GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
GUYS! put your school uniform in the wash before your bath please!
On this special day I want to thank all of you that read my ramblings, and wish you, your nearest and your dearest, a very Merry Christmas!
For me and the cubs, I’m grateful that our story continues. I buried the hatchet and invited the ex over to stay, giving her the opportunity to wake up with them and open presents.
Peace is restored. Or it will be when she leaves… 😉
Merry Christmas all xx
Waking my son up this morning by waving his toy lightsaber (with sound effects) around, saying in a deep voice:
I AM DAD VADER; I AM YOUR FATHER!
whilst it made whooshing sounds.
ps, he didn’t bat an eyelid.
pps, nor at the age of 4 did he have a clue what I was on about.
I taught my boy a tough lesson today and it almost broke me.
Youngest cub has now joined his sister at big school. The change in educational level has done wonders for him. His language has come along in leaps and bounds and so has his interpersonal behaviour.
He’s not the finished article yet and at 4, neither should he be.
We do have some challenges. He gets frustrated easily and when he does, he can lose it quite badly. Foot stamping, screaming and saying no to everything.
On Saturday, I had said that we’d finish the day with a trip to the park but this had to follow him cleaning up his room. His sister will maintain her’s on a regular basis, but he plain and flatly refuses, or states that he can’t do it without help.
Again, given his age I don’t expect much, just a token effort.
At times I help him, at other times I get on with other aspects of housework to show them what is required to maintain a home.
As he’s grown, we quickly (and sadly) moved from the response to the tidy your room request of ‘No thank you!’ to plain and flat ‘no’.
We never made the park.
As I had no wish to punish his sister, I told them both that we’d go after breakfast the next day.
Next morning, after a hefty porridging, they headed for the bathroom. A quick wash and then out, was the plan.
All went south after hair washing. Water in his eyes was too much to bear and foot stamping began. Followed by screaming, and then kicking his sister.
At 4 years old, he seems to be experiencing the terrible 2’s.
I won’t stand for kicking so tell him he’ll lose a star. ‘I DON’T CARE!!!’ he screams, and kicks out again.
I pick him out of the bath. He screams and stamps. I ask him to apologise to his sister. He’s in full flap and now cyclically repeats that he’s not listening to me and he never will.
Admittedly, I can feel my blood pressure rising, so I decide to remove myself from the situation. I leave him dry, but naked.
Eldest cub gets ready and I shave and brush my teeth. She does her hair, which takes a while. He eventually stops screaming and comes in to my room. I’m now reading and pay him no attention.
He climbs on the bed next to me and slowly attempts to capture my gaze. I change position away from him. His sister declares that she’s ready.
Right; let’s go downstairs.
‘Dad! I’m not dressed yet…’
I walk down the stairs, telling her to put her shoes on.
In his nakedness he’s smiling and laughing as we get ready. He asks me a few questions, which ignore.
He persists. I stand firm.
His sister opens the back door and heads into the garden. Still in a state of undress, he puts his coat on.
I walk away from him and step into the garden. He screams…
I stop and go back.
I bend down and hold him tight.
We have conversation about what it feels like to be ignored; I do my best to keep it simple. He says he understands.
His sister, a witness to the entire charade, comments on my ability to maintain the ruse.
As I said; I don’t believe in striking a child but I do believe in discipline.
I’m not sure if what I did was any better.
Why single parents are so tired.
They come thick and fast and at any time. Now I’m a great believer in educational opportunity so I aim to inform as much as possible.
When I’m tired though….
|What I should have said||What I actually said|
|What’s your favourite colour||Adults don’t tend to have favourite colours||Blue|
|Who’s that? (TV weatherman)||I’m not sure; his name will come up shortly||Alan|
|Who’s your favourite Power Ranger||I don’t really have a favourite, as I’m an adult||Alan, the Purple one. You may not know him as he only fights crime on a Saturday|
|Where are they going (car driving the opposite way)||I couldn’t possibly know that||Primark|
|How fast can you run (after watching Usain Bolt)||Fast humans can do about 20 mph||Just a little slower than him|
|Where’s that sheep’s mum||Not too far away||Driving that tractor|
|Why’s Saturday||It just is||?????|
|Why are those birds on the roof||It’s a safe perch away from predators||They’re keeping an eye on you|
|What keep the planet spinning||Interactional forces of the magnetic poles||Children eating their vegetables|
|Why can you see the moon during the day||It’s a satellite of earth that orbits independently to our rotation||It’s keeping an eye on you|
I’ll set them straight before they do any exams.
