Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Over Heard at My House

Kees was talking about his underwear to a friend, a girl. Kees informed said friend that, “The underwear that I have on today don’t have sleeves. They’re just…..short.”
She giggled and said, “Me too.”
Kees said, “I usually wear the kind with sleeves.”
She giggled again and said, “Me too.”

I signed Coulter and Kees up for day camp at Camp Namanu, Camp in the City. The camp is called “Iron Chef.” Kees rolls his eyes and insists that it’s “Iron Fresh.”

This morning when the kids were eating breakfast they were chatting, about what, I don’t know.
Sophia turned to me and said, “Mom, you know the perimeter at Costco?”
Me thinking, “Yes, it’s the area around the store. They generally place items there that you need so you have to go all around the store to get the crucial items.” But I didn’t say that I just answered, “Yes.”
And she said, “What is it?”
I just started laughing. I was thinking, “What kind of question is that?”
She asked, “Why are you laughing?”
I said because your question doesn’t make any sense.
Then Coulter said, “How far around the store is it?”
I said, “That is a much better question. It’s about a ¼ mile or the same distance as it is around the track.” That seemed to satisfy them. I guess they were chatting about the Run for the Arts but I am not sure how Costco got involved.

This afternoon we were getting in the car. Kees came up to me and made a noise that sounded to me like a laser gun. I asked, “Why are you shooting me?”
And he said (like I was stupid), “I’m not shooting you. I’m killing you with my light saber.” Oh, duh……

On the way to horse lessons Coulter was looking at a field of grass about the size of 3 city blocks. He asked, “Mom, how do you grow grass?”
I said, “From seeds.”
He said, “That field probably took one seed.”
I laughed and said, “No, probably millions.”

Monday, April 25, 2011


Maybe Kees is smarter than me. I know he presses issues more than I do. I think all kids do more than adults. I have come to realize that their WHOLE little lives revolve around them. They are the center of their own universe. I have known this for a long time but Kees takes it to a whole new level. I know that I was there at one time but then we are trained out of that to nurture others. We consider other’s feelings and move through this life taking in information about others and adding it to the equation before making decisions. We’re working on him.

I have toned down the yelling a lot this past week. I am sure that he loves getting a rise out of me so I am turning the other cheek, then doing it again, and again and so on…. I have to be tougher than him. I am doing my best to be a rock in the river. I am a force of nature and cannot be moved. I keep telling myself that over and over and eventually it will be true, right?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stubborn Boy

My-oh-my I have a stubborn boy. I am not sure where this is coming from but he is getting on my last nerve. Kees can be the sweetest kid in the world but he can also be a total butt. He is going through a defiant stage to say the least.

I have signed Kees up for sports in the past. I asked him if he wanted to play and he said he did. When we’d get to the field he would start being “shy.” Kees is not shy. He usually refuses to go onto the field and turns into a pile of goo. It’s really annoying, not to mention EXPENSIVE. So I stopped signing him up for anything other than school. About a month ago out of nowhere Kees said, “I want to do swimming lessons.” I thought, “Hallelujah, he is going to participate!” I asked him again, “Are you sure you want to take swimming lessons?” He said he did. Excellent. I went on line and found swimming lessons for Kees and Coulter at the same time on Saturday mornings.

Three weeks ago was the first lesson. The boys put on their swim suits and Bob took them. They both got in the water. This is going, forgive the pun, swimmingly. Ha ha ha…. The lessons are only 25 minutes long and Kees participated for about 15 minutes and then he was out. That was enough for him.

Bob got home and was frustrated. Kees started saying, “I didn’t say I wanted swimming lessons!” Oh brother, give me a break. On the plus side, Coulter did great! Last week Kees got in the water and then got right back out. This week we had a big talk before lessons. We told him that if he didn’t participate there would be consequences. If he didn’t swim he wouldn’t get to do some of the fun stuff that we were planning for today. He understood. He didn’t even get in the water.

