Posts Tagged 'year 4'


dear world,

over the past few days, i feel like i have said a total of 3 or 4 sentences, but that i said them about 100 times each. V has forgotten how to listen. or possibly how to hear at all.

put your shoes on. in the mornings, there are lots of things to do before we can get out of the house and putting on one’s shoes is fairly important. i don’t expect the baby to put on her shoes. she is frankly a master and removing them in 2 seconds flat, but i do expect my big kid to make it happen. put your shoes on. V, put your shoes on. we can’t leave the house until you put your shoes on. why are your shoes not on? can you hear me? please put your shoes on. ok, i’ll put your shoes on for you. no! don’t take them off!

oh well. trying to remember it’s only a phase,



a toilet paper milestone

dear world,

today, we reached a toilet paper milestone.

MHM had physical therapy this afternoon and i was late getting the kids. when i got home with the girls, it was 5:45pm and we usually eat at 6pm on the nose. fortunately, we planned super-easy, super-quick dinners for this week. however, putting dinner together with two lovely ladies running around in the background is never as simple as it seems.

except for tonight. V sat at the table and did art. N sat in her chair and read books quietly to herself. then, V read books to N in the kitchen. amazing. until suddenly, V says, i have to go potty! and races to the bathroom.

ok, i say, but i’m putting dinner together so you have to do it all yourself.

ok mom!

toilet paper imageshe did. she went potty, remembered to flush the toilet and washed her hands like a pro. eventually, i managed to get dinner on the table. MHM made it home and we ate. finally, after dinner, i managed to get a moment to use the bathroom myself.

and lo and behold, V had taken the empty toilet paper roll off the holder, put it on top of the trash can to be recycled and replaced the roll with a fresh one.

i cannot properly describe how i am feeling right now. to realize that i am no longer the only person in the house who is capable of replacing a toilet paper roll is pretty amazing. she is growing up and choosing to take responsibility on her own. i feel proud that she thought to do it herself and i didn’t have to say anything. i feel frightened because she’s capable of that kind of forethought. i feel baffled that i am so ridiculously excited about this development.

to be fair, MHM has replaced the toilet paper roll. but to continue to be fair, it was after much suggesting and possibly nagging. i gave up. and now, i have a partner.

bursting with toilet paper joy,


parenting a strong willed child

dear world,

it seems i have a strong willed child. i didn’t know this was the technical term for an unruly, i’ll do what i want and you can’t make me change my mind kind of kid, but there are lots of articles out there declaring it to be so.

and so, i will now declare: i have a strong willed child.

the bright side, as our child care director tells me, is that V is a future leader. she has her own mind. she isn’t swayed by the group. she has an idea and she can stay focused on it in the face of pretty much anything. she will not be deterred. and she’s really smart and creative. and i’m super proud of her.

the down side is that sometimes her ideas aren’t what we’re doing right now and because she’s so focused, it feels to her like the world is ending. let me illustrate.

V fell out when i went to pick her up from school today. she had a wonderful day with her teachers. i got an excellent report. as soon as she saw me she ran away, she stomped her foot. i let her stay with her class while i went to pick up N on the condition that when i came back to her class to get her, we would leave. if she behaves well, she gets an after school snack.

she did not behave. she ran to hide in the tiniest corner of the classroom. i had to hand N to a teacher so i could physically remove V from the corner. i got her out of the classroom, went back to get N and V had run off. another teacher found her in the teachers’ break room. i’m holding N and have to physically bend down to pick up V. we make it to the front double doors where i plunk V down. she can’t escape into the parking lot or back into the school.

it’s like purgatory. for all of us.

once i get N into her seat, i carry V into the car. i manage to get her seatbelt on and for the entire drive home she yells, screams, kicks, throws things and hits because she can’t have her after school snack. i literally pulled the car over on the side of a busy road because she had figured out how to get her seatbelt off. i will not drive with my child not harnessed. i told her we would stay there until i could trust her long enough to keep her seatbelt on. i meant it.

eventually we made it home. MHM took her in the house. she finally calmed down before dinner.

this is where i’m at a complete loss. i’ve tried all the techniques the articles tell you to try. i’ve used a quiet voice while she yells. i’ve redirected her. i’ve validated her feelings and shared how it makes me feel. i’ve referred to the “rules” so it’s not my fault (as in, the rule is that you only get an after school snack if you have good behavior. do you think you had good behavior?). i’ve offered all manner of rewards for the behavior i want to see. we tried taking things away for behavior we didn’t want to see. i don’t know what else to do.

now, when i read an article about parenting a strong willed child i just get kind of angry. i feel like the person writing the article is academically speaking about a very real situation. maybe these things work in someone else’s world. i will keep trying. but i struggle because i know she’ll stop if i just give her what she wants. she would have stopped crying in an instant if i had given her the snack this afternoon. but, could i reward that kind of behavior? when is it giving in to save yourself and when do you hold out to hope your child turns into a good person?

wondering where the line is,


dance party

dear world,

we cleared out our house. it’s amazing. and totally unsettling. kind of like living in a hotel, but a hotel where you’re responsible for not messing anything up.

i worried all night about how V would react when she came home from nana’s house. would she freak out? would she be upset? since i feel unsettled and i have lots of years under my belt, how would this little person who already struggles to control her emotions feel about this big empty space?

