Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I Don't Want To

I don't want to play on the sidewalk.
I don't want to sit on the stoop.
I don't want to lick any ice cream.
I don't want to slurp any soup.
I don't want to listen to music.
I don't want to look at cartoons.
I don't want to read any stories.
I don't want to blow up balloons.

I don't want to dig in the garden.
I don't want to roll on the rug.
I don't want to wrestle the puppy.
I don't want to give you a hug.
I don't want to shoot any baskets.
I don't want to bang on my drum.
I don't want to line up my soldiers.
I don't want to whistle or hum.

I don't want to program my robot.
I don't want to strum my guitar.
I don't want to use my computer.
I don't want to wind up my car.
I don't want to color with crayons.
I don't want to model with clay.
I don't want to stop my not wanting...
I'm having that kind of a day.

from I'm Glad I'm Me: Poems About You
by Jack Prelutsky
A few days ago Matthew read this poem to me and we laughed together about what a rotten day this kid must have had that he didn't want to have ice cream, play with his puppy, or even have computer time.
Well, I'm telling you, today Joshua could have been that kid. He came home from school upset about everything. He listed off all the things which had gone wrong today and announced his day had been completely ruined. Things got even worse for him when I told him he was, in fact, going to be joining us at school tonight to watch the second graders program in which Matthew had a part. Joshua yelled about coming along, saying he had seen the program at school today and it was boring.
Once again, Joshua rattled off the terrible things from today and then challenged me, "Is there anything else you want to do to ruin my day???" I almost rose to the occasion and told him I wasn't going to allow him to have the sour cream and onion chips he had gotten out for an after school snack, but I thought better of it and simply put them away.

It was hard for me to see Joshua having these fits today. I knew life wasn't as bad as he was viewing it. I knew he would get his assignment done. I knew today really was not the worst day of Joshua's life. But I also knew there was nothing I could say which would convince him otherwise, so I watched him and prayed - asking God to calm Joshua's spirit, asking Him to love Joshua through me, and asking Him to keep me from yelling right back at Joshua - because that is really what I wanted to do.
In the end, we worked together and Joshua completed his assignment so he was able to have some computer time before dinner. He did go with us to see Matthew's program (as if he had any choice!) and I even caught him saying to Elizabeth,"Watch this part. It's really funny," and scooting on the floor to get a better view. And tonight as I tucked him in to bed we discussed the fact that today wasn't so bad afterall. All's well that ends well, right?

Now, if I can just figure out how to help Joshua avoid those downward spirals in the future...

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momteacherfriend said...

I think my little girl had one of those days yesterday.
Love the poem.

Rochelle said...

I find it amazing how real those days are to our kids. All they have to worry about are the things like the ones in the poem. As they learn to deal with those "I don't want to" days, the list only get worse! lol! "I don't want to make my mortgage payment!" But thankfully, we get better at dealing with them! :)

kreed said...

Some days are like that, aren't they? And I kind of think that every now and then we are all entitled to one. It really is hard to watch your kids go through them, though as I think we always just wish happiness 24/7 for them!

Stephanie said...

Isn't it so hard to watch them in pain even when we know it will pass. I would rather my son never feel discomfort and anxiety or worry. But these things can help him grow if i let them.

Good for you for not yelling back. You KNOW I would have lost it!