Today was an off day. Off from school, I mean. Last night, as I described yesterday, didn't go too well. L kept waking from his cough, and every time he woke, he'd be upset all over again about, well, whatever he gets upset about. School, mostly. Finally around 12:00 or so, I couldn't take it anymore. I told him that he wouldn't have to go to school for the rest of the week. Immediately, I could sense his relief and he settled into sleep for the rest of the night despite his cough.
Turns out, I probably would have kept him home anyway. So he's definitely sick with a virus of some sort. When he woke this morning, he was kind of "barky" and said his throat/chest hurt when he coughed. He seemed tired too, and reportedly took a small nap in the morning.
During the afternoon, I tried to get him to do some homework (French and spelling) and that was painful. I got him to the table finally, by threatening him with taking away his iPod, and he was still playing with a toy he'd brought downstairs. I kept saying,"Ok, let's get to this, I'll help you," but it's like talking to a wall,or at least a child who doesn't hear or who can't understand English. He continued to ignore me, playing with this toy he had.
I just don't get it. He was never a great listener (unlike his brother) but, it's getting worse and worse. Is it this depression? The apathy? Maybe it's because he no longer cares about consequences. Or is it because I've stopped yelling at him? I've changed my approach with him, because I hated all the yelling I was doing, and I'm sure he did too. I just don't know what to do to get him to listen.
I was telling DH tonight that sometimes I will give him a logical choice, and he'll make the right decision n his own. Which is good, but not always do-able. Like the other day, with school. How can I make him go, give him a choice there? There ISN'T a choice.
Like,the homework today. We finally got the French done, and I asked him to start the spelling (simple copying of a word list, not much thinking). He refused. Flat out. And I couldn't stand around arguing, the babies were waking up, the older kids' movie was done, I needed to go "to work". So I took his toy and iPod, and already having made the promise of playing multi-player on Minecraft with him when he was finished, I told him he could choose not to do it, but he wouldn't be getting the objects back until he had finished. Even if it took a week. I left, and when I came back upstairs about 20 mins later,he had completed the work and was ready to play with me.
For most of the day, he seemed tired and not too energetic or happy. Of course, he's sick, so it's perfectly normal for him to act this way,but I can't help keep wondering if this is the depression talking (getting worse) or just a normal childhood illness. I can catch a small glimpse this way of my sister's world here. She constantly has to wonder if my niece is acting out like a normal six year old, or if its her tumour doing the acting out.
Around eight, I got him to go to bed, today without tears, I suppose because he knows already that he's staying home again tomorrow. But he awoke coughing not an hour and a half later, and I tried to get him to take some cold medication. Now, I know he was tired and half asleep,but he was "weird" again. At first he wouldn't take the pills I offered. He doesn't like taking medicine normally, so I asked if he'd prefer the liquid. He said yes, and I returned the pills and got the liquid stuff prepared. When I arrived back in his bedroom, he started hitting himself in the forehead,which is something he does when he's frustrated, anxious, angry, and/or annoyed with himself or schoolwork. But I didn't get this. So I asked what he was doing and asked him to stop, at which point he turned away from me and hmphed and kicked his legs as if in irritation.
I don't get it. Why the switch? What happened? What did I do? He was acting the way he does when he starts to shut down and refuse to talk or look at me.
So weird. So bewildering. So frustrating.
It's two-year-old behaviour. And it makes me want to shout at him as I would a two-year-old,to stop this nonsense immediately or you're going into time-out! But he's not two, he's nine. And he's hurting inside, which puts me on eggshells.
At least he didn't spiral into the non-speaking mode this time. I'm thankful for that, but he refused to take the medicine, claiming he was too tired. So, again,I gave him the choice, stating that he could decide to take it, I wouldn't force him,but if he decided not to, he would likely not sleep well and be coughing most of the night. Again, he made the right decision, and took it. I said goodnight, and left. I'm hoping for some peaceful sleep tonight, for us all, and for a brighter morning, physically and emotionally.