Oh, kids.

During my Dad’s visit, my children behaved…shall we say…less than stellar. There were many sweet moments, really the majority of them, but the moments that were not so sweet seemed amplified. Maybe because I want my Dad to see what well-behaved, smart, overall great kids I have and maybe because I don’t want him to think I am failing at my job as a mother. Maybe because I was embarrassed. I know it’s not fair to put this kind of pressure on myself and on my children, but it is what it is.

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My main complaint: disobedience. Having to say everything five times. And as far as my darling second born is concerned, I’ve been dealing with some raging tantrums that are so full-blown and over the top and will frequently culminate in hitting. As in hitting me, the mother. I’m horrified to even write it down.

Last week we were at a park with my dad. We were playing ball, and Arthur was shooting with his “gun” – a toy drill. However, he kept throwing it, and I told him if he kept throwing it, I would have to take it away. And so he did, and so I did. Arthur became beyond angry and then started hitting me. He was uncontrollable. We were at the park. I couldn’t put him in his room or go to another room myself. I felt like everyone was watching us. And the whole confrontation lasted forever.

I’ve never had to deal with hitting from Julian, so it’s new territory. I have since done a bit of reading, so hopefully moving forward I can handle Arthur better. But…ugh. It sucks.

My Dad left on Sunday. Jeff left the next day for a weeklong trip to Kansas. So for now, it’s just the boys and me again. I approached the week like I used to tackle any old problem back when I had a job that actually paid $. I prepared.

I made a “meal plan” and shopped on Monday to avoid rushed trips to the store after school pick up when everyone is tired and hungry. I started a new sticker chart with the boys. We’re working on several things, but the most important ones in my opinion are: listen the first time for Julian and no hitting and staying in bed for Arthur. The staying in bed is the never-ending story of my life. I think I could handle most any situation better if I wasn’t so damn tired all the time. Also, I bought wine. Lots of wine.

Today was Day 1 of our sticker chart adventure. And even if this was the only successful day I will ever have, it was well worth the $20 I spent on this magnetic beauty.

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Julian listened every single time I asked him to do something today. And sometimes he would look at me, and with a nice little wink/smirk say, “See? I listened the first time.” He is the most head-strong and determined person I know – other than, you know, his father and me.

Arthur spent all night in his bed last night and didn’t hit once today, despite a massive tantrum when I had to remove him from the toy store because he wasn’t listening (the first time or the 100th time). He screamed his little head off at all the injustice in the world, mostly inflicted by me, his mother, but at least he kept his hands to himself. Point for me, baby.

Tonight I will put my kids to bed feeling good about the day we’ve had. That hasn’t happened in a while. I didn’t lose my cool, the boys were good, we had fun. Also, I am not too exhausted to finish my glass of wine.

Just kidding. I never have a problem with that.

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