We all know the trials of the "PK"s. You know, the kids of the church employees, including pastors, who are the worst behaved kid in the church. Well, Noah is truly a PK to the nth degree. Here's our wonderful experience from church today.
The background: Two of my three groups performed this morning. I direct the Youth Chimes and Ada Chimes. Tone Chimes are a WAAAYYY less expensive and hardier way to create a bell choir. About five years ago, I asked our organist why, if our church was as affluent as it is, we don't have a hand bell choir. Her answer was "Because we don't have anyone to direct it and they are very expensive" So with my big mouth, I said, "What about tone chimes? I could direct it if we had them."
The next fall our church had purchased tone chimes, the same organist had petitioned to have me become a paid staff member and Ada Chimes was begun.
Two years ago, our Wednesday night program for the 4th-8th graders was starting to dwindle. Our numbers were close to nothing and the curriculum left something to be desired. Another mom and I started talking about ways to rejuvenate the program. I suggested a youth chime group as part of the Wednesday program. That fall, Youth Chimes was born. Our core group averages between 11-15 kids every week. We have youth that technically have "aged out" but still return because it is fun. I have come to love the group of young people.
The third group I direct is the Cherub Choir. It is 5 year olds - 2nd grade singers. This is my third year with that group but the first year with Noah in it. This is actually where this big long story begins...and ends. For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of their performance earlier this year. Noah is the smiling one right with the red collar in front of the microphone.
Noah swore up and down (not literally) that he would NOT be in choir. I kind of downplayed it and when it came to start this year, I just sat him down and began the rehearsal. He has done pretty well, BUT....he has truly acted out the part of the PK each rehearsal.
As you have heard in this and this post, he is an AMAZING singer. That is why I have encouraged him. Plus, his music class at school really leaves something to be desired. (It's really bad). So I have encouraged him to participate.
So this morning was the Cherub Choir's last performance until Fall. My idea was to have them play tone chimes while they were singing. They have been practicing for a VERY long time and sounding pretty good. We spent A LOT of time practicing how to walk with the instrument, how to play it, and especially where to stand after we walk up. In order for the song to sound right, they HAD to be in order.
After our practice this morning, they lined perfectly, as they have each performance all year. As they were walking to the front of the sanctuary to perform, SOMEHOW, they got all goofed up. I realized after they got up there and it HAD to be fixed. So, for me, it felt like hours while I was trying to get them in order while the entire congregation was sitting and watching. AAGGGHHH!!!!!!!!
As they were almost ready, the entire congregation quiet, Noah shouts out "MOM, CAN WE START YET?" I snapped my fingers at him to be quiet (mind you, I was in front of the church) and the congregation actually laughed. I don;t know if they were laughing at me or that I got him under control (which is what a few moms told me afterward) while the whole world was watching. Either way is NOT good.
I don't know if I have ever been that angry or embarrassed in church before. The performance went off without a hitch after that. As a matter off fact, it was VERY good.
But I still can't seem to let go of it.
When I got his report card Friday, it included a letter from BOTH of his specials teachers about Noah talking too much and showing off for the other kids. The problem is that the naughty kids are the ones who react and then Noah gets the reaction he is looking for, therefore getting in more trouble. He doesn't want to befriend the "good kids" because they don't laugh when he shows off. I don't know how to make him want to impress the "good" kids. He gets more attention the other way. His Kindergarten teacher has told me that the first grade teacher is worried about having him in her class next year. Not something any mom wants to hear. I just don't know what to do.
At the beginning of the year, he was quite aggressive. He would throw things if he got mad and yell when he was frustrated. He does not display any of this kind of behavior anymore. He has improved massively.
I am struggling because, yes, his behavior is SOOO much better, but it still needs to be fixed. How do I continue to praise him for the improvement and yet make it clear that his behavior is still not acceptable. I do not believe he has ADD or ADHD, but there is something in him that needs to be "fixed". The attention seeking behavior is the root of it all. If we could beat that, I think our battle would be won. Have I created these problems in my raising of him? He reminds us A LOT of my brother in so many ways and my brother is one of the smartest guys I have ever known. He also has a successful career and family life. So I know Noah will be successful someday. But I want him to feel successful now, too.
Friday I was crying about his behavior, yet again, in front of him when I realized where some of the biggest frustration lies. I was talking to him and I found myself saying, "The reason I am so sad is that I know what an amazing boy you are, but when you never stop talking and showing off in front of other kids, it doesn't let others see that amazing boy." I think that is the core of my frustration. I want others to see this remarkable kid but that is not what comes out so much of the time.
Wow! What started out as a post about church this morning turned into, yet again, a ramble about Noah. That always seems to happen.
I don't know if anyone is even reading this anymore, but if you are, I would love your feedback. Please comment on this one. I need all the help I can get.