I think things are so out of control right now in my life. Every small thing is a HUGE problem for me right now! I had to stop all my projects a few weeks ago (sewing, organizing, and such) so I could start school with the children. I thought after a few days of school I would get into a good routine and find time to get back to everything. Ummm..... That didn't happen. I had doctor appointments to go to, children who need me so much during the day and night, company over to visit, and lots of other things pop up so I couldn't get back to things. I thought over the weekend I would have lots of time to get stuff done. That never happened. D. got sick ON me this weekend. She might have got her first stomach bug. I don't know if she had a stomach bug or if it was that she drank a large glass of juice with an empty stomach. I was busy all weekend keeping an eye on her. I was worried she would get sick again. My husband came down with something also this weekend and he is still sick. I got nothing done over this past weekend. I didn't get any sleep and I couldn't even eat for most of the weekend. So I was very tired cranky and I was stuck starting this week with a very messy house on Monday morning. I started school with my oldest early Monday morning. I gave my toddler a few things to keep her busy and then I started working on putting the house together. I was starting to think I was making progress and just then D. Started to fuss. She tossed a huge fit because I wouldn't let her go outside to play in the pool. The temp was only 63 yesterday! My son went outside to write his spelling words at the picnic table, he knows when his sister is yelling he can take his school work outside, up to his room, or in my room to work on in peace. This system gives him a quiet place to think and work when his sister is having a fit. I feel that if I give into her fits I will be teaching her that if she yells loud or long enough she can get what she wants so I don't do that. Well, maybe I do give in to her in the few situations that involve more than just her and us.... If we have company (other than close family members) I don't think company would enjoy hearing her have a fit and in that case I might sometimes give in or find a distraction for her just so they don't have to suffer with us but I do try not to do that most of the time. Anyway, D. stopped with her fit once T. took his work outside. I got back to housework. Just a few minutes later my day took another BAD turn!!! T. comes in and says the wind blew his paper off the table and into one of our little swimming pools. I WAS SHOCKED!!! I knew it was NOT possible for the wind to take a paper and blow it into one of the little pools (the pools are not near the picnic table). My son had just looked me in the face and made up a lie! We have spent a lot of time talking about lies over the last week or so. I was sure he knew this was very wrong to do and that he would get in lots of trouble if he did this! We have 2 BIG rules in my house. 1. is we don't EVER tell lies (this one comes with VERY BIG punishments). 2. is we don't EVER hurt another person on purpose this also has big punishments and he has seen his little sister get in lots of trouble for hurting others often (I put her in a time out all alone and she does not like it at all). Most other naughty behaviors (things I think are smaller offenses) are easily worked out by a child missing snack time or taking a loved toy away or some other privilege for a week or so. I want my children to know what I think about telling lies and hurting so I punish a lot harder with this stuff and don't give warnings they know it is wrong. BTW I don't think this is the way anyone else should punish a child this is what I do it my children. I know you all are aware that I am the LAST person anyone should take parenting advice from (I struggle with so many things). I KNOW that all families are working on things that they feel they need to be working on. With T. we spend more time on social behaviors than school stuff. He seems to do well with books but often struggles with behavioral kind of things. Over the last few months my son has started making excuses for why he does things. I do feel they are lies and I have been working on this but I have to say I never punished hard with this because I guess I felt that pointing out to him that he was making excuses and not being honest (maybe taking a snack time or something small away) would be enough to get this under control. I keep telling him that our families motto is we always tell the truth. We don't believe that changing our words to make excuses is an acceptable way to treat another person. We have told him this from the time he was 2 or 3 years old. I guess I thought it was a normal developmental thing (making excuses) that children outgrow. I noticed many other children around T.'s age giving excuses to parents and each other over the last few months so I just let it go as a normal phase that would pass. This is a strange way for me to look at things like this because I have always been a person who felt it was OK for other children to do things (even naughty stuff) but I have always been very firm in what I feel is right for my children to do. I have never been one to think well other children do this so it is OK for my children to do it also. I don't know what happened to me I guess I just got lazy or stopped caring about what I thought was right for my own children. I now see that I should have spent more time on this with my son! I can see now that my son thinks making excuses is the right thing to do just to get out of trouble. I am still confused with this because I feel he wouldn't get in trouble at all if he didn't make the excuses. I punish for VERY FEW things in my house. I try to keep a short list of things my children have to follow so they don't get confused with a huge list of rules. It is easier for me to look for a few bad things and not a long list that I would have to punish all day long. If they do something small I always give on warning and it goes something like... if you yell (or scream) in the house again I will not be able to give you a morning snack (apple, freeze pop, or yogurt) you will have to wait for afternoon snack time because yelling is not sweet and you need to be sweet to get sweets at our snack times. That takes care of it. OH! back to the subject of T. giving excuses.....A example of something that happens often in our house is this... I will ask him if he had his math page done and he in the past would say no I was watching the bird out the window I would ask what kind of bird and wait for his reply. I would then say to him how I also love watching the goldfinches and I would like to look