Friday, December 5, 2008 ;
Today is one of those bad days....
1. Dh is out of town on a business trip. He'll be away for 3 days.
2. Then I've got 2 sick kids. One stubborn not-so-sick ds1 and one whiny very-sick ds2.
Last night, ds2's fever reached 39.5 deg Celsius. Fortunately it came down after that, but it did leave me sleepless cos I was worried if it would turn into an emergency. Especially since he couldn't sleep well, kept waking up and crying and saying delirious things.
Eg. ds2: "I want...I want" sob sob.
Me: what do you want?
ds2: F and G and H. (the letters of the alphabet)
Me: ?? Are you ok?
ds2: Up... Up...
Me: what up? You want to get up?
ds2: down... down...
Me: J, don't scare me, what do you want?
ds2: No... no... I want...
Examples of this kind of nonsensical and scary conversations when he doesn't seem to hear me or respond carried on throughout the night until his temperature fell towards 5am. Phew.
ds1 is not that ill. He just has a runny nose and I felt he shouldn't go to school today since ds2 is so sick. With the weather forecast being below 0 deg C outside and with wind speeds and force highest ever, I don't want him to develop a cough.
More importantly, I can't bring a feverish ds2 out with me to send ds1 to the bus stop nor pick him up after school. And I can't leave him at home while I bring ds1 out alone. It takes at least 20min to get there and back. If we have to wait for the bus, it takes longer.
Furthermore, when I asked his opinion last night, he said he wanted to be "homeschooled". That fellow. If he thought he'd have an easier time at home, he's mistaken. I wrote out a timetable for him. I had a list of things he should do, and he got to put them into the time slots. I believe I am more naggy than his teacher, so I don't think he's going to have a better time.
3. And then... sigh. I've been looking forward to sub-teach at their school. Just when they are sick today! I got THE CALL this morning, from the high school section head, asking if I can substitute for one teacher today. Sob! I had to turn it down of course, but oooh, I had been sooooooo waiting for the experience.
4. Then my ayi called and said she can't come this afternoon. Great, so besides cooking so much for the ill and therefore fussy kids, I've got to do all the housework myself today.
ds2 especially, with no appetite and still in a daze, will say he wants porridge. But then he'll eat a few mouthfuls only and can't take anymore. He says he wants to vomit.
Then I offer oats, steamed cake, warm milk, etc etc juices and soups... He'll either take a sip or refuse it totally. Anything he requests for, I have to go prepare quickly, so he'll at least eat something. My kitchen is in a mess.
ds2 is really whiny too. He asks for things like "please wipe my tears". I tell him "mommy's busy, please wipe your own tears". He replies "my hands are too cold, I need to keep them under the blanket". argh!
5. And this is a big headache. ds1 didn't listen to my instructions in school. The teacher also emailed me saying he didn't listen. And then, he got over-sensitive towards this boy, and hit him because he got angry with him.
We've talked many times about keeping his hands and feet to himself. We've told him to use words to manage his anger. We've told him not to be so sensitive. We've read so many stories together about such behaviour. Bible stories, secular stories... We've sang songs, we've discussed examples...
Which is why I am so upset when he still makes mistakes, when he shows that it hasn't sunk in.
Dh got him to recite and then memorise Phil 4:8 to get him not to bear grudges and be so sensitive, thinking everyone is out to make him angry or play cheat. He always complains others don't follow the rules and play cheat, then he has to "discipline" them by his actions. Man! I asked him, "are you their parents?". Even their parents might not discipline them over such trivial matters.
But then, he just pushed his brother for not following his instructions just now. After a time-out, I made him copy Ephesians 6:1-2 out of his own Bible.
Then I made him read it over and over again till he memorised it.
Then I asked him to sit and write "sorry letters" to all the people he has hurt.. And he made cards for his teacher, the boy he hit, his brother, and me. I also told him to write down what he should do in future if he felt angry.
This took up 2 hours. I allowed him only toilet and water breaks.
Tomorrow I will read him more stories. Besides those on being good, I will read him stories of those who repeatedly don't listen and suffer the consequences. Not to scare him, but just to let him know this can't continue. He's got ears, so he has to listen.
Lest you think he was an angel throughout the thing, he did wear his winter jacket and gloves at one moment and said he wanted to go find Daddy. He wrote "I don't like mommy" on the drafts of "sorry letters".
I was not angry at all. I just told him Daddy is many many miles away from Tianjin, how are you going to find him. And Daddy and Mommy are on the same side, Daddy will say the same thing to you. No point. He sat at the door, looking pretty forlorn. But after a while of sitting there quietly, he took off all the winter gear and went back to his letters.
He is genuinely remorseful now. I know he won't change overnight but let's hope I'll see and hear less of him "fighting" with others from now on.
The silver lining
in the dark clouds is, my neighbor H got to hear about ds2 being sick. She offered to buy lunch for me, and is going to send her home-made dumplings over for my dinner! That has brightened up my otherwise dreary day. I just need to cook those bland convalescent food for the kids. haha, at least I get to eat something decent. Thanks man!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow