TRex has been acting out all of the time at home. He is constantly fighting with us. The only response he utters is "no" or the dreaded "neVAH". And I'm at my wits end. I was ever so close to telling him I was going to send him away this morning. I didn't. Thankfully. But, I am at my breaking point with his behavior.
TRex goes through cycles, like everyone. Somedays it is just hard for him to behave. That is usually a sign that something is wrong. He misbehaves until he is ready to spill the beans. Normally, he spills the beans from the back seat of my minivan as we drive to school (the exact moment when I can't hug him or look at him).
But this cycle has been especially bad. So, I waited as I drove this morning to hear what was going on. I got nothing. I figured we'd have another horrible day and night. Then, as TRex, DQ, and I headed to the gym where TRex attends the before school program, TRex let it out: he wants to know when he is going to get his wish. DQ is getting a wish and he wanted to know when it was his turn.
I was totally caught by surprise. I had assumed he was having difficulty in school or with classmates. I had no idea he was jealous of his sister. (Although that clearly explains why he has been especially brutal to her--not hitting or anything, but doing the opposite of everything she wanted, messing her hair, taking her toys, telling her no).
Looking back on it, I think we explained to TRex and DQ why DQ was getting a wish a year ago when it was first granted. I THINK we told them it was because the organization heard that DQ spent a lot of time in the hospital and wanted her to get away and not be in the hospital. But I don't specifically remember. And since then, we have all been concentrating on the trip to Florida. Everyone has been excited. We are all going.
I never thought about TRex getting jealous, but each time the trip is mentioned, DQ cries "For me! I made a wish!"
This morning, in the hallway of TRex's elementary school, I was caught off guard. How do you explain to a five year old that his little sister was granted a wish because she has life-threatening illnesses without scaring the crap out of him? After all, this is the same five year old, who has worried in the past about his sister never coming home from the hospital. We don't shield him completely, but we also want life to be as normal as possible. So, I tried telling TRex that DQ was granted a wish because she spends so much time in the hospital and TRex gets to go on the trip too and have lots of fun because the organization knows he gets very sad when she is in the hospital. I told him how it is not normal for kids to be granted a wish. And that we all are part of DQ's wish. But, I don't think he got it. He didn't think it was fair.
The Mad Scientist and I plan on speaking with TRex again this evening. But how do we get him to understand that what our family faces is not the same as typical families without making him feel oddly different? How do we explain why some children are granted wishes without scaring him and DQ too much? Or is it best to let a 5 year old know the full truth, no omissions? Would that do more harm than good? He already knows so much, but he is so young.