I'm back! Sort of anyway!

Apparently I haven't written anything in, oh, about 1.5 years. Convincing Blogger that I am, in fact, me, was kind of a process. I guess I need to log in more frequently.

I wanted to talk about the past few days, and Facebook didn't seem like a good medium because I don't want to sound like a whiner.  It's also a long story.  But it's funny. So keep reading!  So here goes!

First, I am home with 5 little ones, ages almost 8 (2nd grade), 6 (1st grade), 5 (learning reading and writing but technically not kindergarten age yet), 3, and 1.

My dear 6 year old son has become a holy terror the past few weeks.  When the kids make errors on their work I have them correct it. It's no big deal, I'm there to help them if they need it. Usually it's just a silly mistake, it takes about 5 seconds, done. No big deal.

Well. He makes it a very, very big deal.  At first his complaints started small, with groaning, pounding the table, arguing "It's not wrong!" (because 14-9=6, duh Mom!).  It has escalated, and escalated. I partially blame myself for trying to reason with him, trying to speak calmly and explain that it's no big deal, let's just fix it and move on.  Well yesterday it escalated to him screaming, stomping, knocking chairs over, slamming the door, kicking, pounding, breaking pencils.  Yeah.  I sent him to his room probably 5 or 6 times, it was horrible.  By 11:30 we were not done with school, but I called it quits because I was just done.  He stayed in his room the rest of the morning, I had him do his work in there by himself.

I decided I have been giving him too much leeway.  I told him that going forward, at the first sign of groaning/fighting/anger/arguing, he'll just go straight to his room and the rest of us will move on with school.  And I also gave him extra chores to do that afternoon to pay me back for all the time I wasted trying to talk to him, all the interruptions the other kids had to suffer, etc.  I ALSO told him that hey, I was going to take you guys to the zoo this afternoon, but I am not going to now because I'm not sure how you'll act if things don't go your way.  I don't want to be stuck at the zoo by myself with 5 young kids with one of them acting in an unsafe manner, so instead we'll just stay home.

I should also mention that before nap time my dear 5 year old daughter began screaming, stomping, kicking, etc. because she didn't get her way on something.  The behavior is contagious, I'm telling you guys what.  By that time I was soooo over it.

He finished the chores I asked him to do, and he did it with no anger, and he did a great job and did them quickly.  It was beautiful weather so I decided we should go for a walk to the park, which the kids thought would be fun. Yay!

Well instead of actually going to the park they wanted to explore in the "woods" which is really just a kind of wild area with a bit of a creek running through it.  I was fine with that. They ran around, they played with sticks, they explored. Pretty fun, right?  Then they started finding all these nut shells on the ground. Some of them they could stomp on and crack and explore the insides, but others they couldn't open. I assume maybe they were just not as old.  So we brought about ten or so of them home and they asked if they could open them with a hammer.  I said we can probably do that after dinner.

We got home, and I needed to take a quick shower before dinner.  I asked them to sort their laundry (I wash the big kids clothes together, they fold their own laundry and put it away), and fold it if they had time. I finished my shower, went back downstairs...and what were they doing? Laundry was literally all over the house, they were fighting over goodness knows what, and now it was time for dinner.

I told them sadly "Well, there isn't going to be enough time to open those nuts now, because now instead of doing that after dinner we'll have to get laundry done since you guys chose not to do that while I was in the shower."

Hubby's assistant at work left a lot of unfinished work at the office, so hubby came home to eat and then left right back to work.  The baby screamed her head off during dinner time, I had literally no idea what was wrong with her. She would not eat despite my best efforts. So, I decided I'd give her a bath to try to figure out what was the matter.  She was not much better after her bath so I decided to put her to bed.

While I was trying to nurse her I kept hearing all this pounding going on downstairs.  Sometimes Ben, who is 3, gets a little crazy so I didn't think much of it. Kids are supposed to be folding their laundry and doing table chores (wiping the table, sweeping, cleaning up the dishes).  The baby fell asleep at 6:40 p.m., clearly she was very worn out!  Before I went back downstairs I knelt beside my bed, and prayed to God to help me with my attitude and help me handle the situation appropriately.

I went downstairs after putting her to bed only to find....

Laundry strewn all over
Bits of walnuts all.over.the.living room.

The kids had decided to take the cover off of the ottoman, and hammer the walnuts on it with a toy hammer.  And not fold their laundry. And not be quiet while I was putting the baby to bed. Pieces of walnut were literally all over the living room.  I'm sure you can imagine that when i said we can probably open them with a hammer I was NOT anticipating doing this in my living room, and certainly not after I had specifically told them we WOULD NOT BE DOING THAT TODAY.

Oh I was maaaad. I took a deep breath, sent them one by one up to take baths, and made them pick up the living room and the bits of walnut and fold and put away their laundry.  Then I sat on the couch and read to them, if for no other reason than to keep them out of trouble until everyone had taken baths.  They were in bed by 7:50 pm. I still had dinner to clean up and I would have paid good money for someone to bring me a coffee from Scooter's.  They complained about the early bed time but I think the look on my face was enough to keep them quiet once they looked at me.

Then this morning, the baby was up at 5:45 (can't blame her, considering she was in bed so early last night). I've been getting up at 6 every day to have quiet time, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  But I'd also gotten up with her twice during the night (unusual for her) so I was a little tired.  Fed her and had my quiet time, sort of (as best as I could with a 1 year old running around and being loud and climbing on me and trying to steal my books and knock everything over). Got everyone up at 7, made eggs for breakfast, got the kids started on school, and by 8 a.m. she was ready to go back to sleep. No big deal, it is a little early for her nap but can't blame her really since she was up so early (vicious cycle!).

So I put her to bed, then when I come back down our dear 6 year old is walking with his math book in the entryway. He's supposed to be in the office working. The office has 2 different entrances. I asked him what he was doing. He says, "Cassius won't let me into the office so I'm going around to get in through the other door."  Sure enough, there is big brother blocking the door.  Why is he blocking the door? Because Yusuf had been out of the office telling the other kids to be loud and make noises, which is very distracting for Cassius (who has just been diagnosed with ADHD, which is another post altogether).  If there is any other noise Cassius literally can not think at all.  So Cassius decided to get back at him by not letting him into the office.

You guys. I was upstairs for MAYBE 15 minutes,  Everything fell completely apart.  Normally this kind of stuff would not be a big deal but I was still wound up from the day before, from being up with the baby, and just the frustration of the tantrums and nonsense every single day for weeeeeeeeeks.

I was so mad.  I told Yusuf (calmly!) to take his books and things up to his room, I told Cassius to stay in the office with the doors shut, and I went upstairs and called my mom.  And laughed about it, because I mean it is funny, right? But it's horrible!

When I got off the phone I successfully completed math and grammar lessons without yelling at anyone or killing anyone.  I made them do their own science, we've been doing this thing for science where they just pick whatever they want to read about and then they read about it and then write about it and draw pictures. They enjoy it and it saves me time, and I think they learn more when we do that. And it doubles as writing practice (yay) and art, sort of, right?

Anyway.  We were done with school by 10 a.m.  That's record time lately!  There were no fits!  There was no whining!  And then they had time to practice their piano, and we dropped Mercedes off at ballet, and we went and played at the park! And no one cried when we left!

Now, the day is not over.  I have 5 more hours to get through, and Brian is going to be gone again tonight.  But. I have hope!

I think I will survive as long as no one decides to smash walnuts in the living room.

Comments

  1. Yay you're blogging again :)

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  2. Glad you're back! How is your oldest doing?

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