Timeout 4 Mommy

Collect Yourself

My Not-So-Little Girl September 1, 2010

Filed under: Kid Tidbits — timeout4mommy @ 8:24 pm
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I’m dedicating this post to my 12 year old daughter, Cheek, because frankly I want to strangle her right now.  She’s driving me out of my mind (no it’s not just a short putt, dad).  I need school to start, and quick, because her life hangs in the balance and so does my sanity.  Are all tweens bi-polar?  I’m trying to remember but honestly my middle school years are a blur.  I think I blocked them out.  I actually thought that this summer would be a breeze.  With the birth of my third (what WERE we thinking?) mid-June I assumed I would have a plethora of help, what with my daughter being so grown up and everything!  Fail.  But not completely, it just depends on what “mood” she’s in.  There are days where I get just the faintest glimpse of what a wonderful woman my daughter will become.  She’s smart, brave, kind, compassionate, helpful, so loving, and is friends with everyone.  Then there are the days that Dramatween takes over and she is holed up in her room for days, crying at the drop of a hat, or yelling at her brother.  Some days both of these personalities make several appearances.  You know those mailbox type openings prison guards slip food through to the “crazys”?  I’m thinking of installing one in her door.  Needless to say, this summer has been mass chaos.  I don’t function well in chaos.  School starts in exactly 6 days, 13 hours, and 24 minutes?

So, in all of my anger and frustration over the battle I chose this morning (her room) I walked past the wall where we record the kids’ growth.  Please see the picture to the right and try not to focus on how dirty the wall is.  This girl of mine has grown two inches in the past three months.  Three and a half inches in the last six.  She is currently taller than my sister, her Mamie, and only has four inches to catch up with me.  We just spent a small fortune on clothing because she literally grew out of everything she owned this summer.  But it was looking at this wall today that made me realize, she’s growing up.  Her craziness is from those horrible hormones that attack cute little girls and turn them into young women.  Her mood swings are a result of all the confusion that growing up causes.  She’s caught between being the girl that loves American Girl dolls and the tween that loves Justin Bieber (gag).  She recently had our hair stylist give her a pixie cut which swiftly pushed her into the tall and gorgeous category.  Her style has changed, her taste in music, movies, and books has changed.  We talk about boys instead of Barbies.  Everything is changing.  Did I mention yet that I am most definitely NOT ready for this growing up thing she’s got going on?

So now I’m torn.  Do I strangle her for being a total brat and deliberately disobeying me?  Or do I grab her and hug her like she’s never been hugged before because, really, how much does it matter if her room is clean when my little girl is slipping away?  Maybe I can do both at the same time.

 

Dramatween vs. The Pint-size Preschooler August 20, 2010

Filed under: Kid Tidbits,Mommy Morsels — timeout4mommy @ 9:59 am
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Sounds like a really bad (or really good) Kung Fu movie, right?  Or at least an insanely cool WWF match.  Well, it pretty much is minus the samurai swords or off-the-ropes body slams.  Because in our house you get a timeout for that kind of physical violence.  So the kids resort to verbal abuse.  I would have never dreamed that a 12 year old and a 4 year old could fight as much as my oldest and middle child do.  I always thought that the 8 year age difference would make them oblivious to each other; nothing in common, right?  Wrong.  In fact these two have so much in common that they are constantly at each other’s throats.  Now, I don’t mean that they share long conversations over Team Edward vs. Team Jacob or how cool the new Monster Truck video game is going to be.  Their interests are obviously totally different.  But mentally, they are on even playing ground.  Tweens and preschoolers, I’ve found, only care about themselves.  They are so self-absorbed that nobody else matters.  And, they’re always right.  As anyone who has been in a relationship knows, two rights always equal wrong.  Someone has to back down.  Not happening with these two.  They both cry to try to get their way.  Neither one listens even though their hearing is perfect.  And both of them will argue over who was sitting in a particular spot first until they have no voice left.  I’ve tried to let it go on that long just to obtain some peace and quiet but I just can’t stand the bickering.  So I intercede, preach to them about being kind to each other and then follow it up with a “and if you can’t stop arguing both of you will have your mouths Duck taped shut!”. (This is when I realize I’ve turned into my mother, but that’s an entirely different blog post.) They haven’t always been this way.  They both just entered the same mental state at the same time.  Coincidentally, I entered my mental state shortly after, and it’s not pretty.  I’ve noticed an increase in my need for timeouts and you can often find me sitting on my bed rocking back and forth trying to find my happy place.

The problem could be their age gap.  There is no middle child, say a nice 8 year old that could play referee.  We just have Beeb, the sweet, innocent 9 week old.   Although, I have a feeling that he’s like that baby in The Incredibles, the one that can burst into flames at a moment’s notice as a defense mechanism?  I’ve seen him turn pretty red, I think he’s on the brink of realizing his true powers.  Anyway, he is my refuge; my safe place.  Just yesterday, in order to escape yet another argument over which T.V. show to watch, I retreated to his nursery upstairs with a fully loaded bottle.  And, yes, I let my kids watch T.V., an obscene amount if that’s what it takes to have my house quiet for a bit.  I’m not ashamed.  In fact, I give a big ‘shout out’ to Dora for teaching my kids how to count in both English and Spanish.  But back to the Beeb and our escape.  As I sat there cradling him, whispering apologies about bringing him into such an insane family, I realized that this is why parents baby their babies.  By babies, I mean their last child.  Their final creation.  It’s because they’ve witnessed first hand what that pure, naive little bundle will become.  And they’re sorry, so, so sorry.  And sad.  And they want to hold on to that innocence, tightly, for as long as their restraining arms can hold it.  So that’s what I’m doing, relishing every moment I have with this little being that hasn’t learned how to talk back or roll his eyes at me.

And those moments are what make the tumultuous relationship between Dramatween and The Pint-size Preschooler bearable.  This too shall pass.  And when it does I’ll have two boys that are literally WWF-ing it to work out their problems and a 16 year old girl that doesn’t want to talk to any of us.  This is when I anticipate taking my sabbatical, sorry Jers.  I’ll send you a postcard.