Ben is a good kid. Sure he has his moments, but he is only four-years-old so I will excuse some misbehaving. And in the same breath, at four years of age the kid knows how he should act.
Yesterday when I picked up Ben from school, I opened the door to his pre-K classroom and he ran right up to me. That is normal behavior, but not normal behavior was his teacher following close behind with a look on her face. "Uh-oh" I thought.
"Ben had a really bad day at school" she said.
I never had that before. Sure, there are things here and there that I have been made aware of, but yesterday's list was l-o-n-g. He was making noises during story time and playing on the shelves during story time. The two worst things were talking back to the teachers and sticking out his tongue to the teachers.
I was quiet and listening to the events that unfolded that day. I was quick to tell his teacher that I am a firm believer that teachers are boss. Ben needs to listen and respect his teachers - period! I told her I am okay if they need to turn up the heat on his consequences, like taking away his Lego playtime. Ben will listen and respect his teachers, and I will not have it any other way.
Apparently, he was out of sorts the last 2 weeks, but yesterday was just horrible. As I was listening to the teacher, I was also trying to think about what could be affecting Ben. At this age, a change in environment can really make a difference.
Well, Ben did have a ear infection, but that is cleared up by now. Maybe he is growing? He was saying that he legs hurt, and maybe he just isn't feeling really good? And then I got it...Steve! It breaks my heart to make this connection, and I know it is going to break Steve's heart.
If you recall from previous posts, Steve was off for about 3 weeks straight - 24 days to be exact. Steve's first trip back from that stretch of days off was a 4-day, but he left on Saturday and the kids and I traveled to visit my sister that weekend. Ben was occupied with cousins, and then normal Monday and Tuesday routine...and before we knew it Steve was home.
Steve left for this last trip on Sunday. Since the kids and I were close to the airport, visiting my aunt, I decided to make a stop at the airport to see Steve's plane taking off:
The airport was rather quiet, and it was the only 737 to take-off during that time, so we were positive it was him. Well, after Daddy's plane got out of sight Ben broke down and started crying. Here I thought I was doing a good thing by letting the kids see this, and I think it came back to bite me in the ass.
Houston, here is where our problem is...I think this is officially the first time that Ben is acting out due to Daddy not being around. I am drawing this conclusion due to the fact that this started when Steve went back to work after a long stretch, and yesterday may have been exacerbated due to Ben literally seeing Daddy fly up-up-and-away.
On our drive home I was talking to Ben about his day. He blamed his flu shot for making him misbehave. We talked through everything, and then went on with the rest of our evening.
Steve was in Mexico last night so we couldn't talk about this. We will during the next couple days, however. We will also see how today plays out. I did tell Ben that the effects of his flu shot wears out after 10 days, so "come tomorrow you will have to act appropriately and listen to your teachers."
Everything else, environmentally, has remained consistent with Ben over the last couple weeks, aside from Steve returning to work. So, I really think this is the cause. I will be sure to keep you posted on this situation. And I welcome any other pilot wives that have any suggestions/comments regarding this situation.
At times like this, when I really think Ben is misbehaving due to Steve's absence, I hate that this is part of our life. But, we will weather the storm, and we will be stronger and wiser because of it.
Ben did make an airplane out of his blocks this morning. He will give it to Daddy when he gets home tonight. Ben is so excited to see Daddy tonight, and I know Steve is going to be touched by this gesture. And these are the times that I love the things that come with Steve's job...absence makes the heart grow fonder! Ben will be anticipating Steve's arrival all day...and when he hears that garage door open and the dogs bark, he will scream "Daddy's home!" and run to the door, with airplane in hand, all the while making the giggle sound he makes when he sees him after a trip...