So after writing the Horrible Mother blog (and crying a little), I felt better, and Daniel, after being upstairs in his room and doing his own thing (which included a little craft and playing with he Pokemon cards), was happy again. I gave him a big hug and appologized for losing my patience. And later, when he did spelling again (with his Dad) he got all the words right! We did it again this morning with a little struggle, but hardly anything to worry about, and all was fine. We had to start doing spelling every day after his grades started to slump. And I'm happy to say that he's doing better now.
I was contented this morning when Daniel and I cuddled on the couch while discussing the morning's news out of Japan.
He's a great kid. And I'm a great mother. I have my lost patience moments, and yesterday was one of them. But I remain honest with him - I tell him that my patience is gone and that I really need for him to concentrate or not fool around - and he's pretty good at doing that. But somehow, after I tell him this, it makes it easier for me to be patient. Just acknowledging it allows us both the freedom to deal with it. I also tell him that doing spelling is not fun for either of us, but that in order for him to get good grades and get through school comfortably, we have to do the homework. (I believe yesterday it came out harsher than that like: "oh yeah, and spelling is just great fun for me, too, with all your tears and fighting" - his comment: "I think that's sarcasm, isn't it?")
And when my mood is off, I tell him that, too. I explain that it has nothing to do with him, that it's just my brain. I hope that he learns how to deal with it on the off chance that he inherits my chemical issues.
I recently got together with a friend of mine from high school. We had not seen each other in 20 years, and she got the chance to meet Daniel. Her comment in an e-mail after we got home was this:
"It was great to be able to meet Daniel. He really seems like a nice, well-adjusted and well-behaved kid. You must be so proud of him."
I'm both proud of Daniel and proud of Noel and myself. We must be doing something right!
Thanks to everyone for the comments via the blog, Facebook and e-mail. It's nice to have the support and to know who's reading.