Sunday, July 20, 2008


One of my biggest parenting worries is whether or not I'm a good steward of my kids' psyches. Let me 'splain...

Clay's now five (wow!), and he is and has always been just the most wonderfully sweet, happy, thoughtful kid. A model little boy. Just lovely. Not that he's perfect, no one is, but man, this kid comes close. He's got the mechanics down (please, thank you, hand shaking, "I love you mom" whenever I need it and often when I don't), and the good nature to go along with it. Everyone who meets him is so in love with him. He's only had two tantrums in his short lifetime, and he's a great sleeper. Not that those are the most important descriptors of his little person, but as a mother, I gotta give him props for those. Easy child to raise.*

But now that he's five (wow again), I've started noticing a little attitude. It started as a smidgen of sass "all RIGHT already, I KNOW." I ignored it. Then it moved into experimentation with slang and/or swearing "SHOOT!" (not to be confused with his swearing of a few years ago... that was just repetition without understanding. Now, he knows what he's trying to say.) I told him there were far more interesting words to use, but really, how bad is saying "SHOOT" anyway? It's one little vowel sound away from the big kahuna. But maybe I should worry about that once it's said?

Here's my point (and I do have one): lately, he's turned into the master of manipulation. Of the Eddie Haskell variety.

Anytime he does something that he knows we won't like, like tripping his little brother on purpose, or throwing something, or flopping on the floor, he'll start immediately into a barrage of "I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry. I'm really, really, REALLY sorry." Except that he isn't. Or at least his tone indicates that he's not. I've tried talking to him about sincerity, and how I don't believe his apologies, especially since they're over the top, but I'm either not conveying the concept well, or it's a concept he's too young to grasp, which I doubt.

Lately, he's pretty good at whining and/or crying fits that border hysteria whenever he's asked to do something he doesn't want (like clean up the toy room). "It's too hard for me. I can't do it" is a common refrain.

And so I'm getting a little frustrated with my sweet boy. I fluctuate between insisting that he bend to my will and cuddling/comforting my baby boy. Mixed messages abound. Which is why I say I worry about his little psyche. I want him to "toughen up", but I also don't want him to lose that wonderful sensitivity he has.

Wow... this is much longer than I anticipated. Let me sum up: I think he's just exercising his independence and learning his boundaries. I've got to figure out what they are so he can grow up into a well adjusted person with a good balance of selflessness/selfishness.

No pressure.

*Don't worry Drew... I've got a post about you coming up later. You're a great kid too.

Quantity, not quality

One of my favorite bloggers is trying to blog once a day for a week, and I thought "I can do that." Or more accurately, I thought "I should do that." Since I'm lucky to post once a month, and she started this a few weeks ago, it remained "just a thought." Until now.

But now I'm ready! Starting today, I'm going to post once a day. Whether I have something to say or not. Don't say you weren't warned...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dog Days

I'd like to say that I have a good reason for not writing.   But, no.  

Hours after my last post I found out that a close relative was killed in a car accident, and then another had a serious health issue.  Later that day a huge problem happened at work, and my phone was off and I missed it.  By the end of Father's day, I sent Mike and the boys off to his mother's for dinner, and I just laid on the couch feeling blue.


It's been a month, and we've had a lovely vacation, and except for all that, it's been a pretty good summer.  I'll try to be more faithful to this.  Until next time, here's a picture of Clay with his summer hair cut.  It's pretty short, and I still catch myself staring.  I'm calling him 'Spike'.