Thursday, July 16, 2009

adventures in babysitting...

I am constantly amazed and appalled by my children. They are such amazing little beings but they have the uncanny ability to go from 0-brat in 1.5 seconds. This summer has entailed an interesting change in my kiddos’ dynamic due to addition of CiCi. She is 6 and a kindergarten classmate to EmBea. The three of them get on pretty well but there are the inevitable personality/emotional/I’m 6 & your 4/we’re both 6 and moody clashes.

I often times wonder if I am too straight forward in my parenting tactics. If I am it is too late to turn back now. I am that mom who simply tells it like it is. Both of my kids are used to this. EmBea is on the gifted track and it is best not to sugar coat anything with her since she’ll just bug you until she gets it. The she says, matter-of-factly, “I get that.” CB is 4 and he can take things one of two ways; screaming crying fit mode or the classic sad sack “okay mom”. CiCi has been known to look at me cross eyed and sideways.

These are the things I can’t and won’t tolerate;

  • Rudeness in any form or fashion. This includes face making and snarky remarks. 4 & 6 year olds have a surprisingly wide array of snarky remarks.
  • Hitting is NEVER EVER ok.
  • Whining. Okay so I tolerate it somewhat but I really wish I didn’t have to.
  • Lying. I have a built in lie detector, which always amazes the child telling the lie, which I utilize often.
  • Refusing to eat something “because I don’t like it”. The rule in this house is that you try it & if you still don’t like it then at least you tried it. This one works surprisingly well with picky CiCi and CB. (One bite often times leads to eating the whole meal before they realize they have eaten it.)

Those are the basics. There will always be that unexpected mediation that you play off the cuff but those are few and far between. Being in charge of a child who is not my own definitely gives me more patience. I am learning when to let something go and when to step in.

One of the other issues that I deal with is Brain Food. I am blessed with two wonderfully articulate and bright children. EmBea, as stated above, is gifted, so I have to make sure I am keeping her challenged while matching the learning level of the other two. Stimulation via arts and crafts is excellent. One of my favorite things to do is grab the laptop and pick a documentary on Netflix. Then I will coordinate an art project around the theme of the documentary. It works surprisingly well and the kids love it.

We also have plenty of outings. Kids go stir crazy too. Stir crazy kids + stir crazy mami = one bad day. I try to mix it up with the zoo, aquarium, library, parks. This is the usual rigmarole and they are always pleasantly surprised. I think the key thing to remember is that kids just want to have fun. They don’t want to be in trouble. I have to remind myself of that pretty much daily, but when I do the results are splendiferous.

Lest you think this post makes me sound like a saint…I have my bad days too. Yesterday I let forth a string of expletives that no child ears should hear. In my defense that fucking asshole driver in the big truck ran the stop sign and I had kids in the car!! I already let CiCi’s mom know, you know just in case. I have days were the “mommy voice” sounds more like a mommy yell and days when I just plain stick them in front of a movie with a bowl of popcorn. That’s okay too. I think I am doing a darn fine job raising interesting little kids and solidifying a childhood babysitter memory for another. I had an amazing babysitter when I was 6 so if I am in any way emulating her then I am on the right track.

PLGC- babysitters and the kids they care for


Maggie May said...

amazed and appalled! yup :)

Andrea said...

I think you sound like a great mom!

I also believe in telling it like it is, regardless of age.