Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Steps Forward, Four Steps Back



I wish this kid always looked this happy in his bed.

The other night as I was tucking him in he says to me

"""Mommy, I'm afraid when you're not with me."

Two steps forward, four steps back.

I forget that while most kiddos love new adventures - trips to new places, new friends, new activities.

Bubbe is not most kiddos.

Bubbe is an old man trapped in the body of an adorable five year old. He wants to wake up every day and things always be the same. He wants to know what to expect around every corner. He wants life to be simple and understandable. The same.

Exactly the same.

A few weeks ago we took the kids on a family camping trip. New place. New adventure.

Voila - return of anxieties. 

It's like we never went to months of therapy (though I can assure you that my checkbook says we did). We went months with no episodes. None. And then...........BOOM.

Camping.

The therapist (did I mention we graduated MONTHS ago?) says that we can't quit doing new things. We have to continue to expose Bubbe to new things to help him learn how to negotiate the world around him.

You think she does home visits for bedtime?????

Friday, April 16, 2010

Closing the Gap


That is me (my shadow).

Really.

I know - I was TOTALLY shocked too!

You probably aren't - because you're not in denial.

Over the last few months I've been pondering this statement I heard recently - essentially the speaker said that we all have an image gap.

There is a gap between who we ARE and who we want people to THINK we are.

I would argue that there is probably a gap between who I AM and who I THINK I am.

What kind of mother do I think I am?

This week I went to Moments for Moms at Bubbe's school. Moments for Mom is an annual art show - dinner, sharing of testimonies, and viewing Bubbe's art creations.

Bubbe wrote:

My mom likes to facebook.

Other people's children wrote "my mom likes to play with me," "my mom likes to tickle me," or "my mom likes to cook."

Poor Bubbe has the mom who likes to facebook.

I can tell you I didn't think I was the kind of mother whose son thought she loved facebook more than anything else.

Is there an image gap in your life??

Do share - I'll be updating my facebook status................

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When is enough - enough?

Over the last few days my children ...........let's just say have been acting like they belong to someone else.

When is enough - enough?

My children don't blatantly misbehave - while looking at you.

My children don't do things they KNOW they are not supposed to do - just because I'm not watching.

My children don't beat the crap out of each other all the time - just because things don't go their way.

My children don't act like total fools at my dinner table - after being sent away twice to get it together.

The Coach and I have been addressing it.

In fact, there are currently so many toys in "time out" in my room that I can't get up to pee without putting my foot in a millennium falcon ship or tripping over a laundry basket full of dolls. My TV hasn't been on for any length of time in three days. My hallway has been occupied by a kid in time out more often than not. Little people have been going to bed early.

We loaded up to head out to church tonight and the behaviors only got worse on the way. We did a u-turn halfway to church - and came back home.

The Coach and I agreed that we did not have their attention. The children were not listening.

Enough is enough.

We drove straight back home and sat down at the dinner table for a family meeting. If you don't have family meetings - I highly recommend it!

Family meetings out our house are very simple - we have them to set new goals for our family or to address issues that have arisen. Ours are very basic:

  • we meet at the dining room table
  • I take notes - keep record of what is decided upon (very official sounding isn't it?)
  • everyone gets to comment on each topic - one at a time
  • at the end of the meeting, the kids can share if they have anything they think that the Coach and I should be doing a better job at - or wishes they have for our family

Tonight we talked about being selfish. We talked about being respectful. We talked about how our family is at our best when we work together.

We talked about how life is going to be very different around here until everyone is not selfish and respectful.

Then (because I have learned that talking is never enough, there must be actions), I removed prized possessions from both rooms with big laundry baskets.

Now, I have their attention.

They too know that enough is enough.

Being a member of our family requires making choices based on make choices and decisions based on: trust, honesty, obedience, service, kindness, and commitment.

With those lofty but attainable goals comes many privileges.

Until children in my home can prove to me that they make good choices, we are going to be short on privileges.


What do you do when your children make poor choices?


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Be Still





I ran across a new blog linky (amazed aren't you???).

This past week we took a three day (two night) camping trip with the main goal of being together - unplugged.

I explained to the children that we would be taking no car TVs, no DSi's, no leapsters, no televisions............and to myself, that we would be taking no laptop. Camping people I told the children enjoy nature - they don't stare at boxes. In case you're wondering, the Coach and I are not big on cell phones so that's one technology we never have to worry about!

As soon as I finished explaining this, Pumpkin exclaimed: "

"How do camping people LIVE? How do they SURVIVE?"....followed by moaning.........

We set out Wednesday morning - and arrived home late Friday afternoon. We did it. I have to say - I didn't miss it at all. I only mentally updated my facebook status..........threeish times. The kids never exclaimed "I'm bored" - there was significantly less whining. I went to bed each night to the sound of the Coach reading Peter Pan............instead of the droning of the television.

We walked. We fished. We roasted marshmallows. We played Uno. We walked. We played Go fish. We hiked. We played Old Maid (see a theme yet?). We saw new sights. We canoed. We laughed. Most of all we laughed.

I got to thinking - I am at home with my children all day. But do I really spend time with them? It is sort of a misconception that as a stay at home homeschooling mom that you would automatically spend a lot of quality time with your children. I do during the school hours of the day - but I am in teacher mode, not hanging out playing mom mode.

While in mom mode, I do laundry, I read blogs, I cook/wash dishes/clean kitchen, I update my facebook status, I make a bed or two or three, I check my email, I find the living room rug, I toodle on the internet, I declutter something (probably for the 2nd or 3rd time), I update my facebook status................in between that I redirect children, send people outside to play, monitor the amount of TV/video game time, referee a good lego argument, fuss at children for fighting or being too rambunctious in the house.

I realized on our camping trip that my days need more hanging out. More time to play.

Then, as I was blog reading (in my defense I did go for a lovely bike/scooter/walk and read two chapters of Peter Pan and my kids are in bed) .............I stumbled across the "Be Still" challenge.

I accept.

Mondays I will take time to "be still" - outside of my school hours, I will take time to do and reflect on one activity with Pumpkin and Bubbe.

Starting today.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not raise a kid who exclaims

" This is where my mom put the stuff we don't want you to break and the stuff she doesn't want you to see. This is my millenium falcon - don't touch it. Man, it's a mess in here. "

as he drags our playdate guests into my closed bedroom..........

I did not see a photo of myself taken on our recent camping trip and not recognize myself. I did not wonder, "Who is that wide woman????"

I did not pretend to be asleep on said camping trip so that my dear husband would have to teach the pumpkin to pee in our 5 gallon bucket potty (complete with Baby Bjorn potty seat on top).

Since I have not blogged in a while, ...................I did not take two days to notice the beautiful poem my husband wrote me for Valentine's Day. I did not use it as a bookmark without even attempting to open it or read it. He did not have to ask me to please open my bookmark to find the amazing words he had written for me. and I did not give him nothing in return.

And then, on our anniversary last week I did not take two days to find a love letter in my coffee cup. And I again did not give him nothing in return.