Friday, March 4, 2011

It's Like Shawshank Around Here....Minus Morgan Freeman Unfortunately

Somewhere around Tuesday, the boys entered one of those horrible times of really, really, really poor behavior. I hate when this happens because it always takes me by surprise and brings on a slew of emotions that I really can't handle. 

Guilt mixed with rage is so very unpleasant.  I despise the desperate search for what could be going on with them.  Am I too hard on them?  Am I too easy on them?  Am I too cool for them? (It makes me feel better to think that this is potentially relevant, never mind even true.)

Aiden has been notably more difficult than Cole, but really when Aiden's behavior starts to fall, so does Cole's.  The coordination of their poor behavior makes me nutty. Just one of them would be difficult enough. 

So what do I really think started everything going south this week? This...

Cole's rebellious mohawk has clearly ignited some sort of uprising among the children. I'm never spending the entire time he gets his haircut talking on the phone to my friend about important things like my blog and vacations again. This is what Cole asks for when left alone with a stylist that has access to purple and blue sculpting gel.

He also has been wearing his swimsuit and a swim shirt almost every day since this haircut, I'm not saying there is a connection, but I'm not saying it isn't connected either.

Aiden's favorite expression the last few days has been, "I don't like you."  Followed closely by, "I don't like the things you do."

Fantastic, then we are on the same page.  I don't like the things you do right now either, but unfortunately I can't tell you I don't like you because I am such a good parent and I'm intelligent enough to know that's probably psychologically damaging in some way....even if I really don't like you right now. I am so mature.

I can't even force myself to drag out all the details of their actions because it embarrasses me, makes me want to crawl back to the kitchen for another glass of wine, and ignites long conversations between Alex and me about running away and leaving the kids behind with a good amount of food and drink on conveniently low shelves.  I think we're both just fantasizing, but I'm pretty sure if he made the move, I wouldn't protest.  I even know exactly what food I would put within their reach. 

(There is also another level to the plan that I have been working on after Alex and I's discussion ends about how I would put all the fun things like fruit snacks and their favorite graham crackers just out of reach because I feel so angry at them.  This is cruel, I realize, but it's my fantasy and I can make it as mean as I want to since it's probably not happening.  Probably.)

We do spend a few minutes on actually addressing the real problem, but mostly we focus on how much fun it would be to run away because it's more productive for us and makes us happy. Isn't that what's most important? That the parents are happy?  No?  Shoot...when do we get to that part of being a parent?

To give a quick summary, Aiden and Cole have decided that listening is optional, I am an evil woman that drains all fun out of everything and any task asked of them is bordering on abuse. It really pulled on my heartstrings when Aiden cried to me that he has do do "all the work around here," when I told him to pick up and put away all the newly folded laundry he had just shoved on to the floor. 

Perhaps I was too hard on him?  He did sound a little tired after he knocked all those clothes over, it was seriously hard work. Also, he had just put his cereal bowl in the sink and flushed after he used the restroom, what more could I possibly ask for from a child?  

I love his genuine feeling that he does all the work.  I mean, it really is hysterical. Other than taking his plate to the sink,  I honestly can't name a single chore he does with any degree of regularity.  Perhaps this is part of the problem? 

No....I prefer to think that they have started to misbehave due to their own genetic deficiencies (received from Alex, of course,) and negative influences from things like Curious George and preschool rather than anything that is preventable through good parenting. Again, this just makes me feel better and at least someone should be happy around here.

I have been shutting down the fun right and left.

Topping the punishment list is that the playroom is closed for business. Anything left in the playroom before all hell broke loose on the behavior front is trapped in there.  Sorry kids, go play with some sticks and dirt in the back yard.  That's what life will be like for you in the prison yard if you can't figure out how to behave.  Let's practice right now.


Cole's most missed item?  His toy shotgun, of course.  Aiden's most missed item?  Every single item in the room.  It's all his favorite.  He is miserable without all of it.  Hooray!  Parenting success! 

Only hoping this doesn't blow up in our faces later when they are leaving their toys all over the house instead of keeping them in the playroom for fear of losing access again. 

I know you are thinking that at least I still have sweet baby Stella to snuggle and giggle with through the day.  Well, even Stella has fallen to their evil, mohawk inspired ways.  She has taken to biting me  when I try to take something out of their mouth or do something as mean as pull her away from a cluster of electrical cords.  For her though it is pretty funny, especially since she doesn't have teeth and she's still so cute.

She has not escaped punishment though.  She's been forced to play with tampons and non-skid bath feet.  Ok, she really enjoys these items and I'm not really interested in punishing her, but when I walked by her playhouse it struck me as sort of mean that these were her go to entertainment options.  I swear I bought that baby some toys.

I know this too shall pass, but it's been a really annoying week and I'm ready for the tide to turn.


Nickole said...

Ethan's favorite go to expression when he gets mad these days is "I hate you." And, "I never get to do anything." I'm hoping he grows out of this soon cuz Mama ain't likin' it.

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

I really like how you are posting pictures now. It makes the blog even better! Closing the playroom is GENIUS! I love the signs. Your thoughts of running away make me think of the Fastball song that has a line which states "The children woke up, and they couldn't find them....." That is my dad's favorite song, he thinks it's funny to threaten me with that even though I am at the ripe old age of 31.

p.s. I deleted the first comment because I had typo's.

AmyP said...

I found your blog through Mandy, and have been following for a few weeks. :) Occasionally my kiddos will tell me I'm mean, to which I reply, "Good! It means I'm doing my job properly." It never occurred to me to put the entire playroom in timeout - I usually banish them to their playroom when I need a timeout...but you've got me thinking...