My student of the month for January. Isaac has come so far in so many ways. He is about to leave middle school and go to high school. He's growing up so fast.
Isaac, my first born. Ah...he is the one who made me a mother. I look at him frequently and wonder why I was chosen to be his mother. He is so smart, kind, funny, and caring. He is becoming quite the gentleman. I feel so blessed to have him. So blessed every time he calls me Mom. Blessed when he confides in me or tells me something small about his day.
But it wasn't always this easy with him. When he was younger, he used to throw tantrums that would make you question your ability to parent. He would strip himself naked after you just got him dressed and then throw himself on the floor and scream like you were murdering him. Yep. That's my boy. I'll never forget the day I picked him up from daycare and he went into a fit about getting buckled into the car because he wanted to go on the playground instead. I consider myself a pretty no-nonsense kind of parent. So, I let him throw his fit, right there in the back of the car with me standing on the outside of the car watching. Then he pushed the button on the van door to make it open. He was 3. That was the first time he figured out how to do that. He immediately tried to jump out of the van...in the daycare parking lot. I wasn't about to let him run through a parking lot, so I snatched him up and put him back in the car. He then smacked me. Smacked me hard in the face. That was it. I smacked his butt and told him what was what. I picked him up as he thrashed and scratched and clawed me and I put him in the carseat and forcibly held him down while I buckled him in. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, the director was watching through the window. I'm sure a well-meaning parent went in and said something about the psycho mom who has her kid locked in the back of the van screaming while she is standing there watching (for the record, the door wasn't locked, ever). Upon seeing me smack my child on the bottom, she came outside and approached me. She immediately told me to step away from my son and that maybe I needed a break. Ha! If she only knew. My husband was deployed, yet again, and it was just me and him. There wasn't a break. There wasn't a way to take a break. I laughed at her and told her I was fine and that he was just being a toddler and needed to be shown who was in charge in this situation. She disagreed and told me I wasn't handling this properly. We exchanged words and I left with my son. Nothing more came of it.
They say hindsight is 20/20. In this situation, I would do the same again. My 3 year old wasn't acting safe in a parking lot. I reacted appropriately by grabbing him and putting him back in the car. He smacked me and for that, he was popped on the butt. He proceeded to continue his fit, but taking it out on me. Enough was enough and I had to take control so we could get home. I can count on one hand how many times I have spanked my child. All of them involved safety issues.
Knowing now what I do about him, I know his behavior wasn't just him being a toddler. Some of it was. But the intensity of the tantrum that always came, that was something bigger. When he was 6, I saw him walking down the hallway of the school, from a distance. I thought, "whose kid is that spinning like a helicopter in the hallway?" "Oh...that's my son. Oh my." Yep. That's when it got real. That's when I knew.
Fast forward to today and you'd never know he was the toddler in that car that day or the 6 year old in the hallway. Today, he is a respectful young man. He has taken up percussion. He has gotten really good at it. He is excelling in school. He might just get straight A's this year, which is awesome considering he is taking high school classes in middle school. And he has recently taken up hunting as a hobby. Apparently, he is a good shot! He has so many talents and such a bright future ahead of him.
I am so blessed he calls me Mom.