Monday, June 23, 2014

Challenges and the 5K

Our challenges with Kai have continued the past couple of weeks.

During the short break between the end of the school year and the beginning of summer school, we went up to Michigan. We left Kai with his grandparents for two days/one night while my wife and I went to my dad’s old house along with my sister and brother-in-law to go through all of the stuff that is still there.

We had left Kai with his grandparents a couple of months earlier, and that time all went relatively well. This time, not so much.

Kai gave his grandparents a hard time, not listening and oftentimes refusing to do anything other than playing on the iPad. His grandfather is more like me in that he is not one to put up with such behavior, and apparently Kai didn’t like it when he didn’t get his way.

He fired his grandfather, apparently similar to how he has fired me and his teachers many times in the past.


You don’t fire your grandfather.

You can be sure that we had a good talk with Kai on the car ride home. But one of our challenges has been that reasoning does not seem to always work well with him.

How do you correct behavior when he does not seem to comprehend what he did wrong?

* * * * *

The day after we got home from Michigan, Kai started summer school. He also transitioned into his fifth grade classroom.

He did not have an auspicious start.

He had an incident in the very first moment of his first day of fifth grade.

He had some problem with saying the Pledge of Allegiance. We are not sure what his issue with the Pledge is, but we had heard from him before that he does not like it. This time he disrupted class and got him off to a rocky start.

It didn’t get much better.

He had other incidents during the week.

But the worst was at the very end of the week.

While riding the van back to school after a field trip to the aquarium in the city, Kai said that he had to use the bathroom. This, despite having used the bathroom just prior to getting on the van. When the driver could not find a bathroom, Kai dropped his pants and peed right in the van. While we can’t say for sure, it sounds like he did it out of anger rather than because he truly could not hold it.

* * * * *

The 5K that we have been training for was run yesterday.

We weren’t nearly as ready for it as I had wanted to be. Every time I wanted to increase the distance of our training runs, Kai complained about being too tired to run. Or that his leg was sore. Or some other reason why he could not run any more. So, the longest we had run prior to the race was about half of the 5K distance we would have to cover.

I was not looking forward to the race.

But Kai seemed happy prior to the race.

He even was well behaved during the national anthem.

And when we started he ran nicely.

But after a mile or so, he was barely walking, let alone running. Kai was loudly complaining that he could not do any more.

One of his classmates caught up to us, and he encouraged Kai to keep going. Kai kept whining but we kept moving, occasionally jogging for a while before slowing down to walk.

When we were within a half mile or so of the finish, we could see the end and hear the crowd at the end. Kai started to regain energy.

He ran that entire last half mile, finishing up with a strong sprint that outpaced his mom and me.

It wasn’t painless, but it was an accomplishment, of sorts.

He did it. Ultimately, he didn't give up. He finished strong.

UPDATED for the following photo of Kai and me crossing the finish line (courtesy of one of the staff at Kai's school):

Now, hopefully we can all persevere through our other challenges and find a way to the finish line.


  1. The reward of the finish line, with all of its cheering, has kept many a runner on the road. I know this may sound manipulative...but a sure way to have Kai go a certain distance...have one of you run with him...and the other drop you off the prescribed distance from the house. The only way back is by foot. After the shower...have a reward waiting to be relished...but with more time to enjoy it the quicker one gets back. This will encourage a steady run the whole way. Either way...the distance will be covered.

    1. Yes, we've tried to think of a reward that would motivate him. I was a bit surprised how the finish line itself was such a strong motivator. We want to continue the runs on the weekends so we'll have to think of the proper rewards.

  2. Great action shot of you two! That is the Kai I like to see. A happy child with a big smile on his face.

    1. Yes, love that big smile! Almost makes me forget how grouchy he was for half the race. :)

  3. Oh, dear. Poor you. Really, I mean that. My jaw would tense and I would be stressed after that start to school. Brings back some memories for sure. We've had some similar but different inappropriate behavior on the bus before.
    Hopefully all will improve as the days go on.

    Happy faces at the end of the race! You are so much more patient than me. Seriously. You deserve a prize!

    1. We have had some stressful times the past few weeks for sure. I don't know about being more patient; many times I definitely don't feel like I'm patient enough. Thanks, Betsy!


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