Thursday, August 04, 2016

It was a day....

I thought an art class for the Tiny American sounded like a fun idea. He is very social, likes to do art projects and he tells me everyday he wants to go to school.  What started out as a fun morning quickly turned into me questioning myself, John, and Venus as to what the heck I was thinking taking this Tiny Terror into public.

I know he is a sweet boy...but then he also has these crazy strong opinions and wants to do EVERYTHING himself and his way all the time! He will argue to the death ( where does he get this???) maybe not actually the death, but until I wish the word WHY did not exist!

He argued with the teacher, who was awesome in spite of the attitude he was getting. He glared at the other children and told them not to look at him...of  course they didn't understand him and he assumed that was because they couldn't hear him so he said it louder.  The Taiwanese moms think this is funny which only fuels his fire.

Even in a familiar environment, surrounded by other moms who speak the same language as you, this makes for an uncomfortable feeling. You never want to be the parent of THAT kid.  But in the same situation in the U.S.  I would have turned around and said some smart remark about the attitude and made a joke and then pulled Z aside and scolded him and hopefully all would have returned to normal, or at least our normal. You assume that at some point in the semester everyone will be in a similar situation.   But here in this lovely country I have never seen a child get in trouble in public...granted I have never seen one really do anything to warrant getting in trouble.  There must be some serious threats going on at home OR they are just born docile, either way it makes it difficult to be the mom of a spirited Tiny American. I spoke to him quietly and Venus did as well.  He seemed to be getting it and I thought his attitude might be changing.  He lead the other children in a fun game of paint gloves on your hands in stead of painting on your paper, I KNOW this was a big hit with the other moms.   Unfortunately painted on gloves are not great for picking your nose and he needed to pick his nose SO he wound up with paint on his face and near his eyes and of course the crying began.

We got him cleaned up and I explained that he shouldn't touch his face if he had paint on his hands and then it happened a line was drawn in the sand or more specifically from the top of his head all the way down the center of his face and past his chin with blue paint. Yep, he looked right at me and I believe knew that I would not lose my temper in our current surroundings, and dragged his blue paint soaked finger all the way down his face. The look on his face could only be interpreted one way.

What I wanted to do was pack him up and leave at that moment, but that is also what he wanted me to do.  He was ready to go and had decided that acting naughty was the way to get that done. SO instead I looked at him and just laughed, what else could I do?  I left the paint on his face for the rest of class and returned to my seat sweaty and embarrassed.  This parenting thing is tough folks.  It would have been so easy to walk out and never go back, but that teaches him that his actions today were ok and they were not.  Do I want to take him back next week? Not really, but we will go and give it another try and hopefully it will be a better experience.  I'm not pushing art on him or trying to tell him that he has to love painting.  I am teaching him that he needs to try new things with an open mind, that he needs to be kind to others even when he is uncomfortable and that acting out is not the way we communicate what we want.  

I walked away from the morning with some lessons of my own in patience.  I was also reminded by someone wise, that just because this tiny person might act like a jerk sometimes doesn't mean that I am actually raising a jerk.  We all have our moments and how we as adults handle those moments will directly impact what kind of person he turns out to be.


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