First, it was TV. If the TV was on, the boys weren’t listening. So, I did what any parent would do – I banned the TV in the morning. I’m slowly weening them off the TV in general, but you can’t go cold turkey. Like any addiction, you’ve gotta start out slow and work your way towards NONE.
Things were going great, the boys were getting dressed on their own. Brushing their teeth and combing their hair. We even started making breakfast together. I would get out the bread and toaster, they would pop the toast in, I would come back to put something on the toast. It worked (and still works) well.
When we woke up this morning… dun dun dunnnnnn – all heck was about to break loose.
Usually, Evan wakes up in a great mood. I wake him up, tickle him and give him hugs – then he’s good for the day. Happy, smiling, cheery. But Brody, on the other hand, is a freakin bear in the morning. Ahem… I’m not sure (ahem) where he gets that from. He needs to eat first before he does anything else – then after food, he magically turns into a nice kid. This morning was no different. Nothing I could do or say was going to move him from bear into nice kid. His head hurt. His knee hurt. He was cold. Evan was looking at him. Endless…
So I did what any (krazee, tired, and worn out) parent would do who was pushed to her emotional and mental limits by a crying, weeping 7 yr old whiney boy – I banned talking in the morning. It’s perfectly logical if you think about it. Brody is no longer allowed to talk in the morning unless it’s positive or helpful. He’d wake up on the wrong side of the cave and bitch and moan at me – then I would bitch and moan back and all of a sudden, we are all in a bad mood. So I discovered the root cause and have nipped it in the bud. You see, WE have this problem in our house, WE think (and by WE, I mean THEM) it’s okay to talk to people any old way WE feel like – without suffering the consequences of OUR actions (and by actions, I mean words). It’s unacceptable and it’s rude. Manners matter!
I once did an experiment with them where I didn’t talk to them, for what seemed like an eternity (hence 30 minutes) I did not answer them or speak to them at all. They felt it was fine to ignore mommy when she spoke, so I ignored them. As you can imagine, neither child liked that very much. What this did was give me ammunition (should I need it) to stop this behavior in the future. If they don’t listen to me, I can very quickly say “do you want mommy to not listen or speak to you?” and both boys know how THAT felt and can quickly change their actions.
So we will see how the NO SPEAKING (unless it’s positive or helpful) rule goes. I’m determined to make it work. Of course, I have no control over what they do at their dad’s house. Hopefully, with time, Brody will wake up and feel positive about the day rather than bitch and moan and make the rest of us cranky. Wish me luck!
The hardest part about being a single parent is having enough patience to get you through the day. Now, I understand this is a big adjustment for everyone. It will take some time for us all to get into our routines, etc. It wasn’t like we had an exhausting day – but after 12 straight hours of doing NOTHING, one tends to get edgy (one being Brody) and needs to be out! near people! other people! Again, Evan and I could lounge our entire day away but Brody is a social animal.
He wanted me to take him to Target because I have 10 dollars of his in my wallet – he can’t see it or touch it, yet it’s still burning a hole in his pocket (he’s just like my dad). He wants to buy more toys he won’t play with … apparently he doesn’t know what Target does to his momma. This was the main reason I started buying Melaleuca products on a monthly basis… not because they are good for the environment or work amazing (those were qualifiers though) – but because I couldn’t take the 200$ trips to Target anymore. I am a sucker for that store and everything inside of it! I especially love the cheap-o dollar items as you first walk in the store – that’s FAB!
Since I needed some items for lunches, Brody had to settle with Safeway. Both boys love to get inside the cart and have me lug them up and down every aisle – begging for crap they know we don’t buy. As we walked into the store – past the carts, Brody started whining. “I want to ride in the cart! wah! horrible mother who makes me walk 10 feet to the apples! wah! I don’t want to walk anywhere! wah!” Have I mentioned that both boys are about 50lbs? I’m not complaining, but on a Sunday evening (after a successful BBQ the day before where many beers were consummed) and after writing a paper, I just wasn’t feeling like pushing those two around safeway for an hour. I know… I’m such a party pooper!
Back to the patience. Once the boys smell weakness, they attack with the ferocity of lions. It’s 7:00 pm on a Sunday evening for goodness sakes! I’m tired! Just let me get apples and salami and get the heck out of there! Since they don’t watch where they are going, I am forced to direct them and point them to where I want to end up. At one point Brody actually swatted my hand away. Can I just say that little kids generally do NOT watch where they are going and it’s annoying and embarrassing as their parent (especially as their mother). Picture me holding a basket in one hand and directing two wandering kids with the other. And the whining! Dear god the whining! It just doesn’t stop.
At that point, I think I could have left them. Every parent has those times when they could take or leave their child(ren) and Safeway was one of those times when I wish I hadn’t even left the house. It’s best to stay within the comforts of your own home when the kids are like this. I’m sure I could have scrounged up a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch… or a “just jam!” for Brody. What was I thinking when I took the lions out of their den? Thankfully we all arrived home in one piece and I did what any parent would have done. I sent them outside to the backyard to play for an hour before bed… it was either that or give them away to the next person to walk by…