On Her Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tomorrow the Return of the Loving Dictator (That would be me.)

Today has been like a mini parenting seminar unfolding of its own volition in my very home. We started the day out by going to look one more time at “the property.” We wanna-be land-holders like to call it that. After a thorough inspection by Dan (don’t worry, we’ll be using a professional inspector too), we decided to make an offer.

Now the waiting… which turns into gabbing on the phone and then magically into lots and lots and lots of work. We’re waiting right now to hear back from the seller who we’re told will be giving a counter-offer.

I feel far less stressed than I should be. Perhaps I’m channeling all of my nervous energy onto Laylee because she has gone absolutely nutso freakazoid insane today. She started by scattering the little blue shoe covers throughout the aforementioned “property,” spilling water all over the floor and then traipsing around the “property,” using the velvet beaded throw as a cape.

Honestly, I could not fault her for that one. It was a cape just waiting to be worn. Throughout the day she repeatedly abused Magoo, scraping his head with her toothbrush, writing on his head with a pointy piece of sidewalk chalk, hitting him over the head with a baby stroller…I could go on and on. She is not normally like this and I do not normally use the word “head” that many times in one sentence.

Whenever I’d stop her from what she was doing, she’d defend herself by saying, “He’s not crying yet.” Ooooohhh….he’s not crying yet? Is that the new criteria for acceptable behavior in our family?

It’s okay to wipe boogers on Mommy’s clean pants, flood the bathroom, scratch the new paint off the walls and scatter every piece of clean silverware we own throughout the house because Mommy’s not crying yet? I see. If Laylee were queen…

Actually, Laylee has become enamored with the wicked queen on Snow White. She loves her laugh, her apples, her magic powers and her fancy box with the heart in it. Laylee promises that if I give her magic powers and a fancy box, she will never use the box to kill people. I feel comforted by that. Maybe I will let her become queen someday.

When Dan got home, I pulled him aside and discretely told him all the crazy things she’d been up to, asking him to take over because I was DONE. He simply asked me, “So, what did you do about all that?”

Um…some time in her room…disapproving glances…said “no” weakly…kept talking on the phone. Yeah, I pretty much did nothing.

Dan calmly went to Laylee, sternly talked to her about her behavior and walked her around giving her instructions on how to clean things up… and it worked and they ended up cuddling on the couch reading stories with her happier than she’d been all day in my house of chaos.

Moral: Children need limits and are happier with them in place. I was freaking her out because I was letting her rule the roost and she didn’t know what had happened to her mommy. I normally don’t let her poke me with pointy red chopsticks. But sometimes on the day you’re trying to buy a house, it’s easy to turn into a slacker mom. And then they make you pay, and I ain’t talkin’ about the realtors. Luckily I have a husband who reminds me that you don’t have to be an evil villain to keep your kids in line and happy.

34 Comments:

Blogger kyouell said...

Wow. I thought I was going to learn a lot from your househunting adventure, but this was not what I was thinking. My son is only 11 months old so he doesn't do any of the things that Laylee did, but boy, did I hear you. I think that I did those things growing up! This post really hit me. It's the first thing going in my new Google Notebook. (See http://www.google.com/notebook if you want one too -- no I don't work for Google.)

5/17/2006 3:30 AM

 
Blogger Nettie said...

That is so true! But with the distraction of an offer on a house to distract you, who could blame you? Hope the negotiations go well!

5/17/2006 4:58 AM

 
Blogger Peter said...

It is easier for us, the husbands, because we are not surrounded by it all day. We come in fresh, without the battle scars of the day.

5/17/2006 6:07 AM

 
Blogger Gabriela said...

I love your posts about the adventures of Laylee. They are my favorites. I totally agree with you, kids are happier when they have limits and they know their parents can handle them.

Good luck with the house buying process, that is so exciting!

5/17/2006 6:11 AM

 
Anonymous Jeana said...

I can so relate! This was excellent, Kathryn!

5/17/2006 6:58 AM

 
Blogger The Constant Gardener said...

Thanks for the reminder. I now know what is wrong with my almost-four-year-old. I'm too stinkin' tired to do anything. Looks like a reevaluation is in order...when daddy gets home.

5/17/2006 7:05 AM

 
Blogger Chilihead2 said...

It's so easy to lose sight of those "little" things. And when we do, we see they are actually "big" things. I struggle with that all the time. Glad to know I'm not alone.

