Thursday, March 15, 2007


I was talking with a friend of mine today, and we were commiserating a bit over the stage of "5" - the 5 year old asserting independence stage, that is. And I was telling her that, in my experience, once you get past the "5" thing, it's really fairly easy (other than the normal "I'm a human being and have my days" sorta thing), except I'm starting to notice that 10 is an awful lot like 5! Coincidently, I have a 10 year old, and a 4 1/2 year old who are twins seperated by 6 years or so - and boy are they sharing the emotional difficulties these days!

J1 is convinced that he knows everything (his father's son, he is! ;-) Never mind the fact that I'm - well, way many years - older than him, and his mother, of course. Doesn't matter, he knows all. Uh-huh! This is a particular problem in math these days. We've been struggling through multiplying and dividing decimal numbers. I try to explain that you ignore the decimals until you've figured out the numerical answer, then you place the decimal where it's supposed to go. We've had two days of, "But I *can't* ignore it, mom!" and finally today we made some progress. It was *way* more painful than it needed to be, that's for sure! Yesterday I told him that the spelling word in this particular exercise looked like "comowant", not "commandment", and he needed to write neater. He informed me that, well, he couldn't read *my* handwriting, or dad's handwriting, so why did he have to be neat, anyway? I tried to explain that scribbling notes to myself at my own desk and being a student were two very different things, and he was a student who will have many teachers in the future, and he had to make himself understandable to as many people as he could, while I was an adult and can do whatever I want, thank you very much! I eventually agreed that I will try to write neater when I'm writing for him, but he has to make an effort to be neater, too.

Dh has had many conversations with our oldest about respect, especially respect for his mother. I figure I have about a year, maybe a year and half where I'm still bigger than he is, and stronger, and then it's all over, physically, for me. I absolutely have to have his respect before that time. I *mostly* do now, don't get me wrong. But we have a lot of work to do, that's for sure.

And then, there's the 4 year old. Granted, he's been fighting a cold and doesn't feel his best. Granted, dh and I sat on our front porch for some much needed "mom and dad" time for about 40 minutes before this crisis occured. But...again, with the whole respect thing! So, dh and I had been inside for maybe 5 minutes when N4 comes up to me, crying and whining, "Give me some water! No, I want lemonaid! Give me lemonaid!" And I tried to calm him down, "Ok, N4, daddy's in the kitchen, I'm sure if you go ask him nicely he'll give you something to drink." So N4 goes into the kitchen and says, "Give me some water right now!! No, give me some lemonaid! I want lemonaid *right now*!" And dh said, "Excuse me?" and we went through a 20 minute tantrum with a big battle over was the 4 year old actually going to ask politely or not? Eventually, N4 is lying on the kitchen floor while dh does the dishes, with N4 screaming and crying, "I want lemonaid! Give me some lemonaid right now!!" while dh calmly, patiently reminds him that we don't talk to each other that way, and he'd better ask nicely! Finally, Nick screams, "I want lemonaid! Dad, get me lemonaid! Dad! Dad!


At which point, I promptly burst into laughter, hid my face in my shirt and laughed and laughed, and dh laughed while he told N4 to go to his room right this second, which made N4 laugh, too - which made it all even funnier!

Eventually N4 did ask nicely, and even said thank you, and insisted that he loved us, and we assured him that we loved him very much, too.

And dh and I contemplated one of the basic facts of parenthood - sometimes the hardest thing to do is not laugh!

1 comment:

Willa said...

"And dh and I contemplated one of the basic facts of parenthood - sometimes the hardest thing to do is not laugh!"

So true! Looks like you have the right attitude ;-). I don't know if you've read any of the later books in the Anne of Green Gables series, but some of the episodes with her aunt's little fosterling Davy taught me a lot about the trials and amusements of parenting little boys.