It mostly boils down to…

…Me! After writing all those posts about how it’s not about being the perfect parent and it’s not up to us how our kids turn out, I’ll go ahead and take the blame this time. Don’t worry, it’s not a mommy-guilt session, and perhaps blame is the wrong term. I need to take responsibility. Yes, that’s more like it.

We’ve been having a hard time with our two dear, darling, adorable little lads recently. This week has been hard all along, but I must say that yesterday was perhaps the worst day I’ve had with the boys together yet. That’s saying a lot, huh? It was so though. Those boys must have been conspiring together in those early hours when they were awake before Mommy was ready to get them up, because it started just as soon as I opened the door to the lions den their room. 😉 Those boys, both of them, REFUSED outright to listen to my words yesterday. They would only give the pretense of obedience when I was already moving toward them with consequences. On top of which every single thing I asked or told them was met with whining, fussing, outright fit-throwing. Wow! Before the clock had reached 11am I was already at my wit’s end!! Nap time was a reprieve, but even that didn’t dampen their rebel spirits. At least in the evening I had Stuart to back me up. It was just an all around terrible, horrible, no good, VERY bad day! (hope you can appreciate the book reference, I love that story!)

Anyway, after moping, feeling sorry for myself, and whining about it a bit, I emerged from my cloud of frustration to a new realization. It was me, not them that needed some correction. Check that… they need correction too, but I need it first! 😉 See, I’ve been feeling pretty lousy with this pregnancy. Not whining, just telling. Ha ha! I don’t remember feeling quite this “bad” with the boys. Could just be bad memory, but honestly it has seemed tougher. Plus it hasn’t “eased” as I expected it to. Tomorrow is week 14 and I’m still waking up nauseous and the very thought of dinner nearly makes me gag. So that’s a bummer, because I was kind of counting on the energy boost and better feelings of the second trimester to help out a bit around here. Ha! All of that to say that I have not been a very consistent disciplinarian over the past couple of months. Shame on me! Consistency is difficult in the easiest of times, never mind when things are less than easy. But that’s no excuse. It IS my responsibility to teach these lads how to behave and why, and also be willing to follow through with consequences if need be.

So there you have it. I really do feel like I hit the nail on the head. I realize I’ve not been fulfilling my responsibility to these boys as their Mom. Today we turned over a new leaf. 😉 Fun, fun, fun!! Actually we started turning it over last night. I made the decision that Qade will no longer take his sippy cup to bed with him. Lord willing we will begin potty training in about a week, and he doesn’t need the extra fluid and besides I’ve realized it’s just a security thing with him. The last 3 nights in a row I got pulled out of bed by the lad’s frantic wails because he couldn’t find his cup! One night it was sitting right next to him in his bed… you can bet that did NOT make a happy Mama! So before bed last night I explained that he is a big boy now and big boys don’t take cups to bed. I went through the list of just about everyone he knows from Grandparents down to his camp-buddy Benjamin and how THEY don’t take cups to bed and he didn’t need one either. He thought differently, and several times I felt like caving in, but I’m glad I didn’t. Today he had no cup at nap and it wasn’t AS tragic. 😉

That was the start. Today I purged toys. I’ve realized that sometimes the level of misbehavior is in direct proportion to the amount of “stuff” surrounding the kids. 🙂 Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they shouldn’t have stuff, but I notice that when they have a lot of toys out they really get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. So instead of playing creatively they turn destructive and try to see how big of a mess they can make with all of the stuff! Ugh! Tired of dealing with stuff spread out EVERYWHERE and the ensuing whining/fit-throwing when I insist that they clean up their own mess, I decided to get rid of much of the problem. I keep a couple rubbermade tubs with toys to swap out anyway, and today seem the perfect day to add a few things to the tubs. Several things that went INTO the tubs were Potato Head and all (I hope) of his appendages, the block train that has never yet been reassembled into a train after it left the box at Christmas, the magnetic letters and letter reader from the fridge. I was so pleased that I actually found ALL of the alphabet in one go!! I simplified a few more things and brought out a couple of toys (in one piece) that they haven’t seen for awhile. Then after nap I plan on locating most of it into their room. I’d prefer them to play with “stuff” there than spread it out all over the house. We’ll see how it goes.

On top of that Mommy has had to lay down the law and be quite firm today. That’s no fun. It’s really the stinky part of parenting when you have to be the Nazi and it seems like you never get to relax and just have fun with your kids. However, I really didn’t want that, so I took the little non-Nazi moments to squeeze in some extra tummy tickles and story reading, and just rolling on the floor together, because who knew how much fun THAT could be? 😀 I think we’re on the right track for making things ultimately better. Next week is Stuart’s spring break and I’m SOOOO thankful that he’ll be home and able to help me cope with the constant consistency with the boys.

Till next time…..

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