You seriously have no idea how many warm fuzzies you guys shared with me in the comments on this post. I needed that validation.
I started this update post a couple of weeks ago so I'm going to update as if it were still mid-March ;)
When I made that post, I was really at the end of my rope. I was ready to give in. Call it quits. Throw my hands in the air and let him do whatever the hell he wanted. Crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and never get out. Visit a carnival and accidentally forget him somewhere in the vicinity of the gypsies.
Done I tell you.
And then, listen up, something MIRACULOUS happened.
It was over. Just like that with a snap of the fingers. Almost four years of fighting and bargaining and crying and torment over like it never happened. No morning grumpiness or after school complaining. No whining. No yelling. No name calling. No antagonizing or manipulating or blaming.
For like 6 or 7 weeks he was *the* most perfect child in the history of the world. No joke.
I went to teacher conferences and his teacher was bouncing in her seat she was so excited to tell me how amazing he's been doing (not with behavior, because other than a couple of instances with one particular kid, that's never been an issue at school) but with the three R's...man, he's a whiz at reading (in a special reading group comprised of just five 1st graders) and writing (his teacher is using his writing as a sample for other kid's on how to develop a story) and arithmetic (he's one of those lucky kids that just "gets" math.)
I have to go on a quick tangent here as I'm not planning a post about teacher conferences...hello, boring! I have to note something about Jake's teacher. I adore her and she loves Jake but she told me when I walked in that I "really didn't need to be there" because Jake is excelling. And that made me kind of sad to hear that coming from a teacher.
Don't you think that one of the reasons kids excel is because they have parents that stress the importance of education and care enough about it to check homework at night and ask about what they learned and would never miss a conference, even if they have a reasonable expectation that everything is fine?
But then she redeemed herself when she told me what a great kid Jake was in class and that she would miss him when the school year was over and that she could tell that we "must have a lot of fun at home." Obviously completely unrelated to his actual education but that comment made my day. It was unexpected and I've never made a conscientious decision to have that as a goal but damn, it filled my heart up. But good.
I'll tell you what: our kids are approaching 4, 8 and 10 and in my experience, even years ALWAYS beat odd years. Terrible twos? Pshaw. Twos were NOTHING compared the threes. For any of my kids (can I get a witness?)
So even though,
Zack has demonstrated a touch of backsliding the past two weeks or so, I'm ok. Now, he's acting like a happy, well-adjusted, sometimes mildly problematic 7.5 year old. Right where he should be. And I'm no longer holding my breath waiting for that HUGE inevitable meltdown that would end all of our happy progress like I was the entire time he was acting so angelic.
I'm loving our progress and looking forward to a year of happy evens. Yes, Carlos and I are both still looking for a job. Still living as frugally as we can. But we're OK. When we start feeling down about our job/financial situation, we remember how fortunate we are to be good with each other and good with our kids. Because so many people don't have that. And if faced with the decision to choose one over the other, I choose family 8 days of the week.