Five weeks ago I wrote a post about how my wife and I were being proactive in addressing our son’s behavior problems in school. I mentioned how I would be leaving work early for four weeks until my wife started her new part time job. (The decision was made for her to go part time, and not me, because in her field she can make more money at 21 hours a week than I can.) Well, my lady starts her new gig tomorrow which means that we are officially rolling into the second phase of “Operation Love The Boy.”

It’s been an interesting five weeks leading up to phase two. I had plenty of time to bond with my son, and not nearly enough time to do my 9 to 5 job the way I like to, which is well. The trade-off, however, was worth it. I got a kick out of making mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets, playing football in the yard, reading kooky children’s books, and watching talking animals on TV all before my wife got home from work. I liked the feeling of “rescuing” my boy from the horrors of preschool, and the conversations we had while stuck in traffic. Now, as a result of our time together, my son knows exactly when to yell “drive your stinking vehicle!” at slow moving cars. That kind of thing is priceless.

It wasn’t all peaches and cream though. I believe my wife got it a little twisted early on when I was projecting grumpiness toward her late in the evening. She thought I was grumpy because I didn’t want to do what I was doing, when the reality was that I was upset because I had to squeeze eight hours of work into five and my work consists of supervising managers, budgets, and a slew of other essential organizational things. That was draining. But being around and caring for my son was invigorating. It was perhaps the best four weeks of the last three years (I went part time for six months at my previous job after my wife finished her six month maternity leave. I spent three full days a week

[not including weekends] being daddy and that was awesome.).

The result of our schedule adjustment has been ASTOUNDING. The boy has blossomed in school reclaiming his exceptional standing amongst little people, and being just an all around pleasant kid. We were getting regular incident reports before the change, and in the last five weeks we have not had a single report of bad behavior. And this is not just in school. At home he’s more relaxed, it’s easy to get him into bed at night, and he’s trying new foods – all things that we thought would never be possible.

I’m humbled by the experience because I know that many parents would love to be able to do what we are doing, but for thousands of reasons (many being financial) they cannot. I understand that and I will not allow myself to take this gift for granted.

Don’t get me wrong, my boy is still a little devil – I got into a screaming match with him just today and by the time I realized what was going on it was too late. He also jacked me of some loose change so he could put it in his piggy bank. And sometime last week he went into the fridge, took a bottle of spring water, dumped it into the toilet and refilled it with tap water all in about 48 seconds. I’ll keep you all posted on his progress as we move into phase two.