Winter break is always too long. We spent a fortune on presents and the weather has been bad, and I am stuck inside with my kids over the break. This is not a bad thing because I love them, but their interactions with each other have me wondering why they like not being in school. I get them organized with art projects and Cloud shrieks at her brothers, "Moooom! Tell Guy to stop bothering me!" Cloud communicates in shrieks and high pitched sounds. Guy, with speech impairments, starts speaking a mile a minute and I am saying, "WAIT! No one is in trouble!" Usually the fight is over something ridiculous. No-- all the time, 100% of the time, the fight is over something ridiculous.
I think the most amusing thing is when she complains that he is LOOKING at her. My comment to "just ignore him" falls on deaf ears.
Basil is almost 10 and he is a bright ray of sunshine in my day. I don't expect him to be a little saint. Basil was born a turkey, but he has some sweet moments. He's smart and he's driven. During these breaks, he knows that I get stressed out. The other day Cloud was having a fury over being asked to set the table-- she does everything, you know-- and I told her to drop and give me 10 push-ups for her comment. (Push-ups are my favorite punishment because they are good for them, they don't hurt, and they make them take a minute out to think. It's also cute when Starshine or Mudd come in and offer to do some. The person in trouble can't help but smile at the comic relief.) Basil walked in and asked if he could make the salad while I made the rest of dinner. Cloud was furious with him and muttered at him when she came into the kitchen to get the silverware and subsequently did 10 more push-ups. (She is going to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger if she keeps her sassy comments!) Basil enjoys working outside with my husband when he shovels the driveway and basically takes initiative. Cloud and Guy do not. I do not worry about Basil driving-- the kid will remember to change out his oil and put gas in his car, and if he gets stopped by a policeman, he will be courteous and polite.
The other night my driveway was glaciated. The wind had packed snow around my SUV up to the door handles and it was a solid pack of snow from my door to my SUV. My husband asked the boys to help him out. Cloud started whining when he asked her if she wanted to go out and he said fine, but that she needed to fold a load of clothes. She was happy for this because it was windy and said she was glad to be in. I was wrapping up dinner and had the little kids. They came in 45 minutes later and Cloud had been watching TV. I put hot chocolate out for the guys and the little kids. Cloud asked why there was none for her. . . I told her that as soon as she folded the one load of laundry that she could have some. O the drama! "Dad always lets the boys work outside! Never ME."
Me: "Drop and give me 10."
Cloud: "MOOOOM! You are so unfair."
Me: "OK, 12."
More arguing and I kept going up and we got to 22. Then she jabbed my math ability. "Then I can start counting by 10's!" She did more push ups.
I feel like I have to walk on egg shells with her. This will be a long next 6 years with her. All my complaints about her I wonder if my parents felt the same way about me. My mom says I wasn't as bad-- but I figure skated and was in bed at 8 each night to get to lessons at 4:30 most school days. (I wasn't good at figure skating.)
But you see-- this will pass. Erratic actions and mood swings on her part will give way to sweetness in 20 minutes if I hang in there and don't get mad back. I do yell, but I try to be like a PE coach and not raise my tone, "You are about to get push-ups. Keep talking like you are and you will do 10 push-ups before you do this task."
My main concern is having the little ones mimic her thinking that it's just a tool of communication.
This isn't easy-- and I laugh because people used to upset me saying that girls and boys were different. Girls are differrent from each other! Each child is different!
The wind has died down and I will be getting the kids out to the hill to sled today.
My birthday is in 12 days. I wish it wasn't so close to the break. This makes me feel old. Guy turns 11 this weekend-- now THAT makes me feel old. We have four birthdays this month. My husband gets paid a few days after my birthday so we will celebrate after that.