Thursday, January 28, 2010

A fight with the minions

Yesterday started out well enough but it was soon swallowed by evil. I don't know any other way to put it other than to say that girls are just plain mean. In fact, they are mean to an entirely new level that boys (and men) can not even comprehend. They are like a cats playing with their pray. I just don't get it.

Mind you, yesterday, I had my fill - once and for all.

We were on the way to school. As is the Wednesday morning tradition, I worked with Graham on the memorization of his bible verse. Although we generally work with him several times during the week it always seems to come down to the Wednesday morning drive to really get it ingrained.

I think I mentioned it as recently as yesterday. Graham sucks (technical learning term) at memorization. Like his Daddy, this is not one of his life skills and something that he will likely struggle with all of his life. We are good at math, we are good at understanding the meaning of things, we have a photographic memory, but, for the life of us, memorization is nearly impossible. It is the way we are built. It just is.

For the girls in the family, memorization is easy. Just like their mother both girls can look at something once and have it memorized in mere moments.

Unfortunately, Graham and I just can't do that. Our brains are wired differently.

The problem with this little "difference" between the girls and the boys is that the girls see this as stupidity. They taunt Graham and make it nearly impossible for him to memorize anything. This just makes it harder and increases the pressure. Graham needs intense concentration to get those memorization synapses firing. The girls don't give him a moment. Worse yet, they laugh at him which does absolutely nothing for his self esteem.

After several polite attempts to get them to stop their taunting in the car yesterday morning without any success I finally unleashed - and I mean I unleashed. Perhaps it was from years of pent up anger from my own childhood or perhaps it was from seeing my son step in my least impressive footsteps, I released a tyrant of previously unseen proportions.

I really laid into the girls.

I made my feelings known.

The rest of the car ride was quiet with the exception of Graham who gradually and ultimately mastered his bible verse.

When we got to school neither of the girls would make eye contact with me. Sydney was mad that I unleashed on her but both were certainly fearful of whether another tirade might be burgeoning.

It was not one of my proudest moments. I am quite sure there could have been a better way to "teach" the girls to be more supportive of their brother. But honestly, like the cat and it's prey it seems instinctual. I felt I had tried everything else.

Throughout the morning the guilt piled up. Well, it was not only guilt. It was also a wish to make sure they understood what I was saying. I figured a heart to heart and a few hundred less decibels may be a better method of helping them understand - to help them find a little empathy.

As it turns out, the kids have lunches one after another at school. This gave me a one on one opportunity with each one of them. So,I grabbed some take out from Arby's and made my way to the school. By lunch time, both of the girls had recovered and both were ecstatic to see me. Frankly, I was a bit surprised. None the less, I spent some time trying to help them understand how mean they were being, how unfair they were being to their brother, and, despite their nastiness, how much Graham truly loved and respected them.

Ultimately, it came down to the Golden Rule.

Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

I guess WE all learned that lesson yesterday, didn't we?

Purpose works in mysterious ways.

No comments: