Thursday, July 31, 2014

First they step on your toes

While we've been having a great summer, there has a been a persistent storm occurring inside our home. Jack has been the rainmaker. He and I have been having mountains of conflict.  When he doesn't get what he wants -- screen time or time with our neighbors or having to do something he doesn't want to do (ie go to the Seattle Art Museum), he screams all the invective he knows. A few months ago, it was all directed at me and Ryan. Now it's being directed at other people: the neighbors, his grandparents.  He says things like 'you are stupid' or 'you need to die' and he screams these words.

I firmly explain that anger is fine but you can't express your anger in a way that hurts others. He doesn't seem to notice that people either ignore him or don't want to be around him (in the case of our neighbors). He doesn't understand the effect. He seems to lack the ability to see how his words hurt him more than anyone else because they isolate him.

A recent conversation:

Jack: Mom, do you love me?
Mom: Yes. I always love you.
Jack: Well, I don't love you.

This was outside of any conflict.. just a matter-of-fact observation of the moment on his part.

We learned this summer that Jack has 7 cavities.  In the last few years, he has become increasingly resistant to teeth brushing. We brushed his teeth once a day rather than have the fight. And this is what we got for our lack of effort: a mouth full of cavities. I learned that sometimes the fight is worth it. He cannot see the consequences of his actions. Oddly, because of the cavity situation, I have decided the conflict may just be part of the deal for the things I need to care about most -- mental and physical health issues.

Since the cavity diagnosis, Jack no longer resists twice daily dental hygiene. He gets it because he experienced the consequences. That is also going to be part of deal. I can't grow up for Jack. Mistakes are life's greatest teacher. I'll do my best then he'll have to do the rest.

PS. My mom visited this week. Jack was stepping on my feet and I asked him to please stop doing that. My mom said 'First they step on your toes. Then they step on your heart.' She was quoting a friend who had many children and even lost one. It was not comforting. However, it acknowledges that sadness is a part of parenthood.

summer happenings

In many ways, this has been a lovely summer. GREAT weather. We visit the pool, hang out at parks, visit with grandparents and even my aunts. My kids are becoming pretty good swimmers. Jack has passed the swim test at our pool so he can swim solo. They both love the pool.

I realize I have taken very few photos.. Here are a few:

Swimming in Lake Washington with our friend D

Ferry ride to visit grandparents for the weekend. Parents had free time!

Visited the Seattle Art Museum where Montlake Elem had an exhibit. Each student contributed to this color palette. They invented the color names -- slime green, macaroon maroon are a couple of examples. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What we do these days

It's funny that when I think of summer I think of a slower, more relaxed season. But it doesn't feel that way. I am trying to work on my website while doing all the usual house chores and take care of the kids. It's busier than the school year. Still fun though. A few highlights:

Miniature golf with grandma and grandpa in Kingston

science center and fountain

fountain with our cousins 

picnic at gasworks with above pictured cousins

Ryan and I had our 10th anniversary dinner at the Ajax Cafe in Port Hadlock. They had great celebrity art on the walls and this was my favorite
Sonia now loves the diving board. She says they should call it the jumping board.