11 May 2011

Pizza, parks and 'parenthood'.

We had a lovely evening yesterday, in the sunshine, with pizza (enough pizza that I have some for lunch, handed to me with a face from John which told me he truly doesn't believe I'm capable of feeding myself at work without his influence).

Mycroft was a joy to be with, and he's considerably happier about school since the news about Anthea and the dogs going with him. Still not exactly happy...but happier. He'll get there.

I hardly want to mention Sherlock, since most of his behaviour right now is purely attention- grabbing. Mycroft was incredibly mature last night, and despite Sherlock's insults on here, and Mrs Hudson offering to mind Sherlock when we all went to dinner, he said he wanted Sherlock to be there, so Sherlock came with us.

I swear people must think we're abducting him or something when he decides to fight us, or try to run away. i'm just glad that Danger and I are in total agreement on violence towards kids. If I'd done the things he has recently I'd have been black and blue for weeks. As it is it's hard not to hurt him when he's in full fight mode, just by restraining him.

When I'm at home, Danger and I are trying to tag - team minding him, so he doesn't get all the attention. I'd happily just strip everything out of his room apart from the mattress and bedding right now, and leave him in there. But yesterday I caught him trtying to shove his duvet out of the window (don't know if he thought he could climb down it, or jump onto it, or was just being a brat). So it's taking its toll on all of us.

I don't know. He's testing us. We'll pass the test though. Eventually. I mean, how long can he keep this up for? 5, 10 years? Hah.


Kira said...

Children can really test you... I don't have any but I do spend hours with them professionally!

I'm glad that you are working as a team, it takes the stress off one person - that can end up with bad results (I don't need to keep going)

Why is he so seeking at the moment? Is there something happening at school? Is it just Mycroft leaving? I wonder if it's something else.... children who can't express why they are upset are frustrating but often there is a root reason.


Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Well, working as a team a bit, but John still has to cope with most of it on his own.

We think, from what we can tell, it's just a bit of a perfect storm of things. Mycroft getting attention (from us and his Mum) about school. Mycroft getting a birthday weekend away, and then also birthday dinner out. Mycroft not only going to school himself, but 'taking' Anthea and the dogs...and a general test of me and Johnto see just how much we'll take.

John rang his school, who say he's not acting particularly unusually there. Apparently he's even asked about why you have to go away to some schools.

And he was pretty good with his Mum there at the weekend. I don't know, maybe he thinks if it's just him, he can get rid of us and she'll take him on full time.

As John reminds me, sometimes it's hard to remember he's only 5.

Bronwyn said...

You poor guys, and I do mean all of you. That is just rough as Hell. As someone who works with hoards of boys every day, it sounds like you're handling it as well as it can be handled. It might be a perfect storm of things, you're right. There might also be a component of Sherlock's finally got a stable, relatively happy home life and now it's all changing again. Half of his family is leaving with Mycroft and he doesn't know what to do about it.

It's dreadfully hard when the center of a child's world shifts do dramatically and so very quickly. (It's only been a few months, right?) I suspect it's hitting Mycroft terribly hard as well.

Hugs all around, gentlemen and stay the course.

Later gator,

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Yeah, that's it, his whole life is being changed again and he's git no control. It seems odd to think it, but it has only been 6 months, shy a few days, yes. I do understand the poor boy, and feel for him. But he's currently not making it easy to help him.

And Mycroft is finding it hard. The more positive things we find out about his school (fantastic clubs and societies, trying to pick a house, learning what the science teachers specialise in, etc.) The worse Sherlock becomes. Which means we split them up, and in doing so Danger and I send even less time together, and everyone gets frayed nerves.

Sadly one thing Sherlock was right about the other day was that no, we haven't been on a date for ages. And whose fault is that? Mine.

Kira said...

I have to say that in some ways it would be odd if he didn't react as he is doing. To actually blow up at John and you suggests that he understands that you can take it. If he really thought you would leave or hurt him he would be trying to be the perfect child - is this what Mycroft is doing??

I have taught children who react to me because they cannot react anywhere else. I'll listen and tolerate and enforce boundaries whereas at home they are ignored or worse abused so they try to be invisible. Since I will try to be consistant they can push in lots of ways to see what will happen.

Sometimes I hate my job.... still love kids though!


Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Kits, I definitely think he's checking exactly where we stand in all this. Although if it's because he doesn't think we'll leave, or because we are (possibly, in his mind) the one thing he may have control over, when everything else is out of his hands, I couldn't say.

Mycroft is apologizing on Sherlock's behalf, which I think does suggest he's worried we might decide to leave or something.

But he should have no fear. We're not going anywhere. Sherlock can test the boundaries all he wants.

There were times when I was a kid that my siblings and I did similar things. It just never got this far. Either the bloke would leave, or the punishment would be severe enough for us to stop. No one ever tried waiting it out. I've no idea what we'd have done. Given up, in the end, I suppose.

