Monday, December 10, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I am relieved to say that the girls' fighting has lessened recently.  Don't get me wrong, eruptions still occur, but they are not constantly yelling and bickering anymore, thank goodness.  Of course, I can't take any responsibility.  I still have yet to sit down and review the things I read in Siblings Without Rivalry, nor have I gotten Adam to read it, so few of the ideas and suggestions have been implemented.  Lately I've been thinking that I need to make myself little cue cards because of the fact that my mind seems to go blank regarding effective parenting strategies just when I need them most.  Perhaps if I have something I can whip out of my pocket to jog my memory, I might be a better parent and disciplinarian/teacher.  And, admittedly, I still need to work on being more patient.  That will always be my greatest challenge.

Little A has also been having fewer meltdowns, although we still shouldn't dare cut her toast the wrong way or give her anything but the pink cup for her milk.  Somehow her ridiculous cuteness manages to make up for her, um, foibles.  Each night, before she'll go to sleep, she insists on reciting this monologue, which goes something like this:

"Make sure there are no monsters, no pirates, and tell me to have sweet dreams.  Make sure I have a little light (i.e. her blind pulled up an inch from the bottom of the window), make sure nobody wakes me and tell everyone to be quiet, and sit outside my door and wait for me [until I wake up]."

The other night she also added, "Mommy, if you need to do something noisy, do it quietly."

Although she is easier to understand, she still talks with what sounds like a strong Boston accent.  Somehow the fact that Adam was born in Boston seems to have gotten into her genes.  It's really weird.

Little A is not as much of a pigpen anymore.  Adam is thrilled, and while I admit it's nice not to have be constantly cleaning up gross messes, I miss that funny quirk about her.  She can now actually eat something without her face, hands, clothes, the table and the floor getting filthy.

A few days ago, we were heading home from daycare and there was the strong smell of marijuana wafting out on to the street from who-knows-where (a common occurance in our neighbourhood).  Little A exclaimed, "Mommy it smells like broccoli!"  Ha, no wonder the kids behave so much better at daycare...the teachers are probably feeding them 'broccoli' for lunch every day!!

I am continously amused and amazed by Big A's increasingly 'mature' interests.  She watches tv for tweens, she's into The Biebs, One Direction, Katy Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen and such, and don't even get me started on her fashion taste!  If I left it up to her, she'd wear tube tops and miniskirts every day.  She's been begging me for 'grownup see-through tights' (i.e. stockings) and while I've refused, I did relent and buy her some girls tights that were not quite opaque.  She's thrilled with them.

At the girls' daycare fundraiser last week, Big A and her boyfriend did a lot of smooching and then sat side-by-side through the magic show.  As nutty as this romance is, given their age, it's undeniably adorable.  Besides her devotion to him, however, I was shocked when she recently told me she enjoys chasing around another boy in her class, and kissing him.

Big A can still be extremely obnoxious and completely ignore me.  This often happens on the way home from daycare and I come home furious.  Adam keeps telling me to give her immediate consequences if she doesn't behave, and while I know that's what I need to do, this tends to be when my mind goes blank, I can't come up with a consequence so I just end up yelling, "Stop it" over-and-over which is totally ineffective.  This is when the damn cue cards would be handy!  Adam suggested threatening no tv for the whole evening if she doesn't stop whatever it is she's doing.  I actually remembered his suggestion the other day and, low-and-behold it worked!

She is finally old enough that we can give her some responsibilities around the house, such as making her bed and putting away her clothes, which is nice.  I draw the line, however, at allowing her to use knives.  She convinced Adam and I to allow her to cut up her dinner the other night, but since she doesn't really know how to do it, and the food was moving all over the plate, I got nervous.  So she said, "Geez mommy, it's just me with a sharp knife!"  Ha, she didn't even recognize the irony in what she was saying!!

She and Little A have discovered the latest music craze from Korea, which they call, "Gum gum style".  It was quite entertaining to watch them dance along with the video they downloaded onto their Ipad.  I love my kids but I'm not sure they have a future as entertainers...

A few days later, I was getting the girls ready to walk home from the daycare and Big A tells her boyfriend's mom (loud enough for everyone to hear), "I have homework every night and I'm supposed to have at least one parent sign my agenda book, and they, like, almost never do,  it's the worst!"  For the record, we DO sign her agenda and Adam, in particular, is obsessive about making sure she's done her reading and/or homework, so I don't know what she's talking about, but she sure succeeded in making me mortified, and feel like the worst parent on the planet.  Although in all honesty I think I do that to myself most of the time.

Big A has also become my harshest beauty critic.  On days I am not seeing clients and am wearing 'comfort clothes' (i.e. yoga pants and a jersey top) she will say to me, "You aren't working today, are you?  Because those are NOT work clothes!"  This is from a kid who goes to school with pink hair, leg warmers and temporary tatoos all over her body.  Even better, yesterday I woke up looking particularly 'rumpled', you know, with pillow lines all over my face.  Although I was just going to the gym to teach my spinning class, I decided a wee bit of makeup was in order.  Big A came into the bathroom and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was trying to make it less obvious that I'd just rolled out of bed.  She watched quietly and when I was done she said, "Mommy now it just looks like you slept with your makeup on." Ha, I can't get away with anything!

Yesterday Little A also had a winning comment.  After Adam spent nearly 2 hours putting together the Barbie Dollhouse my parents got the girls for Hannukah, we went out to do some grocery shopping.  Adam was exhausted and frustrated because it was a challenging task and the girls were neither grateful nor coopoerative about playing with the dollhouse together.  He was rewarded for his hard work with the girls' fighting non-stop once it was completed.  We decided to get out of the house and do some errands.  Later on, as we were loading groceries into the trunk, Little A commented, "This was the worstest home day ever!"  When I asked her why, she exclaimed, "Because we had to do so much work!"  I thought Adam was going to tear his hair out.

There is no doubt both our children are 'spirited' and somewhat challenging.  The volume in our home is always high.  Both girls are dramatic, strong-willed, opinionated, competitive, and stubborn.  I am told these are mostly all qualities that will serve them well in the future, but right now they are things that drive Adam and I crazy.  Lately, we are both finding ourselves having difficulty maintaining our equilibrium when things start going out of control.  It's a good thing we have a holiday coming up.  We leave for Florida on December 24, and the trip can't come soon enough.

Once when Big A was an infant, my father commented that the best things about having children is watching them learn, grow, and develop both their cognitive skills and their personalities.  I try to focus on the humour involved and remind myself every day how lucky we are to have 2 healthy, smart children who challenge us to be better people...and, of course, drive us COMPLETELY NUTS!

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