Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I spy with my little eye......

The above is one of our favorite games in the car... but I have already blogged about that before, so on to the story for today....

Mommy: I spy with my little eye...something.... yellow
Max: (pointing to the man on the sidewalk) His shirt!
Mommy:Good Job!
Max: I spy with my little eye something BROWN!!!
Mommy: That car?
Max: NOOOO mommy!!!! Your HAIR!!!!

Did you hear that???

That is the sound of a former blonde's ego being crushed with reality!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I don't need your help, Ben

Oh the hard times of two growing little boys.

One of the things that I am damn near pulling my hair out in frustration, is teaching the fundamental life long lesson of "following directions" to my oldest son, my sweet adorable boundary testing 5 year old.

His father and I have come to tantrums when trying to get Max to follow directions. We will not put the bat down and he refuses to stop throwing us curve balls. I know he knows the difference, because when threats are given, magically the behavior stops... but only temporarily. So in the grand picture these souls have been brought together to learn our lessons, his obedience and ours is patience.

Lately, this conversation comes to great melt downs on the way home from school. Mostly because we are all tired and unable to keep calm and collected. There is lots of crying and yelling and condescending talk... all things that I am not proud of, but I am getting to the end of my rope. And it does not help that I suddenly find myself on a board of executioners mid conversation when my brown nosing little 3yr old decides that when I am trying to collect my thoughts and count to 10, it is his turn to start in on his brother....Mommy says stop it... you unnnerstand?!?!?!? After I advise Ben that I am the mommy and I do not need his help, he Jekyll and Hyde's it to his sweet personality and advises me that HE is not doing whatever it is that I am currently accusing Max of..."Mommy... I no talk back to you" or "Mommy, I just sit here and catch a bubble."

Well last night, once again, we are faced with the same conversation. Max's teacher sent home a note asking that we discuss the importance of following directions in class.... great, what I thought was only a family battle has moved into the school. So I tell him what the note says and advise him we are going to talk about this, young man!!! I tell him to stand outside Ben's class, while I step in and get Ben. I come out and he is gone. I walk around the corner and see him in the lobby reaching into the snack basket. I advise him to get his hand out of there and get into the car and put his seat belt on, NOW. We get in the car and I inform him that he will eat dinner by himself at the kitchen table, go straight to shower time and straight to bed as soon as we get home..... he will learn this lesson even if it means he never sees TV again and he loses access to all of his toys. I start to go into a tirade that his teacher is upset with him, Mommy is upset with him, Daddy is upset with him..... and very loud from the backseat comes..."And BEN is very upsef wif YOU!!!!"

Thank you, Ben... but I do not need your help.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Going commando... not as easy as it sounds!

So yesterday morning as I was getting Ben dressed for school he asked me, "Mommy, can I go commando for nigh nigh tonight?" Now are around this house, going commando at night time means going to bed with only pajamas, no underwear and no overnight diaper pull ups. I blinked several times to buy time and responded with a detailed conversation in 3 yr old language. This means he cannot go pee pee in his bed because he would get all wet and cold, and he would have to get out of his bed in the middle of the night and go pee pee in the potty. He shook his head in agreement at all the arguments I had. I ended the conversation with him by clarifying even further - more for me than for him - so tonight you are going to bed with only your pajamas, no nigh nigh diaper, right......and with a huge smile Ben exclaimed - YES!!!

So we get home and he enthusiastically advised daddy of his new commando status post shower time. He WILL NOT be wearing nigh nigh diapers anymore. Mike looked at me with concern and I said we were going to give it a try. Now I am much more willing to go down this road because he has been waking up in a dry diaper for a couple of months now. He knows to go to the poty first thing when he wakes up, so he is probably ready to take this step.

Shower time comes, the pep talk is given again, and Ben puts on his pajamas without a night time diaper with great excitement:

8:15 - Off to bed they march
8:30 - Bed
9:00 - pitter patter of small feet in our bedroom - okay, let's go pee pee for good measure and send you back to bed. Daddy is upstairs and advises me he has already pee pee'd twice in the potty before this.
9:15 - pitter patter pitter patter....Ben? What is he problem? He squeals and climbs into bed with me...." I cannot close my eyes" Well - try!! Send him back upstairs
9:30 - see above
9:45 - alright Ben - that is enough!!! I start to threaten him with the fact that I was going to put his diaper back on him if he didn't stay in his bed. He nods yes. Wait a minute.... are you nodding yes because you understand? Ben, do you want to put your diaper back on? Slow nod yes. If I put your diaper on will you go to bed and stay there? Slow nod yes.

So I put the overnight pull up on, he sighs with relief, runs upstairs, and goes to bed.

Apparently going commando is harder than it seems. He might as well have been an adolescent teen sleeping on satin sheets for the first time. It was too much to handle and he needed the protection of extra padding just to get to sleep.....

Maybe next time......

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I needed that talk

We needed that talk.

Last night in the dark of our bedroom my husband and I had a very serious talk. Probably not serious to anyone else but very serious to us... to me. I do not want to get into the details of the talk, what I want to talk about is the events and feelings that led up to the talk and the way I felt afterwards.

