These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Stressed-Out Saturday


This weekend your Daddy is out of town working and with the escalating number of resistance and testing scenarios that we've been working through lately, I was nervous as to how this would go.

I wish I could say that today had gone perfectly and I had nothing to worry about, but it was a very challenging day. I don't have any photographic evidence of the challenging aspect of the day because I needed both hands at those moments. Here are some sweet times that peppered the craziness of today.
We spent a stressful morning at a Parents As Teachers event which - I have to give KUDOs to - they never fail to produce well thought out things for the young children to participate in and enjoy.A blow up swimming pool with balls filled in it was a favorite area of entertainment for you.The ONLY problem being that you love to throw balls and when there were other children in the pool with you, it's easy to look aggressive when the balls bounce off the walls and meet the other children in the face.I spent some time correcting you, but realized it wasn't upsetting one of the Parents As Teachers coordinators there and some of the other children were laughing and repeating the behavior and their parents didn't seem to mind, so I decided to chill and sit back and save my energy for bigger things.Things liiiiiike - the fact that you have recently decided to try to spit every time that you look at me because your teachers told me I have to stop this behavior and I'm trying to do so by ignoring it.You're a little too smart for your own good. You'll say: "Mommy! Mommy!" and I'll look at you and say "what, honey?" and you'll promptly go Pftttttttttttb! and I'll try to look away quickly like I was distracted BEFORE you did it, but you are winning this one.THEN there's the one where I can suggest anything - even doing something that you obviously want to do - like swing on the swings or go down the slide and you immediately start to say "NOOOOOO" so emphatically, that your legs immediately go out and you fall to the ground in emergency tantrum mode.Lately it seems that if there is a question mark present anywhere in anything that I say to you, it has a tantrum effect with immediate explosive action.(When it comes to these bikes, I have tried to explain and show the pedals to you and how to make them work, but I'm Momma and obviously don't know what I'm talking about so after you tolerate my explanations, you go right back to doing this. Oh, well... Maybe someday you'll accidentally discover it yourself and all will be well!)Here you have announced to me that you are going to crash into this street sign and you can see by the look on your face that you are trying to gauge what my reaction will be. Will I be upset by it? Will you have to find something else to get me going?BONK!Didn't get the reaction you had hoped so you are now looking for the next thing to try...The scariest thing by far that you have started to do to get a reaction out of me is running away from me. This terrifies me. I'm usually trying to lug along your diaper bag, my purse and sometimes a camera bag or other such extra item and running after you is almost an impossible.You were doing exactly this in these pictures when you cornered yourself and couldn't figure out how to get further away from me so you just whined at the fence.

See, the problem is - that you are fast! And that is NOT meant as a compliment! I know you will read this later and think "awwww, thanks!" but I wish you weren't so fast. It's scary because when you really want to upset me, you know the areas that will get the most reaction - like THE STREET - and you head right for it.If we both survive to your adulthood, I'll probably develop some sort of a Tourettes-like type of reaction when you walk in the direction of the street where I can't stop myself from screaming "JACK ROSE YOU STOP RIGHT NOW!!!"Just be warned.... FYI, I get SOOOOO many compliments from the fathers at these events who envy my child's physical endurance when they see you sprinting spiritedly across a field and kicking a soccer ball or throwing balls with such force behind them that I think they see you as a future sports-star and ask me questions like "How old is he? How long has he been doing stuff like that? You must be so proud and excited! If he's doing this now, just imagine what he'll be doing in a couple of years!"About then is when you can find me sitting in a lawn chair with my head between my legs and deep breathing into a paper sack.

Check out this brilliant idea!An outdoor painting mural on a chain link fence?You LOVED THIS! Another thing you did a lot of yesterday was announce "I no hit table!" and then proceed to smack your hand down opened palm with force and noise to show me that you can and will hit.

And when I comment on it and say "Jack, we don't hit things." you will fire back at me "I not in big trouble!"

I've decided to try ignoring this behavior, too, but that's a little harder. The problem is...when you get the reaction, it really feeds the repetition of the behavior and I really want to nip this one in the bud.I was changing your diaper this evening when you announced "I no hit Mommy" and then hauled off and smacked me.
I immediately shouted, "JACK, YOU DO NOT HIT YOUR MOMMY!" I must have had the worst look on my face because you immediately announced "I NOT IN BIG TROUBLE!" and I couldn't help myself - I answered "DON'T BE SO SURE!"FYI - here you are sitting in a police car (for hitting your Mommy).

...buckle up....guilt trip dead ahead....

You know, I'm thinking when you have a car on display for the Parents As Teachers organization and are inviting children into the vehicle for an exciting experience, perhaps one should consider removing the firearm?!?

I know - crazy suggestions like that hardly deserve the effort to type them.

There was a face painting booth for the children, but you would have flipped out if someone painted your face, so we instead did a hand stamper of a Blue's Clue paw print on one hand which you were VERY proud of.And an ice cream for the other hand, but that one was gone the second after I took this picture because you wanted to touch it very badly.Here you are in a fire truck with sticky red lollipop running down your face and YES, it was all over your hands. I warned the fireman before putting you in the driver's seat, but he thought it was fantastic.Apparently, he didn't have to drive, but loved to give crap to his friend that DOES drive the truck and he thought it would be hilarious to see his face later when he went to steer the truck home and got sticky sugary ick all over his hands.
Where would we be without our friends?!? :)

But, by far the most amazing act of defiance came next.

Let me preface this by saying that your movie of choice for the past two days has been the cartoon version of Charlotte's Web done circa... oh, I don't know...1970 something?

There is a scene where the little girl has brought Wilbur over to Henry Fussy's house while he is having a music lesson and she hands Wilbur to him to hold and Henry Fussy's mom walks in and says "HENRY FUSSY! YOU PUT THAT PIG DOWN!"She has a very mean look on her face when she says this and her hair is grey. This scene made a big impression on you and yesterday before nap, when everything had come to a head and I couldn't take one more tantrum, I frustratedly lugged your tantrumming body up the stairs, set you down quite determinedly and looked you in the eye and said "JACK, you need to HELP Mommy, not act like THIS!"

You took one look at me and announced "Mommy Mean Grandma! Henwee Fussy pig down!"

I hesitated because I knew EXACTLY what you were talking about.

Annnd - OUCH!

Then I said "Does Mommy have that angry look on her face like the mean Grandma in Charlotte's Web?"


"Then I think you better go to bed...."

Holy cow! What a day!

I know this is horrible, but I have a tally in my head - one day down, one to go! I just have to figure out how to keep you stimulated and in good behavior...?.... through this weekend and then I'll have the help of your teachers to accomplish this.

FYI - we also played with your cousin Hannah yesterday and her many friends (and later played with Calum not pictured here). It was funny to see Hannah and the girls dragging you around with them because you don't like to be directed seeing as how you are so independent. All the same - she still got you to do some things.... :)

Wish me luck tomorrow!



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