Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How I might, just maybe, be ADD...

One day Morgan looked at me and said, "I guess ADD wasn't diagnosed much when we were kids, was it?" He was insinuating that I may have a case of it. While I took offense to his insinuation there may just be a sliver of truth to it. Here's plausible evidence...

This morning I made a list of the things I'd like to accomplish this evening (writing on here wasn't on the list). After Owen and I came home I began working on the list. I started a load of laundry and while I was in the laundry room I tidied up the table and drawers down there and put away a few things. Then I came up stairs and put the cardboard I found in the laundry room in the recycling...which is by the dog food so I decided to feed Ludwig. Then I emptied my lunch bags that I brought home and put those dishes on the table while I put the bags away. And then I noticed the empty box of vacuum cleaner bags which reminded me that I needed to order some more of those. So I sat down at the computer to look for them on amazon. And then the phone rang, so I went to answer that in the bedroom and after I got off the phone I noticed the basket of clothes I brought up to put away but had started cleaning the bathroom instead. Which I hadn't finished cleaning because Owen was in there doing some business and I hadn't changed my clothes yet. Incidentally, on my list is:
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Do a load of laundry and put 1 away
  • Sort the mail piles
  • Finish the dishes
  • Finish Lori's pictures
The dishes from my lunch are still on the table. The laundry is still in the basket and the vacuum bags are not ordered. The bathroom is 1/2 done and there is laundry in the washer. It's a start...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

You don't always get what you want...

Such a harsh reality when one is 5. Owen realized yesterday that he left his camera (which really isn't his) at daycare. Which wouldn't be a big deal except that our daycare/neighbor lady is on vacation. I had asked Owen if he wanted to bring it home but he said no. Yesterday he broke into sobs when he realized where it was and then proclaimed (between sobs) (after I told him I would not be going to get it), "I will have to buy a new one!!!!" Yeah, I don't think so. He made due with the camera on my phone. And then asked, "Does this do video?" Because the other camera does and he loves to take videos.

This whole drama came about because he wanted to take pictures of his *big muscles*. And for a 5 year old he is pretty muscular, but it still cracks me up when he refers to his muscles as big. I indulged him in some muscle pictures which really look more like pirate face pictures.

When he saw the picture of his sad face he demanded to know why I had taken that. Truth be told I take what I can get now. Rarely can I get him to sit and smile nicely for me. It's always some scrunched up pirate or monster face. And always in a super hero-ish pose. In the above one he's standing on the arm of the sofa.

We are going through a stubborn and independence seeking phase right now. Yesterday we disagreed about what shirt he was going to wear. I wanted him to wear his tie dyed shirt so I would be able to see him easily at the park. He of course wanted to wear something else. Yelling and crying ensued and the revoking of TV and computer privileges (because he socked me in the hip) and finally he choose a t-shirt that was somewhat tie dye looking.

For the most part I consider the day a loss in the parenting arena. I backed down on the shirt even though I was demanding that he wear it. I suppose I could have wrestled it on him while he thrashed around and cried & yelled. But I probably would have gotten kicked in the nose. And he did pick one that I would be able to see. I did let him watch a movie because the friend that he was going to have over later couldn't come and he was sad about that. I always desperately wanted a nap. And then I let him use the computer for a little bit while I did dishes.

When I was teaching I had very clear expectations for my students and they knew in advance what those expectations were. They also learned very quickly that I didn't change my mind and that consequences always followed when the expectations were not met or rules were broken. It took a few years but I learned to not take things personally and to deal with students in a way that was kind but firm. It is much more difficult for me to deal with Owen in the same way. Mostly because as a teacher I was able to remove myself emotionally from my students. They were not my children. And each day they went home to someone else who had to deal with their assertions of independence and their defiance. And if those things presented themselves in my classroom I had a parent I could call or an office to send them out to. I suppose I could call Morgan and tell him that Owen was being a turd but it wouldn't really make a difference. (Morgan is not a harsh disciplinarian.) If anything Owen would want to talk to him so he could try to talk him into letting him come to his office. And the farthest I can send him is his room and I can still hear him when he's in there pitching a fit. Maybe I need to start vacuuming again like I did when O would cry at nap times.

After talking with a girlfriend and fellow mama yesterday I realized, yet again, that this journey is ever changing. Once we feel like we've overcome one challenge, say potty training, we are presented with another, like choosing an elementary school. I guess we are fortunate in some ways to only deal with the challenges of one child while other parents have multiple challenges to deal with all at the same time. I would not trade being Owen's mama for anything. But sometimes I'd like to sit in a quiet dark room with a drink for awhile.

Thursday, August 04, 2011


Our yard is full of toads this summer. Last weekend we were doing some landscaping in the back yard (actually hardscaping because we aren't planting anything!) and while we were digging up the old window wells we found at least 2 dozen little toads. The front yard has also been teaming with them and they've been a bit of a nuisance while mowing. I moved several of them when I mowed a couple of weeks ago and Morgan found even more while he mowed on Sunday. Hopefully they are smart enough to nestle down in the dirt when the mower comes along. Otherwise they are now compost. They seem to really like living in the window wells though so we put them back there after we installed the new ones. Owen had a great time playing with them. It actually kept him busy for the better part of the afternoon while we worked. He made them a playground in his little wagon complete with a water feature. Then he introduced us to them (we had to say our names to the toads) and he gave them names too. They got to ride in some of his sandbox cars and even do a little flying. But he did it all very gently. I was very impressed with the care he took in playing with them and I was a little surprised that he was touching them at all. This was the first time he willingly picked up a toad! In past years he would look at them while someone else held them (not me) but didn't want to touch them.

The toad above was kind enough to hold still for me for quite sometime. I'm not sure what he was doing hanging out in the rocks but he wasn't in a hurry to go any where. Thanks toad. You are pretty cute.