for one and do some bird watching with him soon as he gets his math done. This method in the past always got him back on track and focused on his work. NOW lately what has been happening is if I see him looking at the birds out the window and I ask if he has his math done he will say no you talked to me and kept me from getting it done or that his sister was disturbing him. I know that is not the truth because his sister will be on the other side of the house! When I try to talk to him about how this is wrong he will then change his words to well I didn't know what the question on my page is asking. When I look at his page I see something like 1+1 and then I explain how what he is doing is wrong and not honest. I should have worked harder on this behavior soon as I first saw it starting. I am very disappointed with myself! I was told by some doctors that my son wasn't likely to tell lies because he views the world in black and white and he likes to follow rules. They have tested him for years in a row looking to see if he fell into the autistic spectrum (aspergers) or just quirky gifted group. They never made a decision on a label to give him they said because we worked with him with his quirks that popped up and he isn't as rigid as he was when he was younger that they didn't need us to come back to be checked again unless things got worse. I must also say it has always been hard to lie in my house without getting caught because our house is open we don't have walls or doors blocking the view of what the children are doing on the main floor. I am always with the children except if they are playing alone in bedrooms. If a child is alone they don't have anyone to tell a lie to. I was so surprised that yesterday he lied to me like that (I know it isn't much different than what he had started doing with the excuses I just didn't take the time to think about that before) He did admit doing it he told me he did lie and he was sorry. I took ALL his toys in his room away. He has to earn back his things with good behavior. He can still play with our outside toys and our toys in the playroom (so I have stuff to still take away if things don't turn around). The playroom has toys he will play with but they are all toddler safe so he thinks of them as baby toys. He lost all his big boy toys leggo's, knex, playmobile, dominoes, erector sets, and other building things. I didn't know how long to take them away (a day, week, or month) I was thinking a week but I wanted to talk it over with Rob because I didn't think with how tired and hormonal I am I should make that kind of decision myself. I didn't want to punish to hard but I wanted him to know what he did was very wrong. A little later we tried again to get back on track with normal day. We got our morning subjects done and we took a break for lunch and went on to play time. I left the room to use the computer the children played nice for a bit. THEN a happy fun game they played took an ugly turn. T. hit his sister with a washcloth!! He was using the cloth to wipe off the chalkboard and it was friendly play but then I don't know why but he flicked it at her and it went crack on her skin across her face! I feel that I keep a very close eye on my children and I have never noticed T. ever try to hurt anyone on purpose (again he is a child that has always followed the rules so I never thought I would see him do something like this) . I picked D. up her words "brother hurt me!" He was sent to his room it was the normal time he goes to go up to play but because he no longer owns toys he had to lay down on his bed and rest or read for an hour. I am at a loss what to do! He has never tested me like this. I told him that I feel that I can not leave him in a room alone with his sister until we have this naughty behavior worked out. I can't have him doing this to his sister then have his sister think this is OK to do to the baby that we will be having soon. Near dinner time my husband came home and T. had to tell Daddy what he did. Daddy did tell T. how he felt about his behavior and I know T. does not like to disappoint his Dad. We read why it was wrong in the Bible. We told him that we love him even when he makes mistakes. We encouraged him to work hard at not doing stuff like this so he can earn his stuff back (he has lost his stuff for a week or maybe it was a month I have to ask Rob again I don't remember). He ate dinner and went straight to bed to pray and get some sleep (before his normal bedtime). Today seems to be looking up. Everyone is nice to each other. I am giving praise to all good behavior I see trying to keep things on the up side.
Another problem in my house is what to do with D.! She tells stories (lies) all the time (she is 25 months old). She has hurt her brother AND she does NOT share! I spend most of my day working on teaching her to behave. I work hard on getting her to understand pretend and reality. I want to teach her to say I pretend a lion bit my head. Right now she says a lion bit my head OUCH kiss it mommy it hurts and she will make herself cry! She insist it happened! She will take things out of her brothers hand and scream for the things she wants she doesn't like to share. She is getting better with this but she still has a few fits a day. When she gets tired she will hit her brother over the head with a hard toy. It looks like she is trying to hurt him on purpose. I spend most of my day working on this stuff with her but I have to say it has been over 6 months of working on this kind of stuff I would think that she would be showing more progress with this by now! I wonder how am I going to be able to work on this all the time once the baby comes?
OH! One more thing to add into my crazy life! Last night when I was trying to finish up my blog entry my daughter asked to draw with markers. I have to admit I was typing and I thought my hubby was also keeping an eye on her. She decided to write ALL over herself when I wasn't looking! When I looked over at her I saw her working hard at drawing a full beard on her face. Not only a beard her arm was covered! It was so late and I was so exhausted I put her to bed like that. I don't think I would have ever done something like that before last night. Any other night I would have laughed and taken her up to the tub and washed her up without a problem and talked about how markers are for paper. Can you imagine if I have 6 or 7 children what my house would be like???? I don't like to admit it but I am thinking my family might be done growing after this baby is born. I am starting to think I am in over my head. This is a picture of my little girl covered with markers. I know it is not one of my better mommy moments but maybe someone will get a laugh at this.