I am no stranger to difficult children. In fact, when I look at my children and run the numbers, I am quite convinced that I have a disproportionate number of difficult children. From car seat screamers to non-nappers to projectile-vomiters…I take the lead.
Even with stiff competition like that, a few of my difficult children stand out as Super Difficult Children (to be known, from here on out last SDC). Enoch qualifies as SDC. From a 30 hour labor to lack of sleep as a newborn, he was determined to rise to the top as SDC.
The scariest words to be uttered in our house in 2001 were: “Where is Manly?”
*Manly is what we called him from infancy to age seven when he announced he wanted to be called by his middle name, Enoch.
Enoch was the toddler:
- who I caught unwrapping and lining up sticks of butter in his windowsill during nap time.
- who dumped our expensive Montessori school supplies in the kitty litter box and then sprinkled poop-laden kitty litter throughout our house.
- who wandered the house so much at night we began calling him The Night Stalker.
- who pooped and peed on our kitchen table (oh yes he did).
The toddler who grew into a preschooler who’s behavior was so atrocious he couldn’t be left with a babysitter. Ever.
That preschooler grew into a school age child who refused to do his schoolwork, often sneaking off and hiding during homeschooling.
That school age kid grew into a teenager who threw all of that energy and brainpower into work. He painted apartments with his brother, helped a man from church lay flooring, has worked full-time at a show garden during the summer. He spent a summer volunteering in Tanzania working at the garden up until the day he left.
He is now hard-working, responsible and ambitious. I’m not quite sure when the transition took place. It was slow and not-so-steady. Enoch is his own man. I don’t think I’ve done anything to mold him. He has grown and developed over the years and we are so very proud of him.
With Judah away at Central for his senior (!) year or university, Enoch decided to spruce up his room a bit. He dismantled the bunk beds, removed the shelving from his closet, painted the walls and ceiling and then laid new flooring entirely by himself. He is fiercely independent (I wonder where he gets that from?) and takes pride in his work.
And yesterday? Yesterday he started his first day of school, ever (aside from his private math class). He is now attending community college just as Adalia, Judah and Tilly have done.
Hang in there, mamas. You will survive and you never know, that difficult child might just surprise you one day.
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