When Davan and I got home from gymnastics last night, Anthony told me that Max had confided in him that Max has been thinking of running away for months now because "it's just not fair here."
They talked about it for a while and made lists of things they didn't like. Max doesn't like being yelled at. Yeah, who does? He doesn't like when Anthony holds him down with his hands behind his back - which happens when Anthony witnesses a physical attack on me. He doesn't like any hurting - vice grip on his arm when he's trying to run off in the store, being pushed around, that sort of thing. And he doesn't like being told he is rude.
The hilarious thing about all this is that I've done a hurting thing to him something like 3 times in the last 5 months. Before that it was more frequent. I've finally about broken the habit, although it's hard sometimes when he's being so defiant and in my face. And I didn't yell at him at all yesterday, but that's the day it comes up about wanting to run away for those reasons.
He's mentioned wanting to "just run away from here" before to us. And, yeah, a couple of months seems right for him having those sentiments and generally being a jerk. Worse than before, that is.
However, that is not all on the running away front. Yesterday at school, it turns out, he did the running thing again. This time he didn't make it out of the school area. The full story (pieced together from him and his teacher) seems to be that he was play fighting with another boy from his class at recess. He pretended to knee this boy in the crotch. His teacher saw it and pulled Max aside to tell him that wasn't okay. Max just kept talking over her, telling her that others were fighting, too, and then he finally just ran off.
The playground attendant caught up to him and he stopped for her. Then he talked to the principal for a while about safe places to go if he felt like he had to run.
If found out about this this morning when I went in to the school to look through lost and found (4 of Max's sweatshirts have been recovered) and Max's teacher approached me to tell me about it. Max, after being pissed at me for bringing it up, told me about it this afternoon after school, as well.
What gets me is that Max said that the principal just happened to be walking after that and invited him over to talk to her. She asked him about spring break and "I wasn't in trouble or anything." What does he have to do to get in trouble? What does he have to do for anyone at school to express disapproval? I find the whole thing troubling. He acts up and the school says, "oh, how can we make it better?"
Don't get me wrong. I do think that addressing the underling issue is the most important thing. And, with a kid who is mentally healthy, that might be all that needs to be done. Max, though, is learning through all of this that he can do what he wants and he'll get extra attention. No one will think he's acting inappropriately except good 'ol Mom and Dad.
In other news, it was out for the evening night for Max's 40 sticker reward. Max chose me to take him out and chose The Olive Garden to go to. We had a nice evening. Dinner was followed by a little shopping so Max could spend his April allowance that was burning a hole in his pocket.
The only part of the evening that didn't go well was that when I was going in to read to him, I found a bent up push pin that he'd been jamming repeatedly into his wall when he got mad. Great. I'd already taken a push pin away from him, but I made it clear he was not allowed to have any sharp objects at all until I believe he can be trusted with them. The only exception to this is that he can use scissors in the dinning room (where we also have our art supplies) as long as there is supervision.