Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm holding it together, but just barely. That's not true. I'm actually doing very well.
I'm doing calendars, which means I think and mutter and copy and paste and have to pay attention to what I'm doing, and in general neglect my children, though I haven't been, which is why I'm not nearly done with my work.
'Sides that, I haven't been able to make myself do them the much, lately, I've really needed physical labor (housecleaning) or else I've needed to gather my thoughts.
Not sit down to calendars.

Anyway, I know this is petty, but I really have to get this off my chest.
Dear Children - please forgive me.

Trev came in just a minute ago - I share this not because it's the exception, but the rule, and so indicative of the sorts of things that exhaust me- and said "Mom, being in your happy place isn't the true meaning of checkers, right?"
Honestly, Son. Why me?
There are well over a dozen of these sorts of questions almost every day.

Maddie has taken on this constant tone for the last week that will make electricity shoot out of your fingernails. Not to mention she is impossible to please. We are trying - believe me, we're trying!
We're so exhausted from the crazy demands that we have become almost resentful of the legitimate ones.

"Mom! Uhn watch Babe."
"Kay, go talk to Trevy about it, he's watching tv, and let me know what he says."
"Okay!" toddle, toddle, toddle.
""Trev says Yah, Mom!"
"Okay, Babe."
Put Babe in.
"It's rewinding?"
"Yeah, it's rewinding."
I come back to the kitchen, sit down.
"Uhn Me-a-Pooh, Mom."
Rolls eyes.
"Maddie, you said Babe, and Trev gave up his program, and agreed to Babe."
"Uhn Me-a-Pooh! Uhn Cars, Mom."

"Uhn donut, Mom."
"No more donuts today, Babe, I think you've had two. Healthy foods. Frozen peas?"
"Uhm... peanut butter sandwich?"
"No donut. Carrot?"
Oh for heaven's sake. "No donut, Maddie. Healthy foods."

Trev has noticed a difference today (though admittedly it's getting thin) and keeps coming in and saying "Love you, Mom." Not that he doesn't say it normally, he does, but I think today he knows that something is different - that there is real effort to remain peaceful and kind, but just can't put his finger on it.
Think what he really means is "I appreciate it, Mom."


whimsigal said...

Ok, so this could be any day at my house and I want to ask a question because these are the days where I feel most like I'm failing miserably at RU. This is going to sound crazy....When Maddie is persistent in her quest for a donut it's okay to say no, even though she's saying that she's choosing the donut over peas, carrots, and a PB sandwich? Honestly, this is a big issue for me because my youngest will go through an entire bag of Newman-O's in one sitting unless I put a stop to it. The issue of limits has always been confusing for me. Do you have a take on that?

Iain and Trev seem to have similar personalities, too. He can tell when I'm reaching the tipping point and does the same thing, "Momma, I love you." It's a sweet signal to me that my stress is showing.

You're not alone in having days like these, friend. I think one thing you said is key, that you've been occupied with calendar, housework, and other things that you need to do and that you haven't been doing as much with them as you normally do perhaps. It's times like these when I notice a major increase in the "getting on my last nerve" incidents. It has to be connected to a need for attention from mom, which I totally get but then I begin having feelings of why can't I have time do things for me, too?

Geez, I'm sorry. I kind of ran away with the comment section but I just identify with this post SO much!



Stephanie said...

Ordinarily I don't say "no".
And the reason is....
when I'm inconsistent, and say "yesyesyesyesyesyesNO!" then I think I may pass on to Trev that he'd better eat it all up while I"m still saying "yes".

BUT - Maddie has been doing a little growing (stretching her wings)- and demanding - and other things/chaos (messes and a mama who is stressed) have been going on (I'm sure her moods have to do with mine and the rest of the house!) and to give a baby three donuts who is feeling aggitated and a little wild is just not a good idea.
With Trev I can say "how is your body feeling, Bud, are you feeling a little crazy and jittery on the inside? and aggitated? That's your body's way of telling you it's had enough sugar, maybe you should consider something else."
With Maddie, I can't do that yet.
But I can say "How about an egg?" - her favorite, which is what I did, and she said "Yeah!"
So we eventually came to a place where both of us were happy.

Food is an issue for us.
But I do my damnedest to make it a non-issue.
When we bring home a box of popsicles, they're gone the next day.
We don't go back to the store to buy a new box, and Trev doesn't ask us to.
But he'll ask the next time, and if we're not on a budget, we'll pick some up.
If we are, then we'll make a plan to make some when we get home.

As of yet, Trv does not turn down skittles or popsicles, but I am thinking that this may very well be a maturity thing, and that eventually he'll "get" that if he eats them all today, he won't have any for tomorrow.
Or (grin) maybe he never will, and he's just a Live For Today kind of guy!
But I don't see how my regulating him will help him to self regulate.

Stephanie said...

I just had a thought about this....
If when we make out a grocery list, and we all get our necessary's on it (as always), I make it clear to Trev that "this is our food for the week", then that might go a long way toward him understanding the "might wanna save some for later" concept.
He'll be able to see the plan, and think about it.

whimsigal said...

Yes, I tell them that also, that once this is gone, it's gone but he will cry and carry on like nobody's business even though he's been told that. The next 6 days until grocery store day are agonizing.
Thanks for explaining how you do it though. It helped me understand a little better.

Lerend Zonder School said...

I can relate to your post in a lot of ways. Maybe it's the similarities in ages of our children are just the fact of having more than 1 child that introduces different dynamics. Anyway I'm still very much evolving in the sibling department, but wanted you to know that I know what your going through.

I typed up a huge comment, but deleted it, maybe when I see you face to face I can talk more and we can brainstorm together, I really value your opinion:)

Kim said...

Here is another perspective....
We use to regulate our kids sugar intake. The main reason is that Caleb was alergic to red40 dye (a food coloring that is in alot of candy) and we had to check the ingrediants of everything. Then he started checking them on his own, as soon as he could read. I remember we were at a play once (he was four) and a girl on the row in front of us offered him a red Skittle. He took it, came over to me and said "Mom, that girl gave me this and I know I can't eat it. Should I give it back?" It was then that I knew he could be trusted to self regulate. He has since out grown the alergy, but still checks the labels of everything he eats. On any given morning he sits at the breakfast table and reads the ingredients of the cereal (or whatever he is eating) out loud. That leads to "What is that, Mom? Is that good for us?" I then go on to explain what I know about certain ingredients. They offer advice like..."We better not buy this again, it has alot of sodium, Mom" Then Lauren chimes in..."Oh yuck, bad for our hearts!" They have great discussions amongst themselves, most of which I stay out of unless asked a question. They teach each other better than I teach them!
Maybe I am missing the point here and am just rambling. But I do know this, regulation was practiced with child number one and two, but has not been necessary with the others. They just seem to learn it from the other kids and have a good idea of how to make healthy choices. And as far as rationing the "treats" goes, I do none of that....they keep each other in check! Just one of those things that you learn when you are in a big family. I guess.