First of all... thank you so much for the overwhelming response to Friday's post! I am touched, I am excited, I am definitely writing the book. I am glad to know I will have so many of you here with me as I go through the process. So, thank you, thank you, thank you... you are so very appreciated around here.
And now, on to today's post title. I give up! I surrender! Super Mom, I am not. What I am is so exhausted that my eyes keep going crossed. Here is the deal... for several weeks now Ron and I have been at our wits end in the parenting department. Jacob is mouthy and disrespectful (ex: yesterday he said to me "Just because we like Dad better then you, Mom, doesn't mean you have to be a jerk all the time"). Andrew was diagnosed with early onset childhood bi-polar earlier this summer and these past few weeks we have dealt with countless major balling meltdowns as we experiment trying to find what treatment will work best for him. And Miss. Lauren, well, she is just plain spoiled rotten and shrieks at the top of her lungs when ever anyone sits in her spot when she wants to watch cartoons.
Seems like no matter what we do, it doesn't work. We give them what they want, they get worse. We take things away, things get worse. We have just been beside ourselves with what to do. I have even read parenting books people, I am feeling that pathetic as a parent. Some of these things I think we bring on ourselves. All to often, to get a moments peace, we let the boys numb themselves with PS2. Or we watch movies when we should be sitting at the kitchen table playing games together. But even so, they are things we have really worked on. I can't tell you how many times Ron and I have said "who wants to play a game of Crazy 8s?" Truly, it is countless times.
I feel like I am losing the boys. The Jacob I knew, who could spend hours writing his own graphic novels (really he would staple scrap paper, illustrate a cover, write a story, then go outside and act it out), who was so eager to get the best grades he could, who was absolutely magical, has been warped into a snicky, snotty pre-teen who thinks he can call his buddy on the phone at 8pm to ask if he thinks his "girlfriend" is cheating on him. Come on now, fictitious cheating girlfriend talk in 5th grade just to have something to talk about? Is this really who my child is?
Ron is about ready to pull a Dr.Phil and strip the kids' room of everything but their mattresses and a blanket. If they really think everything is so much better every where else... he'll show them just how much they take for granted. I, being the weaker, couldn't bring myself to do it. But today, we did "take things back to the table", so to speak. Today was a NO SCHOOL day. I sat the kids down right after breakfast and had a serious talk. I told them how much it hurts me to see what they are becoming. And how they aren't the kids I knew when they were 4 or 5. So rather then constantly fighting over who has what, who's turn it is to do what, when they cane go here or there... we are working on EARNING the things they want. And we are all going to work on treating each other better.
I got all Super Nanny and actually made charts (my Mom's suggestion, THANKS MOM). It has simple responsibilities that the boys are expected to do daily (ex: brush teeth, make beds, load dishwasher). If they do them respectfully and without arguments, then they can earn PS2 time (albeit limited!), time to talk on the phone, or go to a friend's house. If we don't see changes in attitude and how we treat each other... we are getting serious and Jacob will be taken out of football (I still have to come up with the serious consequence for Andrew).
After the talk, we set out on a Job-Jar-Day. I have told you about these before. We had one THIS DAY. The four of us, who were then joined by my Mom: making it 5, worked together getting things straitened up around the house. Then, as a reward, they got to pick a movie at Blockbuster. We did some grocery shopping and I didn't want to pull my hair out while pushing the cart. It was surprisingly pleasant actually. Then back home we watched our movie together, then made a batch of cookies. All in all it turned out to be one of the best days we have had in a while.
Here is hoping it will last for more then just today.