Monday, June 25, 2012

Scorn for Dad, and Mom, Too

When my son gets mad, he says some mean things. But sometimes, if you can maintain your sense of humor, what he says is funny.

Over the summer, we are having Kai get some extra math work in by doing an online math program called Thinkwell. I was tipped off to this excellent resource by my blog friend, Shiroi Tora, who writes about his experiences raising his 2E son.

Kai generally enjoys doing the Thinkwell program, but occasionally he doesn’t know how to solve one of the problems. In those situations, I ask him questions that make him think about the problem differently. The idea is to help him to figure it out without my giving him the answer.

But once Kai starts to get frustrated, he doesn’t listen, starts to whine and complain, and wants to give up. And that frustrates me.

If I lose patience, I will raise my voice. Of course, that never seems to get him to pay attention any better. It just leads to increased frustration on both sides.

Yesterday we had one of those situations. As often happens when he is angry with me, Kai started yelling that he did not want to be my dad anymore. (Ha, I really need to teach him that he should say that he doesn’t want to be my son anymore).

But then he recalled that he wanted to play water balloons later. As Mom had already told him that she did not want to get wet on this day, he knew that I was his only option. So, in the midst of his rage, he started saying, “Well, you can still play water balloons with me.”

I told him that I might not want to play water balloons with him since he did not want me to be his dad anymore.

He then started to cry a bit and apologized for saying that. He said that I could be his dad.

He went on to say that when he was really mad he loved me only 50% but now he loved me 60% so I had attained the next level, and that meant that it was okay for him to play water balloons with me.

That brought a smile to my face. He noticed, and asked me why I was smiling.

I told him that I loved him 100%, even when I am angry with him. Then I said that I would be happy to play water balloons with him.

And we did play. And had great fun.

And after that, we further cooled off on this hot afternoon with some sorbet. His anger was long forgotten.

But, after we got home from our trip to get sorbet, it was time for our weekly Skype call with my wife’s parents in Japan.

On this occasion, as we were running late for dinner, I went outside to grill chicken while my wife initiated the Skype session. Kai had gone downstairs to go on the computer.

Usually, it is a challenge to get Kai to say much to his grandparents and he rarely sits through an entire Skype call. If he is busy doing something, it is often hard to pull him away to talk to them. So, on this occasion, my wife decided to start talking to them alone.

When I came inside with the chicken, my wife was done with the call. She said that she had taken the laptop downstairs toward the end of the call but Kai did not say anything to his grandparents.

I went downstairs to tell him that dinner was ready. He was furious.

He said that he was mad at his grandparents, but that did not make sense. After asking him more questions, I found out that he was mad at Mom because she had Skyped without him.

When I told my wife what was going on, she was surprised. Who wouldn’t be? Kai never seemed to care about the Skype calls that much before.

He then came upstairs and said that he was not going to eat dinner. He told my wife that he did not want to be her Mom anymore. Ha, now it was her turn to be the object of his scorn.

He angrily said that he wanted to Skype his grandparents. We tried to tell him that the call was over and they were offline. But, we realized that it would be easier just to get them back online than to get Kai to calm down.

So my wife called them up on the landline and asked them to come back online.

And we connected with them via Skype again.

So, after all that, did Kai have a lot to tell them? Umm, not so much.

But he did say a few things. And he was happy to see his grandparents.

And then he calmed down. And he did end up eating dinner.

And by the end of the evening, his love for us was back up to… well, I’m not sure. But I think it was more than 60%.


  1. Oh, what a cute post. The ups and downs of a day with Kai. :) that. lol.... And you really makes me wish my boys could talk.

    And it is just so cute that he says he doesn't want to be your dad any more...or your mom. I'm sure in some ways you hope he doesn't stop saying that because at least on your end of things, it breaks the tension with a bit of humor. :)

    1. Betsy, it is cute, though we don't always think so at the time. Sometimes we only see the humor after we have time to reflect on it. :)

  2. A rough situation handled well. 60%...he is thinking! I could tell from your photos that you guys had a great time. Well done.

    1. He likes to think in numbers! Thanks, Shiroi.

  3. The rejection always stings, but the 60%? Well done on not busting out laughing!! And that's great he wanted to talk to his grandparents. I think it's wonderful both that you have that routine and that he was able to express that he appreciates it.

  4. I love this post! Raising a brilliant minded child is a rollercoaster, isn't it?!? I also get frustrated at times when he gets so difficult after being asked to do an undesirable task. Sigh! I am learning that patience and being rested myself helps. I love your photos and it is clear that you and your son have a great relationship!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! It is a rollercoaster, and you are right... patience is very importance. I do find that I can be more patient when I'm rested or less stressed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...