Friday, February 20, 2015

Odds and more odds

Obviously can't get it together to tackle all the meaty issues I really want to discuss here, but our noon conference got cancelled so I'll throw out some bullets

  • My parents came for a few days earlier this month. They couldn't have come at a more perfect time, when we sincerely needed some help and distraction for the kids. It was also nice to spend time with them. I'm so grateful they are both still in relatively good health at 67 & 70 years of age.
  • We've figured out school (or, it was figured out for us) for B next year. I also put a deposit on after school care. Regardless of my concerns about this momentous transition, its nice to have it sorted. We also went to a meet & greet with parents/kids of next year's KG class and it was amazingly fun for adults and for B. Its a good group.
  • Buying plane tickets certainly upsets the budget! We bought 4 tickets to fly across the country (1 will be reimbursed, since its conference travel for me), 4 tickets to fly down south for our annual beach trip and 1 ticket to fly my MIL down next month for a visit, all in the past 5 weeks. Since I just started budgeting in January, I hadn't added anything to our "vacation" fund yet so its all a big mess.
  • Clothes shopping ban is easy peasy. Its too cold to wear anything "cute", but I do feel like I'm wearing half of the clothes I own all at the same time on any given day. 
  • e.g. Today I'm wearing 2 pairs of socks & snow boots, fleece lined tights under cords, a tunic under a sweater dress, and a scarf. and that is INDOORS because my office is ridiculous. But last time I asked them to make it warmer, I had to strip down to tank tops in the middle of winter, so I'm not sure what's worse.
  • My HIIT  coach is leaving for at least a few months (if not permanently). I was actually quite sad when he told me. He is a rare gem of a teacher that can motivate me to work out without annoying the ever loving crap out of me. I hope the new teachers aren't terrible enough to make me quit because I've never been stronger. 
  • Another cold/snowy/rainy weekend ahead. Must think of "anchor events" to prevent total despondence. 
  • L has wind burn on his little face. Its the saddest thing. "My cheeks are COLD FIRE"
  • Its like we're sleep training again, trying to get L to stay in his own bed over night. So far bribes are working the best, but he tends to forget and come upstairs and we have to get up in the cold cold and take him back down. We are tired. But the partial co-sleeping was making us more tired because he's gotten to be more noisy, grabby and annoying in his sleep and both parents were bleary-eyed and angry (its a special kind of exhausted irritability. sleepy angry. slangry? can we make that a thing?)
  • Pretty much every person north of the MDL says this every year around this time, but I really can't wait until Spring! After too many home-bound weekends, we start a whirlwind of activity mid-March: visit to sister, MIL visit--which will enable G & I a weekend away, our cross-country trip, and then few weeks later our (early this year because 3/4 cousins start KG in September) beach trip!

Whoo hoo, I managed a 10 minute blog post! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

By a very thin thread

We have arrived (yet again) to a low point in parenting. Just today I told sneered at B that "I hate you" "You're stupid" in response to his outbursts. I know. That was immediately after I told him I'd smack him if he didn't listen. And before I locked him out of the room because I was worried that I would. And only one day after I used the cruel (but ultimately effective) trick of completely ignoring him for  when I simply could not deal with him anymore.

B is testing our limits and pushing us right past them these past few weeks. After remarkable improvements in his behavior this fall, when we honestly believed we had come out the other side, things have gone rapidly downhill this winter. No he's not sick (I hoped it was something short lived like that), nothing happened at school, we are feeding him plenty and he is getting sufficient sleep. Activity levels are definitely less, with the cold weather, and that may be contributing. But truthfully, while that explains some of the end of the day wildness that we see in both boys, it does not explain satisfactorily to me why B wakes up (on his own!) grumpy and defiant at 7AM every day and continues that way until bedtime.

There is constant back-talk and excuses. Whenever we ask him (nicely, the first 8 times) to do something (mostly put away toys or help out in some marginal manner) we get "You do it". "I don't have to. Its not my job." and it goes on from there. Everything is hated, stupid, the worst. I hate school. I hate this house. I hate the park. I hate you. He had gotten really good at sharing and being patient for his turn---that's gone. If he wants it, he'll grab or complain bitterly and loudly until he gets his way. He hits. He throws. Anytime he sees someone with something he wants, he gets petulant and whiny "why can't I have that. Can you buy me that. Its not FAIR that you never buy  me that".

We've tried time outs, a sticker chart, a penny jar, carrots, sticks, hugs, more one-on-one time you name it. Everything I've read about or heard about or got from my therapist, we are trying. We've taken away privileges until there was literally nothing else to take away and had a endure weeks without music, screen time, legos, treats. Any admonishment or discipline is followed by hitting/talking back and then lots and lots of loud, dramatic, wailing. 

He's his normal self at school. At home, when and if we can get him engaged in something---like coloring, or building a snowman, or making a lego creation, he's fine---until something sets him off again (he wants a piece that L is using). Its like pulling teeth to get him out of the house to do something, but once he's at swimming, he's grinning and splashing (after 15 minutes of "I HATE swimming. You go swimming. Swimming is stupid. I'm not wearing my coat")

On top of it all, of course, we have L. Who is  sweet and hilarious but also...three. Lots of wanting to do it myself but can't but don't help me but I can't but AAAAGHHHH. Still needing lots of carry you, and sit your lap and getting up at night to climb into our bed and keep us from sleeping. Still trying to kill himself in creative ways if we are not constantly vigilant (swallowing pennies, climbing onto stove, running into street, putting plastic bags on his head, etc...).

And the fighting. oh lord the constant squabbling and wanting exactly what the other has regardless of how useless and dinky that thing may be. The constant "MOMMY, L did x" "WAAAH. B did y!"

I am running out have run out of patience most days. I'm discouraged and demoralized and I loathe myself for the way I lose it and yell and scream and grab his arm. And then I see G lose it, in his own (bigger, scarier) way and I lose it with him, too. Maybe we're not cut out for this, but that doesn't really matter at this point, does it?