MHM said maybe she’d like it because she can run around. when she actually got home, i told her it was all cleared out so we could have an awesome dance party. she liked that a lot and while we haven’t actually had said dance party yet, she’s mentioned it several times throughout the day. mostly, she’s enjoyed playing with her toys on all available surfaces.

feeling pretty mom-smart,


inherited behaviors?

dear world,

i realized today that in one very specific way, my children are just like me. we all three leave our socks on the floor. and i don’t mean in a nice neat pile in the bedroom or next to the hamper or even next to our shoes. we leave a trail of socks throughout the house.

MHM teased me about it when we lived together before we were married. then we got married and i guess it wasn’t as funny. i thought i’d been making a solid effort to put my socks away, but apparently this is not true. how else would both my children know to mimic my (admittedly bad) behavior in this way? i don’t even really wear socks in the summer. i don’t  know how they could have picked this up from me!

it sunk into my brain this afternoon as i wandered through the downstairs gathering not one or two, but a fairly sizable handful of socks. none of which matched. all of which had been worn. i don’t honestly believe that this is a solvable problem. primarily because i can’t help myself so i can’t really admonish my girls for the same behavior i show them.

so many socks,


the worst walk home ever

dear world,

today, i think i was the most angry i’ve ever been at V. we went for a walk to the co-op. she rode her tri-cycle and i walked along. N took her nap and MHM worked at home. my plan was to get out of the house so he could finish his work.

we got to the co-op with minimal mishaps and then it was on. she wanted to stay at the front and do chalk art which on a sunday morning at 8am is totally fine because no one is there to steal her. at 4pm on labor day, the co-op was packed so that was not an option.

and she fell out.

not even a little bit. a lot. i managed to make it back to the milk section and she literally threw herself to the floor kicking and screaming. i couldn’t even get her to walk out of the store.

i put the milk back, threw her over my shoulder like a sack of kicking, biting potatoes and somehow got out the door. the one gentleman she almost kicked said he understood, he raised 8 kids. at least that’s something. then, she threw herself on the ground outside. then she threw herself down on the ground across the street.

so, how did we get home? i pulled the tri-cycle behind me, lugged the empty milk bottle over my shoulder and carried my limp as a noodle, but full of spit-fire 4 year old over the other shoulder. i could barely speak i was so furious. i gave her the chance to walk 3 times and twice she ran away from me. the third time i think she just sat down. i almost dropped her in the street because she struggled. in a field, this would not be a problem. but we don’t live in a field. we live in a city. with cars. that drive on the previously mentioned streets. she had such dangerous behavior i nearly cried from the frustration and worry of it.

it’s fairly embarrassing to have your child (out of pure rage) yell, “stop, you’re hurting me” over and over again in public. for the record, i was not hurting her.

we finally got home. i took her upstairs to her room. she proceeded to jump on the bed, yelling the whole time. she woke up her sister. i gave her 10 minutes in her room by herself primarily because i needed 10 minutes by myself. MHM went upstairs and sorted her out. she apologized, but i am still so angry.

in my head, i know she’s tired. i know she’s overtired. i know that it happens to every parent. this is the first time i have had to leave a shop without accomplishing the reason for going into the shop due to a tantrum. usually, i can weather it. today, it was a disaster.

i have no moral to this story. just that it happened. at least she’s asleep and i didn’t have to do bedtime with her.

grateful for the small things,


fresh strawberries

dear world,

friday night, my deal with V to settle down without fussing allowed her to choose her reward: 1. go to the book store in the morning and pick a book or 2. go to the farmer’s market and pick a treat. she picked go to the farmer’s market. (and she settled down without fussing!)

saturday morning, she asked first thing after opening her eyes if she had good enough behavior to go to the farmer’s market. she did, so we made the plan. she had to wear pants with pockets because she was going to get to carry her own money with her to pick out her very own treat.

this is the first time my daughter has left the house in jeans. she’s more of a leggings/skirt/dress type of girl.

at the farmer’s market, we picked out peas and asparagus for dinner. then, we examined each selection of strawberries before making our choice. she paid with 2 $2 bills, gifts from her great-grandma ann. she was so proud. she ate one in the car on the way home. she ate them for snack. they are now all gone and it’s only sunday evening.

peaceful bedtime in exchange for a quart of strawberries – yes please. i’m so trying that again next week,