Saturday, August 29, 2009


Today was HOT!!

Gabriel's class has an upcoming field trip to the library, so I thought we should go to the library, make sure he knows what his library card's PIN is, return some books, and get some new ones too. And, how handy -- the fountains are right there.

With our books safely stowed in the very very hot car, I got everyone dressed, sunscreened, sandaled, and ready to go. The boys jumped right in as usual.

But today they had another player!

Katrina took some time to warm up, but then to my amazement, after some timid approaches to the water when it was low, she suddenly ran right through the fountains, and then played right alongside her brothers. A dangerous venture sometimes; she got knocked hard to the ground once...I actually saw her skull bounce on the concrete. Ouch. But after a few minutes of wailing, she jumped right back in.

She even got them started on her signature fountain move.

The moment was marred by a big fight I had with Gabriel, unfortunately. Recently, I'd seen another mom tell her misbehaving son to sit out for 5 minutes, at a pool, when her son hurt his brother. I was so impressed when he simply did it, grumbling, but cooperative. 5 minutes later, he was back in the pool. No lectures, no threats or warnings, off.

Well, today Gabriel was pestering Katrina to the point that she was crying, and he just wouldn't quit, so I had to go get him and told him to sit out for 5 minutes.

And does anyone here who knows the first thing about Gabriel think that he grumbled but simply cooperated and was back playing 5 minutes later?

No, it escalated into such a nasty altercation that he never did make it back into the fountains, plus had earned himself an hour in his room (5 minutes at a time) for all his rude insults, threats and actions. Even when I finally got so tired of him standing in front of me, threatening me, calling me names and being incredibly obnoxious that I practically ordered him to go back and play in the fountains, he was too mad, and just couldn't enjoy it. Gee, I can't wait for teenage hormones to kick in.

Later in the afternoon when it had been over for some time, he came into the office where I was sitting, looked at me, put his arms around me and kissed me. I was so glad. I hate those awful fights, but just don't know how to keep them from escalating. Moreso, I don't know how to guide or help him out of such intensity that he ends up missing out on a lot. This might be one of those things I just have to let go and let him learn himself; it's a hard-won skill that many grownups aren't so good at either.

Overall, it was a great way to spend a hot mid-day.

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