5/17/2006 7:09 AM

 
Anonymous embarrassed said...

speaking of househunting and bad behaviour ....oh, this is so embarrassing...we were househunting when my daughter was a wee potty trainer and I was upstairs with her looking at the bedrooms, I turned around and she had taken off her undies and was starting to tinkle on this poor unwitting family's bedroom floor...groan upon inner shriek...i cleaned up, we put in an offer...no luck. Eternal mortal shame.

5/17/2006 7:36 AM

 
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

If Laylee were queen, everyone would learn to turn on the tears pretty darn quick.

Good luck with the house-buying! Can't wait till we're there too!

5/17/2006 7:39 AM

 
Blogger Beth said...

The "moral" of your story is so true. I just wish The Boy (who is two and a half) would enjoy my limits a little more. I totally agree with Peter about dad's having it easier. My Kids are always perfect when Daddy comes home. And then he doesn't get why I'm so friggin' frustrated. Men! My guy is always willing to take over for me, though, so I guess I can't complain. So, yeah. Boundaries GOOD!

5/17/2006 7:39 AM

 
Anonymous kismet said...

I so need to be reminded of that now and again. Oft times when my 5yo acts out I have to take a step back and ask myself 'How much one on one time have I spent with this child today?' And the answer is usually 'not much other than to express aggravation'

Your blog is great!


~K!

5/17/2006 7:45 AM

 
Blogger Kristen said...

So true. The kids need limits, that is for sure.

Sounds like you had a fun day!!

5/17/2006 7:52 AM

 
Blogger Stephanie said...

It must be in the air. My kids have been going bonkazoid too.

5/17/2006 8:00 AM

 
Blogger GiBee said...

All in one day? Oh, you poor thing. You need a bubble bath. Alone. With candels, flowers, and a cold glass of tea.

Ugh!

And I think you passed Laylee of to Dan quite calmly ... because I would have been throwing a child into a fathers arms SCREAMING that I'm done ... not discretely pulling him aside and saying I'm done.

You go, DYM!!!

5/17/2006 8:30 AM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Wow! Thanks for this post. So, so true. And boy did it hit me today.

We need limits. Mommy really does need to be the boss around here.

Thanks.

And I must say, Laylee makes me laugh. What a fun girl you've got.

5/17/2006 8:41 AM

 
Blogger ABC Momma said...

True, true. That is why I am so concerned that my husband is happy with the work he does, because when he is away from the house, that is HIS time, and when he comes home I really need him to be fresh and engaging with the children.

Hope all goes well with the property.

5/17/2006 8:57 AM

 
Anonymous shannon from rocks in my dryer said...

Great hubs. And great mom. And really great Laylee!

Can't wait to hear more about the house.

5/17/2006 9:30 AM

 
Blogger tam said...

Thank you, thank you...for letting us see the craziness!

You are such a great mom...I don't get to read all of your posts but those that I do you seem to have it so together...

I was beginning to think my days (that can be EXACTLY like that) were more uncommon than common for others...

Way to go on not totally losing your cool...(the whole mommy's not crying...yet...oh so good)

5/17/2006 9:50 AM

 
Blogger Nicole said...

I love your blog! I can so relate to this. Buying a house is really stressful. Hang in there it will all pass eventually.

5/17/2006 9:58 AM

 
Blogger Emily said...

"It’s okay to wipe boogers on Mommy’s clean pants, flood the bathroom, scratch the new paint off the walls and scatter every piece of clean silverware we own throughout the house because Mommy’s not crying yet? I see."

Oh, oh, oh, this was SO funny! Sometimes I feel like my one-year-old does this - he figures its ok to do anything he likes (including pulling my hair) because Mommy isn't crying YET! We do have limits, of course, but some days it is so tiring to try to enforce them. I'm glad your husband was so helpful. :)

5/17/2006 10:14 AM

 
Blogger Grammy said...

AHHH! Parenting, I remember it well. I always said, I could get away with one busy day and the kids would be OK. But if I tried for 2 in a row....well, let's just say, Life as we know it would come to a screeching halt.

You are right about limits, though. Kids profess to hate them, but come completely unglued without them. Knowing that we care enough to only let them do what's acceptable, provides them with a sense of security.

My Mom always said that, "God sent parents in pairs so that they could stand back to back to fight off the kids." I think it's so that we can help one another to keep things in perspective.

Go Dan! And Go You! I'm glad you two are together in this adventure.

