guy back home. The MIL objected and said it's not an option because the mother is living in Skid Row, Los Angeles. I did a street view on Google Maps, there are mattresses strewn all down the street the woman lives at.
Though MIL says sending him home is not an option, I don't see the in-laws jumping up to help us with Andy. Fact of the matter, my family has fully embraced Andy and have been trying to help every step of the way. I appreciate my mother and sisters a little more with each passing day. I just wish we had better support as new parents to a half-grown human being. I do rely heavily on the advice of a gal that I feel has become a very close friend to me. She has 5 kids, they range from teens to tots so she has life experience. And it's not from someone in their 60's who has forgotten how hard it was and are busy back seat driving your parenting instead of being objective. She is our age so her advice is relevant to raising a kid NOW. I guess life can be overwhelming to parents in general but when you step up to bat when a kid is 10 without having been there to ease into pre-teen years it's scary and crazy.
Any how, pottery class has ended and I have yet to photograph any of his pieces, shame on me. Oh well, but I think we may be singing him up for more pottery classes this spring. And we still have to find a sport for this little guy to get into. Any suggestions?