Thursday, 8 March 2012

when push comes to shove

Oh dear. The dust appears to be finally settling after a series of birthdays and punch ups which has left our social landscape somewhat changed.

Snooks has been both the pusher and the punchee and on both counts a period of time apart seems to be the best policy.

Mothers fall into different camps. On the punching incident I was told to let the boys work it through and work out the friendship together. But it is hard having witnessed your three year old on the ground taking punches to the head to want to send him back into that particular ring. What’s more, Snooks himself seems to finally have seen that perhaps this friend is not for him. He has opted to play with girls instead a couple of times, much to my relief.

On the pushing he has been discussed in quiet corners and so we have withdrawn from that arena too. The pushing must be addressed. But we can do it without the backstabbing.

Even the most level-headed mothers who have handled pressure and pain in other areas of their life with calm objectiveness, struggle to keep cool when their children are hurt. I have not known stress like this for a long time – seeing Snooks physically abused on the one hand and rejected for his own failings on the other. A kind of malaise set in some time in the week preceding Snooks’ 4th birthday which had me almost defeated. I seemed to have lost my motherhood compass and simply did not know what to do any more. What I had been doing had clearly not worked.

I talked to Snooks himself, until he offered the explanation that there must be “something wrong inside” which caused him to push his own friend. Then I stopped talking to him about it and talked to some grown-ups who had some distance and suitable qualifications.

They say boys all go through this. Some mothers say let it be. Some say crack down on it. I can’t let it be.

I told Snooks it was not something inside him. It was something he did and he could stop doing. I understand that he does not know how and I need to help him get there.

We three spent his birthday aquatically serene - seeing octopus, sharks and penguins before sailing down the Thames. He’s a Pisces after all. Perhaps these are his people.

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