It was late. I had been up watching TV even though I was exhausted and should have turned the TV off and fallen asleep hours before. I am like my children in that, if the TV is on, we cannot sleep. It is a constant stimulus that keeps our eyes open no matter what. My mother had my boys this weekend and she even commented on the fact that they were up later than normal watching TV and kept saying they couldn't sleep. She finally turned off the TV and no more than walked into the bathroom and took off her contacts and they were already sleeping hard.

But back to me.... my point is that I was exhausted and exhaustion makes me weak and emotional and vulnerable to thoughts that may or may not be rational. I think they are always necessary, but I do admit that somethimes these moments might look differently after a good night's sleep. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, because sometimes a good night's sleep and different perspective gives me a great excuse to place issues back in my Pandora box and up on a shelf to fester and grow unattended.

Recently, I had been having issues and not been able to place my finger on it. I wasn't sure what my problem was and I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Because whenever I stepped back and looked at the entire forest, it was full of wonderful beautiful trees that made me very happy and fulfilled, yet these issues kept creeping in corners and leaving a light film of dust on the furniture. And it wasn't coming from one source, so I knew my problem wasn't with one person in particular, unless of course you consider that one perosn was me.

So here I am, in the dark, listening to the creaks of our house and the rain falling on our windows. All of a sudden, I am overwhlemed with thoughts and feelings that come rushing to the surface. Thoughts that act like a tumbleweed, meaning the one thought leads you to the next thought and the next thought and so on. The next thing I know, I have hit a nail on the head and at the same time that I am anxious and upset, I find myself taking these huge comforting breaths, almost like soul cleansing breaths.

I felt horrible and wonderful all at that the same time. I was laying there debating on what to do next. This is important. This is a big moment. I hate to wake Mike up, because that is not fair to him, maybe I need to get up and write about it, maybe I should wait and see what else comes up and, and, and, ........

In all this "thinking" I am snapped back into my body when I think I hear footsteps in the other room, maybe one of the boys walking around in the night. I touch Mike and he wakes up and I tell him I think one of the boys is up, and he walks around looking for them. He comes back to bed, false alarm. He rolls over to head back to sleep. This is when the tears start. He is up. Just start talking. He is up. Don't let this moment pass. But it is not fair to keep him up with MY issues. JUST START TALKING.

And I did. And then he did. And then there was a peace. Deep soul breaths and heavy sleep.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Strategical Parenting Error

So I quite possibly may not have used the BEST judgement in regards to my children yesterday.

Let's just say yesterday was a day that I wandered out of my bedroom only to make sure the children had food and were not killing each other. I apologized to my husband for not being able to be a wife or a parent, but well... I just couldn't muster the gumption. The point being, the children spent alot of time yesterday watching TV or playing in their room, except for a short period where they did get outside to play in the yard with daddy.... this is not nearly enough time to release all the energy that a 5 and 3 yr old boys create in one day.

After dinner, I drew a bath in our bathroom (also known as the little pool) and aterwards, they snuggled with me in our big chair and watched yet more TV. Lo and behold, the new gladiators was on NBC.... You know, the remake of the old classic, early 90's, American Gladiators where poor contestants get the crap beat out of them with foam jousting sticks and oversized boxing gloves. I thought.... the boys would find this interesting and, bonus for me, it is not animated.

Big Mistake

The boys went wild!!! I mean, time to bring out the cage and pad the walls with pillows wild. The LOVED IT!! They, of course, immediately took color sides ( it is the blue competitor against the red competitor) and named daddy and I the gladiators (Wolf for daddy and Crush for me). They "wrestled" on our big king size bed and climbed their daddy like a mountain. The only way we could get them into their beds was to pretend our stairs were the mountain thingy the competitors climb and the hallway to their rooms was the gauntlet they had to wrestle past the gladiators (who were armed with pillows, FYI). It took a good 1/2 hour for them to finally settle down and fall asleep.

Perhaps American Gladiators is not a good choice for right before bedtime.

I plan to add this to our nomination reel for Parenting of the Year Award.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

And a belated "Happy New Year" to all of you!!!

So, of course I have had grand plans to write deep thoughts about last year and hopeful thoughts of this year, but that ain't happening..... so I thought I would try the blog meme that has been going around were you post the first sentence of the first post of each month.... and I think it sums up the year quite nicely....

JANUARY – Man, I can be dark.

FEBRUARY – There is a SOLD sign in my front yard.

MARCH – So I have been sunbathing on the river bed of that big beautiful river in Egypt lately.

APRIL – It's not the GREAT FLOOD....but definitely flooding is a theme in my life right now.

MAY - A shift happened yesterday, it was subtle, probably no one but a mother would have noticed, but it happened.

JUNE – So we were evicted from my mother's over the weekend.

JULY – It's no longer a house being renovated, it is a home.

AUGUST – I am pissed to the point of tears.

SEPTEMBER – My sweet angel Benjamin.... it is time... this is the last 3 day weekend opportunity we are going to have for a while, so Daddy and I decided, we are tired of buying pull up diapers..... (see previous budget meltdown)...... this weekend, it is all about pee pee and poo poo in the potty.

OCTOBER - Thank you for finally getting here.

NOVEMBER – Because I am always one to accept a challenge, I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo this year.

DECEMBER - There are 2 questions you ask yourself when you are looking at a new home: 1. Can I make it my own? 2. How will I decorate it for Christmas?