Bob came home frustrated AGAIN. Next Kees said he wanted something to eat. Alright, we had left over lamb burgers, one of Kees’ favorites. Bob offered him a burger and he said, “OK.” He took a bite and then refused to eat it. He said, “I wanted beef.” I lost it. This is the biggest bunch of BS I have heard in a LONG time. He not only was being obstinate about swimming but was now going to complain about his burger and “demand” beef. Puuuh LLLLeeezzzzzeeee! I jumped up and said, “GO TO YOUR ROOM.” I was not messing around. I chased him to the bottom of the stairs and he knew I was serious. When he got to his room I told him to close the door. He did and then he threw a fit and cried. Good. Maybe we’ll get through to him.

We had been planning to go out as a family today. We were going to do a little shopping, including going to a cool toy store, and then out for ice cream. Not Disneyland but not bad either. I told Bob to take Coulter and Sophia and I’d stay home with Kees. This was part of his punishment. They left. Kees cried.

He started shouting from upstairs, “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty……I have to go to the bathroom.” I told him to go. I waited a few minutes and then I told him to come down and he could have a lamb burger. That was my only offering. He came down and sat down. I heated the burger, cut it up and put it in front of him.

I asked, “Do you want ketchup.”
He said, “Yeah.”
I said, “Yes please?”
He looked at me blankly and said nothing.
“Well then, I guess you don’t get ketchup.” And I walked away.
He whined, “Pleeeeeeessse.” in a little annoying voice.
I said from the other room, “You had your chance.”
And he pouted.
About 10 minutes later he asked nicely, “Can I have some ketchup please.” I got if for him. He finished his burger, his non beef burger.

We talked. He asked what Sophia and Coulter were doing with daddy. I told him. When I got to the ice cream part he cried. I told him that was too bad and that if he wasn’t going to cooperate he was going to be missing out some fun things. I also informed him that he wasn’t going to be swimming this summer unless he takes swimming lessons.

I know this may all sound like torture but we are at an impasse with him. He is pushing our buttons just to push our buttons. He has been lying, little lies, but lies. He won’t eat what he’s given for dinner or lunch. He won’t participate in swimming or anything else he’s been signed up for. He’s been saying things under his breath and then claiming that, “I said it to myself.” Ah, nope, you said it to be a pain. He’s been lagging behind when it’s clean up time so that Coulter has to do most of the cleaning. He does the opposite of whatever we tell him to do. Etc, etc, etc….. I am finished and if he thinks he’s stubborn guess where he got it from. He’s 5 and I am a professional. I can out stubborn him any day.

Earlier this week he lied to Bob. We told him to put on his PJs and brush his teeth and then we’d read a story. He put on his PJs and came down stairs. Bob was upstairs and called Kees to brush his teeth. He said, “I already brushed my teeth.” Bob called him up stairs to show him which tooth brush he used. Kees said, “It’s already dry.” What? Does he think we’re stupid? Apparently so…. Bob had a Mexican Stand-off with Kees. It took a half hour and lots of screaming by Kees but he brushed his teeth and finally apologized to Bob for lying. I can’t have him lying and I am glad Bob had to deal with that. I’ve been telling him that I have been dealing with this but I don’t think he realized how stubborn Kees has been.

We’re having a good old fashion show down. Until he straightens out he won’t be doing much of anything. No play dates, no ice cream, no special treats nothing. He’ll be playing by himself. If I have to stay home with him when the others go do something fun, I will. If his behavior doesn’t change we are going to have a monster on our hands.

I’ve been reading Taking Charge by Joanne Nordling. Of course Bob’s approach is closer to what you are supposed to do. Dang it. Yelling is so gratifying but in this case (or Kees if you will) it isn’t going to work. The book says ignore self indulgent behavior and use natural consequences. Deep breath….OK I can do this. I’ll be changing my behavior to get his under control. Wish me luck.