Protected: Realization September 29, 2012
Feeling Neither Loving Nor Logical September 28, 2012
subtitled: I Can’t Have Anything Nice
Exactly one week ago, I bought a new love seat for our living room. Being that I rarely spend money frivolously or on anything other than groceries, this was a big deal. Not even that it was frivolous–we desperately needed more seating area in our living room, it was just spur of the moment.
Yes, I bought a pretty, linen-colored love seat for our living room. I, a mother of two boys, an owner of 3 pets (one of whom is a cat with all claws intact) dared to bring a nice piece of furniture into the house. Gasp all you want and talk about me behind my back if you must, but I really don’t want to hear any “you should have known betters”. Cause you know, that’s not gonna help anyone.
So anyway, everyone in our household understood the enormity of this purchase, the care that should be taken here. Let me also say that we have a leather sofa and a custom fabric chair that have survived basically unscathed 2 years in this house. My children are not heathens. They know how to act and how to treat their surroundings.
But back to the topic at hand. Today, the boys took a field trip to a farm and they each got to bring home a small pumpkin. The afternoon was going well. I had even worked in about 15 minutes of cuddle time for Matthew and me, which he really enjoys.
I have to back up just a bit and say that when Matthew is given anything new, he becomes overly obsessed with it. He carries it for days, and even wants it with him in sometimes inappropriate situations (like sleeping with a lemon or bringing a non-waterproof toy in the bath). So it was with the pumpkin. I didn’t mind so much that he was carrying it everywhere. It was the rough play with it. He was kicking it, dropping it, etc. So I explained that the pumpkin was messy on the inside and that he couldn’t be rough with it like that. I told him that if he did it again, I would take the pumpkin.
So while I was making dinner, I found him riding the pumpkin like a horse. On the carpet. Enough already. I took the pumpkin and put it on the counter out of his reach, and he was mad about it. I continued to make dinner and Matthew went and got a green marker and drew across the seat of the new love seat. And up the arm of it.
This wasn’t a stray doodle. He wasn’t drawing, and he didn’t have an accident. He had to go to another room to get the marker and then drew on the couch and then he went out of his way to hide the marker. This was pure spite and it was clearly directed at me.
And I have no idea how to appropriately punish him. I like the Love and Logic style of parenting, and usually I can come up with something logical, but I have no idea here. Normally, I would make him clean up his mess, but I don’t want him near the love seat and my best guess is that we are going to have to hire a professional to try and clean this.
So after dinner, I went upstairs and got his piggy bank. I counted out all the dollars and told him that we would be pouring all the coins into the coinstar at wal-mart tomorrow because he would be paying toward us cleaning the love seat. (He has about $40.) I also made sure to comment aloud as I counted the money what a shame it was and I named all sorts of stuff he could have bought with his money.
My other idea is to have him write repetitively “I will honor my father and mother” or something to that extent.
I should stop here and say that he did apologize and that I did tell him that I forgive him but that I am very upset with him and didn’t want to be around him for the rest of the night. I also told him that Jason and I would be talking about how we would punish him. (Isaac is devastated that he can’t have a say in the punishment.)
Here’s the tricky part. Not much matters to Matthew. You can isolate him and he doesn’t care. It’s practically a reward. You could strip his room down to a mattress and he wouldn’t bat an eyelash. Taking his money, while logical and is definitely going to happen, isn’t a really lasting consequence for him. The only thing that would really bother him that I can think of is to take away his Wii access and not allow him to even watch Isaac play it. I thought of making him write the sentences over and over whenever Isaac plays Wii.
So if anyone has advice, I’m open to it. Something loving and logical, neither of which I am feeling right now.
We Don’t Get Out Much September 21, 2012
The boys’ kindergarten classes are working with environmental print. Environmental print is the print of everyday life. It includes logos, newspapers, snack wrappers, etc.
So this week, they had to bring in different environmental print–their favorite toys/games, their favorite places to eat, favorite snacks, etc.
We eat a very strict diet and we almost never go out to eat, so while their teachers were talking about restaurants, my kids hadn’t even heard of most of them! For instance, Matthew came home asking about Red “Clobster”.
As they named off different restaurants to me, I commented that they had never been to any of them. Isaac said:
That’s not true! I’ve been to Arby’s! I used the toilet there once.
Protected: So Yeah. They Started Kindergarten September 16, 2012
Yesterday, our family went to a local track to ride bikes, scooters, and rollerblade. We had the whole track to ourselves and it was a beautiful day.
For the first few laps, Isaac was intent on pretending that we were all characters on Mario Kart. Matthew shuts these imaginary games down pretty quickly by simply ignoring them and refusing to take any part. Jason was playing basketball. I try to be a good sport, so for 2 laps, I would respond appropriately when he told me I was slipping on banana peels or that he just got a golden mushroom, etc.
After a while, I told him that I was done racing, that I simply wanted to rollerblade.
Isaac: okay, but I’m beating you. I just dropped a banana peel.
Me: Isaac, seriously, I’m done playing that. I don’t want to race.
Isaac: Okay. We won’t race……we’ll just see who gets to the finish line first.
A Tale of Two Kindergarteners September 14, 2012
My boys are both 5 and they are both in kindergarten.
And that is basically where the similarities end. Every day after school, I try to ask questions about their day. Specific questions. One of my sons is full of information and explanations and details about every little thing. My other son is….well, let’s just say that getting information from him isn’t always so easy. Here is an example.
A conversation with Isaac after school
Me: What was your favorite part about school today?