I'm off back home in any minute. See what chaos the day has brought since I left this morning. See if I've got a boyfriend left, or if he's been turned into a gibbering wreck.

Ann E. said...

I think you're quite right that Sherlock is experiencing something of a perfect storm right now. An adult can understand that Mycroft is getting extra attention for good reasons (and that Mycroft makes concessions to Sherlock every day, sometimes possibly to excess). An adult can understand that all of these things will come to Sherlock as well in due course. But a five-year-old doesn't really have the development to make those connections, even one as intellectually advanced as Sherlock. Even waiting for the next birthday is unimaginably distant.

Mycroft actually leaving is quite a long way away yet, isn't it? At least several months?

Is there anything to be done, I wonder, that might relieve both boy's anxieties about the transition in the short term? Otherwise it seems as though you all are in for a very long and difficult time, I'm afraid. My best wishes to all of you.

Anon Without A Name said...

As everyone else has said, this must be a really difficult and frustrating time for all four of you. On the other hand, it does sound as if you and John are doing all the right things; you're there for both of the boys when they need you (whether that's to talk, or to hug or to kick against), you're maintaining clear boundaries, using calm, consistent and proportionate discipline (which is particularly notable given it's not what you grew up with), and you're there with the hugs.

I've known some people who seem to keep that kind of behaviour going well into adulthood. I'm sure Sherlock will get bored before then...

And why on earth is it your fault that you guys struggle to get out on dates? Yes, you have an extremely demanding job, but do does John. It's not as if the pair of you would be gadding about every night even if you finished work at four. It's no-one's fault, you daft sod, it's just how it is. Dating is what people who don't have kids (or who do have a babysitter) get to do :-p (Having said that, it wouldn't hurt to try to make sure you and John get some quality time occasionally).

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Nameless - actually, Bronwyn made me realise it's about a week until we've all known each other for 6 months. That's got to be worth a celebratory date, I reckon?

And I'm pretty sure Mrs Hudson would mind the boys. I suppose my work habits are hard to break. I should try harder, though.

Anne E. - Yes, Mycroft won't actually go to school until September. But between then and now there are quite a few days he can go there to meet his future classmates/housemaster etc. So whilst he won't be leaving us, there's a lot of reminders that he soon will be.

And I don't know about relieving their anxieties. We're trying...

Victoria said...

Maybe something like a star chart for Sherlock? He could earn stars for good behaviour towards rewards like choosing what game you play, some time on the internet or with his chemistry kit, or another activity he enjoys. It would be a visible reminder to him of when he's being good and what good behaviour leads to (fun, and happy people around him), and it might help him focus on the consequences of bad behaviour, i.e. the loss of privileges, which probably don't come immediately to a five-year-old's mind right at the minute that he's upset. I quite liked earning stars against my name when I was at school, although I guess it depends what kind of child you are...

Anon Without A Name said...

Six months is definitely worth a celebration, yes :-D

mazarin221b said...

Dating is what people who don't have kids (or who do have a babysitter) get to do :-p (Having said that, it wouldn't hurt to try to make sure you and John get some quality time occasionally).

Agreed! (Oh, I dream of a reliable occasional babysitter with intense fervor.)

With John not exactly having time off, it's the functional equivalent of dating a single father (which, not to take anything away from their actual father, he stands in loco parentis for). But even parents get time off sometimes. Perhaps sometime Mrs. H could be persuaded to give John enough days for a weekend or a week away for the two of you, once things settle a bit? You guys are incredible for those two boys; you deserve a little adult time once in a while!

Bronwyn said...

I think the lack of control may be an enormous issue with both boys. Unfortunately, Mycroft can't NOT go to school and Sherlock can't force anything to stay as it is. I see it rather dramatically in students every single year. At least in my experience, children tend to react in one of two ways - they become the perfect, obedient child and you wish they'd lash out or demand something or shout at you or anything to indicate that they realize they don't have to be perfect; or they do nothing but lash out on the vague idea of sharing their misery and controlling the people around them (if they can control nothing else, they can make the people around them angry).

In the faculty lounge, we refer to the first type as the Stepford children and the second type "drink poison until their parents die of it".

Sherlock and Mycroft sound like they've improved dramatically since you and John have been involved in their lives (and I suspect you should be grateful you got in so early in John's relationship with them or you might have had a serious fight on your hands for rights to John's affection), but the backslides can be horrible.

The best I can offer you is that when the situation stabilizes again and everyone finds their feet, the behaviors usually diminish. I've had some students bounce back in a few weeks and I've had others take . . . well, four or five years, really. I swear, if you and John were any other men, you'd have scarpered by now, but you obviously love those boys like they're your own.

Just be patient, be firm and soldier on.


Bronwyn said...

I didn't really mean to lecture, honestly. But I've had an interesting couple of days and have been aching that I couldn't have gotten my hands on a couple of my students years ago when I (or anybody, really) could have done them some good.

At least you got your boys early.

Yours again,

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