Missing Opportunities

I found myself wondering aloud with a friend why it was that my son acted differently when I was around than when I wasn’t.  I still don’t know the answer.  The boy won’t tell me.

It bothers and compliments me, this thing.  He certainly has his days where he doesn’t listen to anything I say.  Those are the days I join everybody else he ignores.  But, most of the time, if he’s acting out, if he’s not listening to someone, and I come around, he’ll adjust.  He’ll “straighten up” and act like he has the sense we gave him.

The other day I picked him up from daycare.  He jumped up squealing and ran to me.  We hugged and greeted the way we do.  I spoke to the other children, to the staff.  One of his teachers told me that he had trouble listening.  I didn’t tell her that I could imagine that.  I listened to the report.  He had successfully slept for his two-hour nap and woke up dry, which was good, but he had followed the cracked course of peer pressure and chose to disobey when a friend did.  He listened if friends weren’t around.  He acted out if a friend did.  I asked him what that was about.  In his way, he repeated the question but offered no answer.

During times like that one, or like the party I missed last week where the boy flipped out, I wonder whether missing such moments is missing opportunities.  I mean, I have to be concerned that this kid acts accordingly at parties and other toddler-filled places.  It will drastically impact his social calendar, which will, in turn, affect my ability to get him out of the house.  So I wonder what’s in the boy’s water. I wonder if I’ll have to put him out of our house for poor listening.  I wonder how I’ll have an impact when I’m not around.  Me and Dawn talk about this stuff.  We come up with nothing.  So, if you have something, share.

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