5/17/2006 10:31 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I am familiar with this scenario (okay, except for the house buying part, as we did that pre kids). I'll tell you what else doesn't work: letting the kids run the roost and THEN completely loosing your grip and screaming at them.

Not that I know that from experience; I think I read it somewhere. Yes, that's right. I read it.

Because we all know that I NEVER yell. Nuh uh.

5/17/2006 11:49 AM

 
Blogger Aunt Murry said...

Hey, everyone is entitled to an off day. I remember the day I closed on my first house. Originally I wanted to take the day off but my,at the time, psuedo boss would not let me sooo I bounced off the walls all day. Thankfully my co-workers understood. Whew! Literally could not sit still all day and I was 37 years old.

5/17/2006 12:07 PM

 
Blogger Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Hey, just smile and enjoy the break! It's not easy when you have to be around it all day long and basically are doing good to not choke your child, right? Don't fret... there's plenty of days like that to come. It's normal, whatever that is! Especially when moving! P.S. I tagged you!

5/17/2006 12:13 PM

 
Blogger Lei said...

How smart they be! Yesterday we met with my doula at our house... my 18 month old turned into a monster! I'm sure the thought "What is this woman thinking having another child?" crossed her mind at least twice. Int hese cased Ithink we should have surveillance footage of them being well behaved - for our peace of mind and for proof to outsiders, lol.

5/17/2006 12:54 PM

 
Blogger Carrien said...

I've actually cried in front of my four year old twice. Once when he really hurt me with a random headbutt and once when it had nothing to do with him I just couldn't stop crying. Both times he looked at me with this strange sly expression like he thought I was joking or playing a game or something and he was waiting for the punch line. When he realized it wasn't a game he brightly told me I should stop crying now because it would get better.

He's sympathetic when I throw up though.

5/17/2006 1:13 PM

 
Blogger theresa said...

Good luck with the house hunting we are also house huntin' and house sellin' right now! Ugh! Kudos to Daddy with Laylee, and be glad he did. My hubby has been out of town the last three days and today I was about to explode on the kids. Good thing I got a nap in!

5/17/2006 8:02 PM

 
Blogger emlouisa said...

Ah, I can totally relate to the Laylee hitting Magoo with numerous objects. A-boy does this to his brother as well and as soon as there are tears he hightails it out of there and pretends like he had nothing to do with it.

Too bad moms know better.

Good luck with your house! Do you know anything yet? Do ya? Huh, Do ya? And don't you hate when people keep BUGGING you about it? Gosh!

5/17/2006 9:41 PM

 
Blogger EvaRob said...

Kids need structure, and we need space to breathe...how do we marry the two???

5/17/2006 10:40 PM

 
Blogger Heather said...

Very good post. I totally agree with you. Although, sometimes it is so hard to remember that and distractions don't help any. Hope everything with "the property" goes as planned. I also must really agree with what Peter said.

5/17/2006 10:55 PM

 
Anonymous sarah hart kingston said...

My two have been flying off the walls the whole time I've been pregnant, and there are sitll 4 1/2 months to go. I did find something that helps to ease the tension, and gives me a few minutes, or even sometimes a half hour of respite. My boys are 4 and 2. They are energetic. Ha. I found this home video on YouTube of a guy cavorting around doing crazy ninja moves and jumping off stuff, with heavy metal music in the background. I turn it on and my boys are transformed into miniature summersaulting ninjas. They tear around the room, jump off the couch, twirl in place, and leave each other alone, while blowing off huge amounts of steam. The 4-year-old knows how to click the replay button, so this can go on indefinitely. They do no damage, don't do anything really daring, and laugh their little heads off. And I can do whatever I want - make dinner, read, close my eyes for a little while, talk on the phone uninterrupted, etc. It's the best.

5/18/2006 7:02 AM

 
Blogger Journey Mama said...

My husband is like this as well, knowing just how to bring the kids back into sane world but at the same time making life way more fun. It's great, especially when life is so busy that I turn into slacker mom.

5/18/2006 7:35 AM

 
Anonymous shannon from rocks in my dryer said...

Linked to you in my post about bloggin' buddies today. Y'all have fun this weekend.

5/18/2006 2:00 PM

 
Anonymous krista said...

I just went through the slacker mom buying a house thing.

TV was my best friend through th process. Aidan (5 years old) was displaying some weird behaviours during the process too.

He started carrying around this blanket and telling anyone who would listen about his motrgage and how he wouldn't rent his house to anyone...

Ah, Stressful times this house buying.

We move in September.

5/19/2006 5:55 PM

 

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