Thursday, January 05, 2012
N & S moments
Stuey turns 5 in a month and he is having moments where I look at him and realize he is growing quickly out of his little boy phase, as he asks questions about the world and pushes himself harder with tasks.
Lately he has asked "when we will die?". Not sure how this came about, as we haven't been particularly talking about death. Am thinking at preschool they talk about the death of jesus christ, perhaps? In any case, it is on his mind. I tell him, "in a long, long time". I don't remember Nora ever asking much about death, seems to be more his thing lately.
Sometimes when Stuey gets upset with his he puts on the meanest face he can and says, "Bad You". This happens if I've put one of his toys in time out or taken a sticker off his sticker chart. The other day when visiting his grandma in Homer, she had to take something out of his hand and she promised that once he was nice again she would give it back to him. She left the room and Stuey put on his mean face and he said, "Bad Grandma". I said, "stuey, thats not nice" but was holding back laughter. Sometimes when he says, "Bad You" it's so funny, that it's hard to not laugh.
When he gets pouty I tell him, "stuey, I don't want to see anyone smiling or having a good time." Then he puts on an adorable smile and I say, "What? Are you smiling? Are you having a good time?". That seems to help break his bad mood.
Evenings have been riddled with hard moments for Nora. The hardest time of day is bathtime-she is so tired from school and often just yells at me. Things like, "Mom-I don't want to go to bed. I don't want to take a bath right now!". Frankly, its exhausting to be the recepient of such tired, negative energy. Often I have to take a moment and walk away, and listen to her cries for me. Other times my visceral response is to raise my voice back, which doesn't do any good.
Last night, she apologized for her outburst, which was somewhat of a first. After bath, Patrick was reading to the kids and Nora said, "Sorry mommmy for getting mad". I replied, "thank you, Nora for telling me that. It is hard for me when you yell at me for no reason.". She has always been more challenging for me than Stuey in this regard-having verbal outbursts or crying that I have absolutely no control or understanding of. There is a lot of deep breath taking on my part when this happens. Last night I was talking with a girlfriend who remarked that her daughter (who is 6 months older than Nora) has recently outgrown her outbursts of a similar nature. This was re-assuring to hear.
There are moments where Nora is so mature and thoughtful, considerate of the feelings of others....and I have to give her lots of praises in the positive moments. If there is one thing I"ve learned over the years in my marriage and as a parent, it is to give lots of positives-to help counteract negative feedback. (I learned a few years ago that the ratio should be 10:1 for kids and 7:1 for adults...for every negative criticism, there should be 10 positives sprinkled throughout the day for kids and 7 for adults). The tough part is that when someone is being the most difficult, it is often when they need the most attention or praise, which can be very hard to do at times.
Photos: Stuey and Nora in the window of our cabin as the ferry docks in Kodiak (those are the lights of Kodiak outside). Home at last! Dawn on the drive through the mountains while on the way back to Homer from Anchorage. The roads were pretty bad and there were some white knuckle moments - but the light on the mountains and snow on the trees was beautiful. Needless to say, but we did not want to do this drive at night! Another kids in Anchorage ski moment - kid down was a frequent occurence - next is 'pick the kid up again'.