Slave to Whimsey

Lately, it seems like DFM and I are not even barely in control of the bedlam that is our home. Ever since Jeffrey started school, we have a new, strange and alien child on our hands. All of the sudden, there are powerful influences in his life that don’t come from home or carefully chosen exposure by us, and this has certainly thrown our house into chaos. To be fair, we were far, far from regimented and organized before, and even when I try very very hard, sticking to a routine is supremely difficult for me, so I seldom expected my kids to stick to one.

Several things have changed now. Namely, I now have to be aware of routine, lest I forget to get him to school on time, or forget to pick him up (I never forget about him, just the clock). I have just never been very aware of the time, I do not wear a watch, and tend to do things as inspiration strikes. That is just irresponsible now. As I look back I see what a luxury the last four years have been, having no schedules and no children that were required to be anywhere at any time. As long as we had fun, they were fed and warm and loved, we could do whatever we wanted. So this new time-watching thing has been hard for me, definitely harder for me than for the kids.

The next new and exciting thing is the sassy and impudent mouth Jeffrey has brought home from school. Again, not that things were perfect before- he has always been a strong-willed kid with a temper and a mind of his own, but the mouth? Holy cow! He is so full of backtalk and smartness, DFM actually had to threaten him with a bar of Ivory last night. It doesn’t matter what we say or ask him to do, he smarts off. He is four! Frankly, I wasn’t expecting this for at least a few more years; am I naive?

So, my job is to tame my whimsey gene, and to get my son’s mouth back in the neighborhood of civility. Wish me luck, and any tidbits of advice would be appreciated!

5 thoughts on “Slave to Whimsey

  1. Is it more than just no, I won’t? I know mine won’t listen to me, well he listens just doesn’t do. Perhaps it’s the age? AEM

  2. He has new freedom now, so he is just testing you. He has had a taste of independence and is learning his limits.RLB

  3. If you thinks is bad now, just wait ten years (not that far away) when you have a 14, 12 and 10 year old. Good luck and have fun. TTYL

  4. I took some early childhood education classes when my kids were toddlers, and it probably only taught me enough to be dangerous, but here’s one thing I’ve always retained from those classes.

    Kids go through different learning/developmental stages. Each stage they tackle a new skill. In between those stages, ie, right after learning a new skill, they’re in what’s called a state of equilibrium. Those are the times when they’re confident, fun, easy (or at least easier) to deal with. It’s the periods of disequilibrium, when they’ve realized–wait, I don’t have everything dialed yet, I’ve got to learn to walk/talk/read/whatever, that’s when they become difficult and start acting out.

    My kids were on top of the world when they were 4. Such a great age for my kids. It’s when they turned 5 and were faced with kindergarten that they became difficult. (And my kids all went to preschool.)

    So don’t be too hard on him. He’s under a lot of stress. Try the “It’s ok to be mad, but it’s not ok to be mean” or “use your nice words” stuff. I always try to be positive rather than just telling them not to do something–give them something to do in exchange for the bad behavior. Tell him to say “I’m not happy about that,” rather than “You suck!” or whatever he’s saying.

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