Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Whining, Wonderful Kids

This past weekend, it rained like over 10 inches thanks to Hurrican Ike. I was unaware that in Michigan we had hurricanes, but now I'm a believer. Thanks to this great weather, we spent way too much time indoors and in close proximity. My children nearly drove me out into the rain in search of solace.
Gabby has this newfound obsession with tornados. This began last week as a result of a tornado drill at school. Since that time, there has not been a night that she hasn't gone to bed either crying or very concerned about what we would do in the event of a tornado. She's even asked me several times to watch the news so she can check the weather. (This coming from a girl who barely knows there is anything on TV besides cartoons, Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana). So I've tried to be the comforting, reassuring mom. I've shared with her about my fear of a house fire when I was her age. I've explained that tornados are extremely rare in our area, and there hasn't been a big one in Kalamazoo since before I was born. We've discussed our emergency plan in the very unlikely event of a tornado. I finally feel like we're making headway. Then Saturday evening Steve was watching football. All of a sudden, the meteorologist breaks into the game with those loud beeps and dramatic music of a weather update. You guessed it, we're under a tornado warning. Two twisters have touched down about 30 miles from us. Gabby is freaked! I hate it when the weather people are so darn dramatic. There was really nothing to worry about, the storm had already done the main damage by the time they even made the warning. So now it's back to like square one with Gabby and her fear. Tonight I probably did a bad thing, but I got really annoyed by all the whining and constant referrals to tonados. I told her I don't want to hear another word about it! I swear the next sentence out of her mouth went like this, "I'm not talking about you-know-what, but if one comes, will the roof come off of my room too?" Arrgh! Any other ideas from smart parents out there?
Then there's Rylee. Ah, my dear girl, you too may drive me to drink...a lot. I did not realize it was possible for a human child to talk back to every sentence or even sentence fragment that their parent or other adult speaks. She spends so much time retorting to things I say, that she never takes the time to actually listen and comprehend what it even is that I'm saying. It's fun that she's a hundred-mile-an-hour type of person, but ya gotta listen, too. I actually feel like I'm a very patient parent - Steve says too patient. I have a feeling her current stage may require some behavior modification. Time outs are not working real well at bringing about change. Privledge removal is more of a burden on me than her. Spanking I feel I want to "save" for larger misbehavior. So I'm thinking vinegar - a.k.a. sassy spray - that a friend told me about. I tried it tonight and it may just be brilliant. The only downfalls are consistency on my part and having said spray on hand all the time. I have a feeling this would be frowned upon in the grocery store and other public establishments. From most parenting things I've read, the consistency thing is the most important in breaking bad behavior, so the ball's in my court.
My final whining child is poor C.J. Actually, he's just bum out of luck as he has like 6 teeth coming in all at once. In the past 2 days, 3 have actually come through. That brings his total to 5. He's pretty much a trooper about it. I think he tries to communicate his discomfort by playing in my mouth and pulling on my teeth. Either that or he will be the family's next dentist. He's getting around like crazy now, too. His favorite (my least) is climbing the stairs. He does it every chance he gets. We call it jail break. He sees the opening, plans his course, and crawls at break-neck speed over to the stairs. Then he begins climbing one by one. He looks back at whoever it is he's escaped from at each step and laughs as if to say "Ha Ha, look at me. I'm climbing the stairs!" He also figured out how to climb out of his crib already. Yeah, 10 months and the other day I'm in the kitchen and hear the thud-"Whaahh!!" combination. What's that? The girls are in the basement, dogs outside, Steve napping, C.J. napping. Upon investigation, there was a very surprised baby on the floor next to his crib!! Great, this should be fun!

Who ever thought being a parent was so much fun and so challenging all wrapped up in a bunch of love!


Anonymous said...

Can I suggest apple cider vinegar. My kids call it yukky juice. :-) Works wonders...

Anonymous said...

I have no suggestions yet but your scaring me, when I was sassy, my parents would take some of my allowance. I went through a phase where I would respond I know to everything and they hated it! The vinegar thing sounds interesting though, I'll have to remember it.

tinabzhere said...

I'm Sorry all I could do was laugh..You can only imagine how it was in this house. Luckily for me when the kids have their moods ( usually in the evening) you guessed it, I am fast asleep and dead to the world as work has been rough lately. But I feel your pain. I laugh out of group insanity, but I feel your pain also.

Becs said...

Well I only have one out of utero, but you got me thinking.
Gabby- I actually think you are handling her very patiently and assuringly. Even the world's most patient/gentle person would say something like that all the time. What about giving her a timer or something that can be her "worry time." She can have 5 minutes a day to ask about tornados, talk about them, etc but then when its done, its done.
Rylee- I have no clue :) But I can see where you are coming from when you say people may frown upon it out in public and you want to keep consistency. What about where she has to stop and count to a certain number before she even responds when she starts getting sassy? Like even out loud. She has to count to 10 slowly before she can reply. Maybe then she will internalize it and maybe it will distract her. Probably not though. Just offering whatever I think of.
CJ- He is ready to catch up to his sisters! Climbing out of the crib already! Thats crazy! Hopefully (doubtfully) it was a one time thing.
Hang in there, Mom!

Becs said...

One thing too that you can do to get Gabby to decrease her worry time would be to start it at 30 minutes or so and then slowly and gradually make it less and less. And let her know that is her time to talk about it for the day. No more. just thought id clarify that.

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