You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
But what if you really, really need him to drink?
In case you’re wondering, Jack is the horse and I’m the jerk that can’t make him take a drink. And drinking isn’t really drinking, it’s getting him to do anything he doesn’t want to. And as long as we’re breaking down the metaphor, let’s call Jack a mule, because that kid is the most stubborn motherfucker I have ever met.
Like, how do you MAKE a kid do a math problem if he doesn’t want to? And how do you MAKE a kid write a sentence? And how do you MAKE a child do something at occupational therapy other than tell his wonderful therapist “I hate you,” and then hide under a table?
That last little bit happened this afternoon at Jack’s OT session (if you can call 12 minutes a session), resulting in us deciding to take a break for a few weeks while
we I try to figure just what the hell to do to make my goddamn horse drink.
The OT session also caused me to cry in one of the last semi-public places I hadn’t yet shed tears in Maryland. Of course, that’s not all on Jack. Quinn scampered past me on all fours to join Jack under a table, which led me to make a joke about how maybe Jack won’t do what he’s asked to because I’m the worst mother in the world because obviously all three of my children are wackadoos and then I felt it coming, said, “I’m going to burst into tears,” and then I burst into tears.
While this last session pushed me over the edge, various permutations of it have been taking place for several weeks at OT and also at school. Speech therapy has been going great, mainly because our speech therapist is on maternity leave and we have a couple of months off.
I’m not quite sure what to do. I know I’m not the worst mom and I know that Jack rocks the free world, but sometimes I get really frustrated.
I have some thoughts rolling around inside my head, I have a couple of appointments set up, I am enrolled in a parenting class, but wouldn’t it be nice if Jack could just understand that if he drank, he would be done drinking and wouldn’t have to do it again for a long time, he could then go on to use his little mule-hooves to knock Legos around, and he might even find that drinking isn’t the worst thing in the world.
(You may have gotten lost in that metaphor, but trust me, I know exactly where I am.)
It’s been a little rough as of late.
I would stick around and torture you a little more with my mule imagery, but Jack’s IEP meeting is in, eep!, 10 hours, and if I don’t prepare for it, all I’ll be able to do is walk in and say, “Okay. I see Jack as a mule…”