Monday, June 25, 2012

Our First Day of Summer School

I've waited 5 years for today.  Today was the day that Gracie and Lucas got to come to work with me.  It was their first day of Summer School.  I planned our morning carefully to get us out of the door in record time.  I was very impressed by how hard they worked to get dressed and ready to go.

We arrived a little early and snapped this picture:

And this one

 And this one

We never did get a truly perfect photo.

At the end of Camp Mustang and Afternoon Athletics and After School Care, this happened on the way home.

And then there were the impressions of the day:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mean Words

As I headed into their room for the third time tonight, I told them exactly what they had lost.

"Guys, I told you that if you did not go to sleep the first time, there was no jumpy place tomorrow.  You did not go to sleep, so no jumpy place.  Good night."

I turned off the light for the third time and closed the door.  I made it 10 feet from the door and it opened.

"I wish I didn't have a mom!" said Gracie and ran back to her bed.

Rather than react, I replied, "Okay," and closed the door.

As I headed into the laundry room, it occurred to me that I should be upset.  I should feel like a knife was thrust in my heart.  I should feel as if my baby girl has ripped me in two.  Instead, there was nothing.  None of the feelings moms have shared time and again as their children have said equally horrible things.

"I don't love you any more!"

"You're not my mommy any more!"

When I thought about it from Gracie's perspective, her words made sense.  She was frustrated about going to bed and then having the jumpy place taken away.  In her four year old mind, she wanted to hurt me and so she said words she thought would just that.  Her friends say things like, "You aren't my friend any more," all  the time.  Her words were designed to do the same thing that her friends mean to do: to express her frustration with words, hurt momentarily, and be friends again.

Does she really wish she did not have a mom?  No.  Just 10 minutes earlier, she was hugging me as if her life depended on it.  She says these things not really understanding the reality of them.  Are they hurtful?  I guess they would be if I truly believed she meant them.  But she doesn't.  She is using the only weapon she things she has.  I could act hurt and tell her how mean her words were, but that would give them weight and I don't want her to associate her words with the ability to hurt me.  That would result in her using them more frequently and in the future.  If I shrug them off, she will forget about them and is less likely to say them again.

I'm sure she will say these things when she is 8, 9 , 10, 11, 12...I have years of them ahead of me.  The key is not believing that she means them.  She may feel as if she means them in the moment, but a short time later, she will regret them and want to take them back.  She's already shown this to me in the past.  She will come to me 10 or 15 minutes after she does or says something awful, hug me and apologize to me for what she said.  I hug her, say thank you, and we move on.

As a mom, one of the most important things I can do for my children is demonstrate the ability to forgive.  Some day, when I am gone, Gracie will think back to a day when she said, "I wish I didn't have a mom!" She will either cry and be devastated for having hurt me, realize what a horrible thought it was and wish she had me back, or she will laugh at herself for her diva drama and be thankful that I was there to hug her and move on.

Someday, her words will hurt me.  I pray that I will continue to stop and think before I react so that I can see her words for the frustration they really are.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daddy's helper

Unbeknownst to me, Lukie has been helping Daddy get his scooter on and off the lift. He is so proud of himself for helping his Daddy.

For the record, you should probably make sure that you are not in Lukie's way if you want to remain healthy!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Four year olds are twisted creatures

Gracie and Lucas have been driving me insane the past few weeks.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with their schedule being disrupted.  Abue Rosi has been in Mexico for the past week watching over Abuelita. So they have been with Daddy at Abue's house in the morning.  We are also counting down the days until the end of pre-school and the sun has been going down later...there is a lot going on.

The problem is that they have been creep-a-zoids. They have been hitting each other and destroying our house, being rude to me and doing exactly the opposite of what I ask, and sometimes demand, that they do.  Even Daddy has complained about their behavior.  We've been at a loss.  What do you do with two four year olds who are are acting rude and awful?

The twisted thing is that they will do what I want...if I tell them not to do it. For example,

"Lukie, don't you eat that broccoli.  No. Don't you eat it!"

Lukie shoves the broccoli in his mouth and laughs maniacally.

"Doh!" I say, inwardly pleased that my son just ate something he swore he would not eat.

The last two hours they were awake tonight, I got them to do everything I wanted by telling them NOT to do it.

"Don't you wash your hair!  No....don't you do it!"
"Don't you put those toys away.  Nope, not those toys.  No, don't do it!"
"Don't you put your jammies on.  No...don't put them on!"
"Don't you clean up your room!  No, don't put that away.  Don't you clean!"

As long as I followed everything they did with "Doh!", they kept doing what I wanted them to do.  It was nice not to have to fight with them, but it was a pain telling them NOT to do everything.  The thing is, they've been frustrating me so much that I'm willing to try anything, no matter how annoying.

Four year-olds are twisted creatures.  Yes, they are.

Today's Self-Dressing Brilliance
Gracie is wearing a shirt, shorts, and her dress from Chichen Itza.  Lucas has on 3, yes, 3 shirts, and shorts.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dressing ourselves

For the past month or so, we've been getting dressed before we go to Abue Rosi's house in the morning.  Usually, we can get away with me setting out Gracie and Lukie's clothes.  Occasioanlly, they refuse to wear what I put out and they insist on picking out what they want to wear.

Here are some of the results:

It boggles the mind.

Crazy kids who hurt my eyes

Because dressing yourself is always a good idea.

Happy 10th Birthday!

There's nothing better than bringing cupcakes and having free dress on your 10th birthday! These two were so excited that they kept r...