Sometimes I feel like the most important thing we ever gave you (besides life) was each other…
Sometimes I feel like the most important thing we ever gave you (besides life) was each other…
You woke up before your parents this morning. Okay, you wake up before your parents every morning. Literally. Every. Single. Morning.
This means that you two have a lot of quality time together in the mornings. And it’s awesome for you.
We keep our bedroom door open so the dog can come and go, so we can usually hear what you guys are up to. Surprise! You two get along so well when you think we aren’t looking!
These were your adventures this morning…
After all that, Buddy comes stomping into the house with his muddy boots, stops in the middle of the kitchen and says, “How was the whole world made?” Um…
Followed quickly by, “I farted.” You’re so deep.
Meanwhile, your morning shenanigans together have afforded me a nice lazy morning of my own 🙂
Have a great weekend, folks!
Buddy leans out of the helicopter and tells Kitten, “You’re a pizza!”
Kitten responds, “I’m a cowgirl. And I drive.”
Heard from another room just after dinner a few nights ago:
Kitten knocks on the bathroom door. “Buddy? It’s your sister. But, I promise I won’t destroy you.”
I guess it’s an off night.
This morning you woke up with two loose teeth practically falling out of your mouth. One has been loose for a few weeks and has an adult tooth coming up fast behind it. One only started wiggling a few days ago, but is already sticking out horizontally and hanging by a thread.
Today is the day.
When I saw that tooth flop over in your mouth, I got giddy. I may have squealed. I loved pulling my teeth when I was your age! It was disgusting and exciting and slightly destructive – awesome, right??
Every time your father or I attempted to even look closely at your mouth you clamped up and squirmed away. We had to pin you down to even look at the dang teeth. Attempts to touch them resulted in a tantrum befitting a 2 year-old; complete with thrashing, weeping, and wailing. Gross.
It became a test of wills.
The more you pushed us away, the harder we pushed back. If you had expressed any desire or ability to pull the tooth yourself or even work on it, we would have left you to it. But your feeble attempts to even wiggle the tooth combined with your unacceptable behavior, made us dig in.
It was coming down to that tooth or our sanity – both hanging by a thread.
My older sister was in a similar situation when she was your age. Our father was tired of her squeamishness with her loose tooth. He decided it was coming out. He went down to the basement and found his largest, rustiest pair of pliers. He lured my sister to him with the pliers behind his back, but when he asked her to open her mouth, she got wise and bolted. Our father chased her around the house (laughing maniacally, mind you) until she locked herself in a bathroom.
She emerged 30 minutes later holding the tooth in her hand. She was pale and shaky. There was a little blood in the sink and definitely some vomit in the toilet. But, she had done it herself. Victory!
I have shared that story with you numerous times since you first got a loose tooth. I’m hoping it will inspire you. Your aunt did something very difficult for her. She was scared, just like you, but she did it anyway. She was brave.
It’s not working.
Your brother watched you attempt (in vain) to wiggle your teeth this morning and immediately ran to the mirror and started poking at his own teeth. He’s not going to be a problem in this area. My worry is him pulling out teeth too soon.
He’s going to be like me in this regard and I only hope that he has a little more consideration for his sister than I did for mine. I used to sneak up on my squeamish sister and pull my teeth in front of her; pushing a tooth to one side and letting the roots audibly pop. She hated it. It was always satisfying.
Not wanting to pull your teeth is something I can’t identify with. It’s something I don’t know how to handle. I could just let it go, and I’m actually trying to. The tooth will come out eventually no matter what.
But it’s not really the tooth that bothers me so much. It’s the behavior surrounding the whole thing that needs to be addressed. The over-reaction, the tantrums, the fear, the regression. It’s disappointing to see you act this way when faced with a challenge, or something you’re afraid of, or even a little pain.
You are bigger than this. And, just like my sister, someday you will prove it to yourself. Just maybe not with this particular tooth…
Here’s what happens…
Kitten says, “Buddy, do NOT touch any of my papers, pencils, markers, or crayons. Don’t touch this table where I’m working. Don’t make any noises. Ok?”
Buddy hears, “Buddy, do all those things. If you do all of those things I will play with you and we will have fun.”
It’s been going around the mom-blogs recently; advice from other moms that actually helped.
New moms and new dads get a lot of advice. A lot. Most of it unsolicited. Some of it useful. But a rare piece or two is gold. That’s the stuff that comes back to us and again and again as we travel this perilous parenthood road.
Some such advice was given to me by the mom I am most closest: my very own mom.
While slogging through my babysitting years, or staring down ice-cream soaked children in horror in my college years, she held steadfast to her mantra, “It’s different when they’re yours.”
And it was. It really, really was. When you have your own kids you get to make them your own brand of crazy. And my brand of crazy is freaking adorable.
When I was pregnant with my second kiddo, I was nervous. There’s only so much love to go around, right? Mom chimed in again with, “you don’t divide your love 50/50 between them. Your love doubles to include them both; you love them both 100%.”
And she was right. I didn’t have to short change one to love the other. I was short on time, short on hands, and short on diapers, but I was never short on love. It turned out I had two unique places in my heart just for each of them.
