The third Thursday of every month is the Hearts at Home Blog Hop (hearts-at-home.org). Founder Jill Savage provides a topic and invites mom bloggers to guest blog. When I saw the topic for this month was "No More Perfect Kids" (the title of her latest book), I immediately knew I must revisit this post about Silas' Day.
An email came into my in box with the subject line "Silas' Day." Three year old Silas, it seemed, instigated a food fight in the cafeteria and had been too rough with some of his classmates. Would I speak to him?
I picked him up a little late and the after school teacher was there. "He kissed a girl today," she said with a little smile.
On the way home I inquired about the kiss first. "Silas, did you kiss a girl today?"
"I kissed two girls," he answered. I forgot to ask about the other.
An hour after we got home, he came running. "Mommy! I made a puddle! I made a pee pee puddle!"
"Where? Silas, you know how to use the potty."
"There," he said, pointing to the dog's bed. A puddle.
At dinner, he decided he would stand up in his chair and moon his brother, Cory.
"Silas! You better cover that bare bottom up before I give it a swat."
He did, but then began a soliloquy. "Bare bottoms look like balloons. No, they look like bologna. Some animals have bare bottoms--crabs have bare bottoms, turtles have bare bottoms."
"Horses have bare bottoms," Mom Dot chimed in. Grandmothers are always helpful at times like this.
"Silas, do you want a spanking?"
"Yes!" he threw both hands up in the air as if he had scored a goal at the buzzer during the Final Four. "Spankings are FUN!"
Ben and Cory's eyes got big as saucers. "The kid is an alien," I said. They agreed.
I picked him up, concealing my laughter. "Spankings are fun, spankings are fun," he chanted.
I gave him a swat once I got him to his room and he changed his mind about the humorous nature of spankings. "Come out when you can behave yourself at the dinner table," I told him.
He returned to the table shortly and everything was somewhat normal. Until the next day when I got another email from the teacher with that now familiar subject line.
Now, it seemed, he was shooting at the teachers with his finger and chose to go to the office rather than stop the behavior. I picked him up a little early so I could catch the teacher.
I made Silas apologize. "Tomorrow," I said, meaning it, "if he misbehaves, call me on my cell phone and I will very quickly appear."
"Thank you," she said.
"No, thank you," I said.
That night and the next morning, I reminded Silas to be obedient; that if the teacher had to call me about his behavior, I was going to come up to the school and pick him up and he would get in trouble. Guaranteed. The reminders worked, and the weeks since then have been uneventful. For Silas, anyway.
Silas is my ninth child--my fifth boy, no less. I don't know everything about raising kids, but for many years I have been very confident with parenting preschoolers. But that week I learned something: I am getting tired. And it is the parents who get tired who throw up their hands and let the chips fall where they may.
I will be 60 years old when Silas leaves for college. But I am determined to finish the job of raising him right. Determined that whatever he dishes out--no matter how darn cute or funny he is--I will be there to remind him that I am in charge. Kids need that, I think.
"Just slap me if you see me letting Silas do whatever he wants," I told Bethany recently.
If that doesn't work, send me an email with the subject line "Silas' Day" and I will get right on it.
Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.
Silas (now 6) with big sister Emma. I am happy to report we haven't had too many more days like that one.