A new year, a fresh start…really? I don’t think this week is any different from last week. That said I’m going to do my best to be a more positive and patient husband, father and person. Yeah I know good luck with that, but I mean it…more or less.
Today was back to school day after a week off and things went quite well. The boys woke up without much issue and didn’t miss the bus or forget…wait…or forget anything…as far as I can tell. I managed to get Miranda to agree to go to put them on the bus and there was no boot/coat argument. I’d say we had no dressing issues, but I haven’t tackled that just yet. She just informed me that she, ‘will get dressed, go on the slide and get candy…seven tootsie rolls.’ Uh oh.
I’ve been told I expect too much from the kids sometimes. Alex is a typical middle child who has been heavily influenced by his older brother. My wife constantly reminds me that he’s only 6 and to remember that when he acts like a tough guy. I try, really I do, but he can go from 6-going-on-13 to 6-going-on-4 in a flash. He knows exactly when to turn it on and off, where do kids learn this stuff? Some wise ‘expert’ will probably tell me they learn it from me…ok I’m not going to argue with that.
I can’t help but think there’s a conspiracy against me. They hear what I’m saying. I know because every once in a while I ask if they want candy and they say without hesitation, ‘YES’ so I know their ears work.
Yesterday at Noon we asked them to clean their room and as soon as they were done they could play Wii. The room was fairly clean already so it was maybe a half hour job tops. Nothing. We started setting time goals or they’d lose things. Hours went by with little or no movement. In a final push at about 8:00 we finally helped them to pick up all the miscellaneous crap on their floor and put it in a box just to get it out-of-the-way. By now it was bed time and they’d already lost their Wii and several of their favorite movies to time out.
They didn’t even seem to care. I tried pointing out that if they had finished their room by 1:00 they could have been playing Wii all afternoon. Nothing. All day I tried to be positive and point out the good things they were doing in an effort to make them feel good and do more, nada. We have two elementary school boys who are sullen teenagers already.
My favorite thing to do is go in and give them some simple instructions just one simple task like pick up all the cars or Legos and then turn the corner and wait. It takes maybe five seconds before they’re both lying on the ground throwing things at the ceiling. I like to stand silently in the doorway and watch before saying, ‘slow going?’ and watching them jump.
So today when they get home from school their short-term memory will be in full effect and they’ll conveniently forget that they have to finish cleaning their room. Not only that but now they have to also find time to do homework. There will be a barrage of “nooooooooo” and ‘”that’s not faaiiiirrrrrrrr.” I’ll just shrug it off and close the door behind me. How’s that for being more positive and patient?