So, come on, Moms. What’s that golden piece of advice you keep coming back to? Chime in at #sogladtheytoldme
The other day in the car, Buddy was trying to bait Kitten, which is usually a very easy thing to do, being the delicate flower that she is (read: emotional with a hair-trigger crying reflex). Buddy was blowing raspberries and the like with shockingly little results. Finally Buddy says, “I mad at you! You go to your room!”
To which Kitten responded – in a surprisingly mature manner – “Buddy, you are not the boss of me. I am the boss of me. I am in control of my own body. I control myself and I do not hit people or say mean things. If I knock over my juice, that is my responsibility. If someone bothers me, I just ignore them. You are the boss of you. Control yourself, Buddy.”
Well, someone’s been paying attention in class! Way to go my little mini service announcement!
I was having a little proud parent moment, when Buddy looked Kitten right in her mature, controlled face and…growled. A nice long, low, animal growl.
Kitten lost it. Just collapsed in a puddled of inconsolable tears.
So much for control.
I tried to coach her along. “You are your own boss, Sweetie! You are in control of your own emotions!” Meanwhile Buddy continued to growl, resplendent in his success, and Kitten called for Buddy to not be allowed to speak…ever again.
And then the children learned that – I – am the boss of them. And the boss wants QUIET.
The other night you two were playing with your toy money and little cash register. Kit brought Daddy three bills, a five, a ten, and a twenty. Daddy asked, “How much is this, Kit?”
They worked it through and Kit proudly announced, “thirty-five dollars!” Right-o!
Daddy handed Buddy the five dollar bill and asked, “What number is this, Buddy?”
Buddy exclaimed, “Number B!”
Right. Oh. So much work to do…
But this brought us to mind – in a very clear way – that you two are very different kids with very different aptitudes, regardless of your difference in age.
Kit is excellent with numbers and gets better at reading every day. At Buddy’s age she knew her alphabet, could identify her name written anywhere and could count to ten forwards and backwards. Buddy gets numbers and letters confused and thinks any name you point at must be his.
Kit loves to color. She will spend hours with her crayons and dreams of an endless supply of paper. She has always been this way. Buddy likes to color occasionally…on walls.
Kit is surprisingly good at golf, can kick a soccer ball really well, enjoys Frisbee, and has amazing hand-eye coordination. Buddy likes to run…randomly in all directions, and usually into walls.
However…Kit can be a highly sensitive ball of nerves who will cry at the drop of a hat. Buddy is happy. So, amazingly happy!
Kit has trouble understanding sarcasm and can get very anxious about it because she thinks you really are going to eat all of her candy when she leaves the room (sometimes this is true). Buddy will laugh and laugh and laugh.
Kit sometimes has trouble producing a smile or other facial expressions on command. Buddy will study his face in a mirror for long periods of time and can produce some really impressive work with his eyebrows at this point.
Kit becomes uber focused on one fad and goes all in (case in point: Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles). Buddy is more well-rounded; he likes Cars, Spiderman, Batman, dinosaurs, planes, diggers, Mickey Mouse, trains, dogs, and anything red.
I feel like, when she grows up, Kit will measure her happiness by her success in school and the approval of her teachers. Her successes will bring her great highs, and her failures will bring her unfortunate lows. I worry about her dependence on these types of validations, but I know she will do great things with her intelligence. I just need to remind her that grades aren’t everything.
I predict when Buddy grows up, he will measure his happiness by…whether or not he feels happy. He won’t pin his self-esteem on making it in to AP classes. I do worry that Buddy might struggle in school – he doesn’t have the laser focus that Kit does – but, he will surround himself with good friends and the things that he likes and he will be happy. I just need to remind him (and me) that grades aren’t everything.
This week Buddy came home with another bite report and a conversation with the teacher that began, “Buddy plays a little rough with the other kids.” Great. I know that he’s one of the biggest kids in the class and I suspect he will be for quite some time. Without a bigger kid to knock him down a peg, I don’t like to think where this is headed.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that buddy is a bully – what 2 year-old is? But he is a 2 year-old the size of a 4 year-old; he’s a bull in a China shop.
I decided that Buddy could really benefit from having has ass handed to him. I decided that, as the older sister, Kitten should do the honors.
After school I gave Kitten the scoop. “Buddy needs your help to learn to play nice. He doesn’t realize he’s being too rough. He needs someone to stand up to him and push him back. Can you do that, Kitten? Can you push Buddy back if he pushes you?”
Big, bright, glowing eyes. I have given Kitten the keys to the city. “Yes. Yes, I can do that.”
The rules are that Kitten can only push back defensively. This is actually really good for Kitten too, who has trouble standing up for herself. Her reflex response is to cry and tattle. Every time. It’s disheartening.
Let me be clear; I am not trying to set up a kiddie Thunderdome in my living room. I’m trying to instill a little physical awareness and respect for boundaries in my son and a little confidence and self preservation in my daughter – under adult supervision.
Kitten is not naturally aggressive. The first time Buddy pushed her under the new rule, she still cried before she remembered she could defend herself. And then the tap she gave him in retaliation was so light Buddy didn’t even notice it. Regardless, Kitten was so proud of herself. It was kinda cute. But it also illustrated that we’re not looking at any knock down, drag out brawls anytime soon. Or ever. That’s not the point of this exercise.
The point of this is teaching Buddy that most people don’t like being played rough with. The point is teaching Kitten that it’s ok to stand up for herself.
That’s the theory…let’s see how it goes…