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He's a boy with a long history of
Apart from telling him to pull his socks up, I have left him. Something has clearly set off this mood change and I knew he would tell me eventually what is bothering him.
I wasn't expecting what I heard.
When I picked him up from after-school care on Tuesday, he grumped at me straight away. I asked him if he was tired or had had a hard day. He grumped. He asked what was for dinner. I told him it was spaghetti bolognaise leftovers, thinking, 'He much be starving..., that's why he is so grumpy".
He cracked it. "I don't like leftovers. I won't eat it. I want something else", like a little spoilt brat. I told him that was the menu and he could choose to eat it or go hungry and ignored his outburst. We walked along in silence. And then I asked him what was wrong.
He said "I had to go to the principal's office", through clenched teeth (doing some fine ventriloquism).
"Did you?" I said. "What for?"
"My friend and I walked too slowly coming back from assembly".
"Oh." I said. (Thinking: I bet there is more to it than that, son)
"But the principal wasn't there. So we just went back to class".
"Oh". I said. "That was a lucky escape. Anything else?"
"Huh? No. That is it."
"Well what did you learn?"
"Not to walk slowly after assembly?" he said, rather tentatively.
"Yes, that." I said, "And it is important to tell your Mum and Dad what is happening. There's no need to worry. We love you always."
He grabbed my hand, clearly relieved that the load was off his mind, and said, "I don't really hate leftovers. Let's go home because I am starving."
It is funny what will keep them up at night. You never know what is going on in their minds, do you? I did far worse than that at primary school to find myself face to face with the principal. I get it. But it goes against his goody-goody nature to be in trouble with authority. He loves mischief but isn't usually the instigator. He just likes 'fun' friends. One day we will have to have 'that' talk, but for now, I think the threat of another trip to the principal will keep him on the straight and narrow. His behaviour has had a full 180 since he made his 'confession'.
How do your children react when they are keeping something from you?