This time, his teacher reports that he rifled through his teacher's workbox, pulled out other kids' work, and made fun of them. After being told not to, he did again, once with a cohort. He and said cohort were made to sit out part of recess, and later, Gabriel in particular was made to sit in another classroom (his teacher once told me that usually freaks them out). The next step is the principal's office. The teacher was most concerned about his ridicule of other kids.
So tonight, Dave and I did something of an intervention. It was all I could do not to laugh seeing the cloud cross his face when he saw us standing together and instructing him to go to the living room. He does not like that. Of course, his reaction is defiance, not fear or contrition as one would hope, and on his way into the living room he spit out that he wasn't going to say anything.
Lacking much to say, and making sure to speak very clearly and slowly so that his hearing impairment wasn't a factor, my delivery was surprisingly effective, I thought. It was tempting to insist that he answer questions, but I remembered how he'd maintained control of situations as a toddler by refusing to say he was sorry. Not this time. Besides, it was easy to trick him into breaking his silence by telling him I heard he'd been sent to the principal's office, which he immediately denied.
He had to go to his room and write "I'm sorry for not listening I'm sorry for making fun of other kids" ten times, a requirement he met 6/10 of the way, and he'll have to finish out tomorrow. The loss of his playtime naturally resulted in a horribly ugly scene, and it wasn't until well after he was in bed that I was able to calm him down enough for him to relax and go to sleep.
I also tried some positive modeling (I just made up that term) by talking to him about what he should say if he thinks another kid's work isn't good. I told him he should encourage the kid, and say something nice. It was most effective when I used Katrina as an example: "Will you make fun of her when she scribbles outside the lines? No, you'll say, 'Nice try!'" and other such drivel that adults all think is good teaching and that kids universally think is stupid. I mean really, didn't grownups say all sorts of stuff to you as a kid you thought was dumb?
Dave took Gabriel to the pediatrician today: no surprise, fluid in his ears. Doc suspects some infection keeping them clogged, so we're trying antibiotics for 10 days, then will follow up. Dave picked Julian up on the way back, and lucky me, the boys made a detour to get Mom a pick-me-up:
My favorite: daisies! Julian picked these himself. Did he know that my wedding bouquet had lots of (mini)daisies?
I did not coordinate Katrina's clothes to her favorite little push-wagon today, I did not, I did not! But what a fortunate fashion faux pas.