Monday, January 28, 2013
Day 1105: Mess
I left her alone for less than a minute, thinking she'd be so happy to play with the closed container for a bit. Look how proud she is of herself.
And she just looked so stinkin' cute, I had to quickly get the camera to take a picture. And maybe that is where the problem started. If any of the other kids had made this mess, they would have been in trouble. I even had to get after one of them who tried to clean it up before I took the picture.
What is wrong here?
I know, this probably seems like a gross overreaction.
But, we've been seriously struggling around here lately.
Sweet P has this amazing ability to focus--to the point of completely tuning me out. Completely. I have to ask her a minimum of three times in order to get anything done. "I didn't hear you" and "I forgot" are her two big excuses. Even if they are true, shouldn't the sound of my voice garner a little more respect? But, instead of being able to calmly discuss this, she runs off and pouts in her room any time I try and brainstorm with her on how we can change this.
Baby B just pretends like he doesn't understand anything. This works a lot of the time. But then I think back and remind myself what we were expecting of the older two when they were his age. They seemed so grown up. He's still very much a baby in my eyes. Most of the time, when I do expect more of him, he rises to the challenge, often as not without so much as a tantrum. But, I have to consciously remind myself that he is capable of so much more than I automatically fall back on.
And then there's Little M. Talk about not measuring up. My Little Man is so so so very capable. He has such a big heart and so much capacity to learn. He voluntarily did the dishes twice last week. We're talking hand washing dishes. He is my go to guy for so many things when I need assistance. But, he is so deliberately naughty! It would appear that he cannot stand to see his little brother happy. When Baby B is quietly enjoying himself, Little M swoops in to steal whatever he is playing with, to make an obnoxious noise right in his face, to tell him something is wrong with him, etc.--whatever it takes to ruin Baby B's fun, preferably to get him in tears. He's the same with my pressure points. He knows those things that drive me the craziest and he'll capitalize on them. One of his favorites is when I've just issued a particularly harsh negative consequence for a specific offense. He will promptly commit the offense. When I follow through on the consequence, he bursts into tears (this boy has one of the saddest sad faces and it has always gone straight to my heart strings) and begs to "earn it back", or claims to have not understood, or been about to obey, or whatever. Tonight he was a repeat repeat repeat offender.
I don't know what to do with him! Or with any of them? I'm feeling so inept as a mom tonight. What do I need to change to be effective? Why is it so hard to motivate? I have really good kids--why can't I inspire them to be better behaved?
And then I look at my darling little Darling A. And I know that ship is already sunk. She is every bit my baby. I melt for her. How am I ever going to to be consistent with her? We hate to hear her cry!
Any parenting experts out there? I need help. My kids are talented and amazing and capable of so much. But, I'm afraid I'm so far from inspiring them to get anywhere close to where they can go in life.