Nature has a way of sending subtle signs of who the cubs spend more time with.
Sunday morning in bed; the errant pair have joined me from their respective rooms.
She boots up my laptop and gets to work on a presentation of how we’re killing our planet.
He bimbles about, clasping his security blanket and foxy (the fox).
“Daddy, would you like my blanket?”
That’s very kind of you darling but I’m already under a duvet. Actually I was half out of it but covered nonetheless.
He precedes to lay it on me..
“I’ve covered your bangers for you…”
Maybe time to lay off the/ do more press ups.
It’s a lovely sunny sunny day here and I’m keen to get outside.
First their rooms need to be tidied; they’re a mess. I manage to pry them out of the bath.
As I moisturise my son’s wrinkles away, I recall a find from last night.
Hey, as I went to draw the downstairs curtains, guess what walked past the window, along the road?
He paused in thought..
“Was it an antelope?”
That kind of took the sting out of my urban fox.
‘If you had to put your 3 most precious things in a safe, what would they be?’
That’s a good question; let me think…
‘Yes. 1 more..’
And a double pack of Custard Creams with a long use by date.
‘What about mummy!’
She can buy her own biscuits.
“Dad; do you want to smell my hand?”
Not about me not drinking alcohol, although I’m still not, mostly.
I’m talking potty training.
I don’t remember it being this challenging nor do I remember feeling these levels of frustrations. I guess it’s easier when there’s two of you.
Youngest cub is making the transition from pull-ups to big boy pants. It’s quite the journey.
Later this year and all too young, he’s going to school and the last thing I want is for him not to be dry when he gets there.
Expert opinion states that you shouldn’t force a child into being dry, but rather you should look for signs that they are ready to start using the potty or the toilet.
For about the last year he has been asking questions about the toilet or opening the door at inopportune moments to stare at me. I took it as a sign.
Nursery staff commented a while back that he had spent most of the day dry so we all agreed to progress things.
On the last Nursery day of the week, when I collected him I also collected a selection of bagged up pants and trousers.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This week’s grocery shop included 10 pairs of big boy pants; I intend to crack this over the Easter holidays.
Before breakfast, I change him from a nighttime nappy into normal pants. Over the past couple of weeks he’s become quite good at taking himself to the loo. His step and seat adapter are all where he can reach them.
Sans porridge, he starts wriggling and squatting. He says he needs a wee. I tell him to go. He asks me to come, as he doesn’t want to go upstairs alone. Ok.
As we stand in front of the bowl, getting the step and seat in place he stands awkwardly and a growing puddle appears around his feet. He’s a bit upset.
I reassure him that accidents happen and that maybe he should get there a little earlier next time to avoid the agony of ‘almost’.
I clean him up, put on fresh pants and trousers before we return to our favourite breakfast distraction, learning French on he kindle.
The demand for ghost stories have gone up recently. She’s not convinced but he loves them.
I have a great story book that’s almost suitable for them. I read one yesterday and they seemed to like it, so much so they’ve asked for another story this morning.
I head for the lounge with the book and settle in the sofa. I tell them both to come in close so they can see the illustrations.
She’s in; he’s out, preferring to stand by the arm of the chair. I’m suspicious.
Do you need a poo?
“No” he says, before making a straining noise.
A quick check confirms that we need to scoot. Too late.
I’m frustrated and do my best not to get angry; I sort my emotions before I speak. He seems to comprehend that the wee urge needs to be addressed but still seems to poo on demand.
The psychologist in me understands that I can do damage here if I handle this incorrectly. Nobody cracks any new skill straight away.
I think that what got to me is that I asked him if he needed a poo and he’s said no. That’s a cycle I do need to break.
Time for some classical conditioning and a great deal of patience.