Isaac: I can’t even answer that because I loved EVERY! SINGLE! THING!!
Me: Well, tell me about it.
Isaac: I got this stamp on my hand at music for being the one who was obeying the best. See it? And it smells like strawberries! And there is another boy named Isaac at my school! He wears a Transformers shirt and we play on the playground. I play spiderman and he plays “Chase Isaac Wood” which I like okay. And that bad old Joey has to sit at the green rhombus table with me and he just doesn’t obey and he never gets buttons (the reward system in their class). And Lauren cheers for Alabama. And I walked into a pole, so I had to go see Nurse Melanie and she put ice on my head, and she is so nice. And we have to sell wrapping paper to free the Angry Bird. And we are going to go on a field trip to a farm. And I’m feeling nervous about riding the bus. And for the daily news, I said, “Isaac likes pancakes”. Now let me sing you 10 consecutive songs about how to spell color words.
(you get the gist)
A Conversation with Matthew after school
Me: What was your favorite part of school today?
Matthew: I don’t knoooow (said in an annoyed, teenager-y voice)
Me: Hmmmm, well did you go to the library today?
Me: Did you get a book?
Me: What is the book called?
Matthew: I don’t know but it has blood all over it.
Me (feeling really skeeved out at this point): Was it YOUR blood?
Me: Whose blood was it?
Matthew: I don’t know
Me: Well where did the blood come from?
Matthew: The book. And my hands. And my nose.
Me: Did you hurt yourself?
Me: Were you bleeding?
Me: Did one of your friends have a boo boo?
Me: Matthew, this is very important. Please tell me where the blood came from.
Me (taking a deep breath and rethinking my strategy): Matthew, did you have to go see Nurse Melanie today?
(okay, now we’re getting somewhere)
Me: And what did she do when she saw you?
Matthew: I washed my hands
Me: did she have to put a band aid on you?
Me: Did she have to put ice on you?
Me: Where did she put the ice?
Matthew: On my nose.
End scene. I deduced that Matthew was picking his nose and made it bleed. And he apparently got blood on his library book which is triple grody. But my word, I was so exhausted after that conversation, I could barely wrap my head around making dinner.
These boys of mine–both so amazing and so tiring in their own ways.
Whatnot Summer September 10, 2012
- Let’s just pretend that I haven’t been absent for about 3 months, shall we? I’m starting to feel like I forgot how to blog. Let’s see if I remember…..
- Isaac makes up all sorts of sayings–here are a few that I heard over the summer: Neat as a tweet, Fast as a bird, Be as still as a turned off robot, As fast as a raccoon getting in a garbage can.
- This summer, Jason got shingles on his forehead. But before we knew what it was, one night during dinner, we were discussing what the rash might be. Jason thought it was a zit at first. Matthew suggested that it might be poison ivy (good guess!), but Isaac said, “Matthew, it can’t be poison ivy–poison ivy has 3 leaves!”.
- One morning, during breakfast, Isaac started telling me that he wanted to hear a song. He couldn’t think of what the song was called, so he said, “it’s the one where they say give me some flour, I am your neighbor!”. Which cracked me up because he meant “Hey Ya”, and the line is actually “Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor”. At least he got the gist.
- The boys went to VBS this year, and they loved it. One afternoon, they were telling me about what they learned. They had talked about Jesus dying on the cross. Matthew made it a point to tell me that the bad guys put a crown of “horns” on his head.
- We bought an inflatable pool for the backyard this summer. One day the boys were playing in it, and Isaac slipped and fell into the water. He jumped straight up and said, “don’t worry! I did not baptize!!”.
- One day, my friend, Rusty, brought over some large hornworms that he had found in his garden. We were going to keep them and watch them cocoon and turn into moths. I picked the boys up from VBS and told them that Rusty had brought over a surprise–an animal. I wanted them to guess what it was. Matthew’s first guess was a fish. No, I said, he found it in his garden. Guess again. Oh, Matthew said, a pufferfish!!
- The VBS that the boys went to gave them special t-shirts on the first day. The shirts were big on both boys, but especially so on Matthew. His shirt came down past his knees and fell off one shoulder, Flashdance-style. So clearly, he didn’t want to wear his t-shirt every day. So when I went to pick them up one day, they were very easy to find. In a sea of turquoise t-shirts, my kid was the one in the gray Pink Floyd shirt.
- At lunch one day, Matthew had gotten a hold of 2 toothpicks and was pretending they were oars and that he was rowing a boat. So Isaac began to sing “Row, row, row your boat”. Here’s how it went: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary……Oh wait, I mean, Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, Matthew, life is but a dream”.
- We always tell Matthew that we are forever. One day when I was emphasizing this point, I asked him if he knew what forever meant. He just stared at me for a while and then finally said….”stuck?”. Yep kid, I laughed, you are stuck with us. FOREVER.
- Our pediatric dentist has a nautical theme to their office. It’s really awesome–the waiting room has a boat and a lighthouse. So as we were walking in the door the other day, Isaac yelled, “get ready to sail the South Seas!!!”. Then we went in and Isaac was pretending to be the captain on the boat. They asked me if I wanted to join them on the boat, and I said yes. Matthew pointed to a seat with quite a flourish and said, “have a seat, Mr. Madam”.
- The week before kindergarten, we did a lot of practicing for school. Getting up early and getting dressed. Packing lunches and eating out of the lunchbox. Isaac really wanted to do schoolwork too, so the first thing I had do was to write their names and ages at the top of a piece of paper. This is what Isaac wrote:
when I asked him what that said, he responded Five and 3 Quarters!