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Fun on the slides

Jordan had soccer practice last night and the little ones wanted to play at the park.  (Kat is reading over my shoulder as I type this and would like it on the record that she is no longer little.  Let me rephrase that then, the younger 3 wanted to play at the park.)

It started out so good as you can see by the pictures.  They were having a blast playing together, we all got on the “bus”, they drove me to Candy Land with a stop off at Chocolate Mountain and Taco Valley.  It was a nice, normal, stress free night.


Three smiling kiddos all in a row

Look at those smiles.  Do you know how rare it is to have 3 children getting along (I consider it a miracle from God when all 4 are enjoying each others company and not fighting.)?

Then I found out that Nano has picked up some colorful language somewhere in the last couple of weeks.  (I’m blaming preschool friends.)

I heard him call Kat a butt – something or other.

Excuse me?

We don’t call each other names.  One more time, we’re going to the car to wait for Jordan to finish.

 
Miss Toothless

I don’t remember what happened next, I asked Christiano something about something he was doing, I know I was questioning his behavior, I just don’t remember what for.  He said something about a ladder – wait, it was because he was climbing up the slides.  I don’t let the kids do that because they get accustomed to doing it when they are young, then they get in trouble for doing it when they go off to school.  Supposedly you can get hurt or hurt someone else doing that. Remember when they wouldn’t even let us throw rocks down the slides?  No fun at all.  He was kind of mumbling about that not being a ladder and I was pretty sure I heard my 4 year old call me a stupid butt.  I wasn’t quite sure, so I asked him to repeat what he just said.

Nano has some behavior things going on.  At first I thought it was just ADHD like Jordan.  He has a complete inability to control his impulses.  No control whatsoever.  At his last well child check, his doctor told me he would like to see Nano get going with Jordan’s therapy team.  I held off thinking, I’ve had a child with ADHD for 14 years.  I can handle this until he gets into school, gets on a routine, then we’ll see how it goes.  I don’t want them diagnosed with a label too early.  As open as I am about my own struggle with depression and anxiety, it’s a lot of harder when you’re looking at having your child diagnosed with something.  You have every excuse in the book.  I have said he’s just young and immature for his age, he’s being raised in a bilingual household, he is macho macho like his daddy and doesn’t like to show emotion.

One of things Nano does when he is upset or too happy or feeling any emotion that isn’t completely comfortable for him is his huge vocabulary shuts down.  He grunts at me over and over again when I ask him questions, like what is wrong?  Why are you upset?  Grunt, grunt, grunt.  Later on he can tell me what was wrong, but he cannot find the words at that moment when he is upset. We start therapy on Friday.  I’m really hoping that our new therapist (our therapist who works with Jordan recommended him because he is amazing with little kids) can help me help Nano to not shut down when he is upset, to feel more confident in social situations so that he isn’t laying down rolling, etc.

Back to the story.  When I asked him to repeat what he had just said, I started getting grunted at.  Now I can’t very well discipline him for something I am not 100% sure that he did.  He could be grunting because I was putting him on the spot or because he knew he had done something that he knew he would get in trouble for. I honestly couldn’t be sure.

Warning two.  If I hear stupid butt, butt head, butt anything come out of your mouth again, we are done.  We will sit in the car for the rest of practice.

 
My monkey, Katiana

He was so well behaved for a few more minutes and then I heard him call Kat a butt.

That’s it.  That’s all she wrote.  Done.

I told the girls to get in the car and proceeded to walk Nano over.  Child is dead weight when he doesn’t want to move.  I honestly was worried I was going to leave bruises on his arm trying to get him to stand up and walk.  I can’t lift him.  He is 70 lbs and my shoulder isn’t holding up so well without the surgery I need.  (Nano is one of the biggest 4 year olds I have ever seen, he is in a size 8 clothes and size 13 shoe – both the same as my almost 7 year old, who is one of the tallest kids in her class. He towers over the other kids in preschool.  He is going to catch up to Alyce soon in height too.  I keep saying he is going to tower over me by the time he hits 4th grade.)

I think it took me 5 minutes to actually get him in the car, which included having to lift him up (my shoulder screamed at me, WHAT are you doing??) to get him in the vehicle.

He threw (his version of) a fit (grunting at me) for a few more minutes and then was fine.  I didn’t hear any form of the word butt as an insult for the rest of the evening and we did spend the rest of practice in the car.

With it being 4 against me most days, I choose my battles carefully.  If Jordan wants to wear shorts when it’s 20 degrees out, I’m not going to fight, he can freeze.  That’s not working out so well though, the whole point of letting him freeze was so he would see I was right and put on long pants.  He continues to freeze. 

Name calling is a battle I will not budge on.  The older kids know better and when they slip up and call each other stupid, they get a reminder that we don’t do that.  I’m hoping Nano will learn this quickly and not let this be something we struggle with daily. 

Maybe stupid butt isn’t the most hurtful thing you can be called, but stupid butt leads to something else, that new name leads to something meaner, it isn’t happening over here.  Everything doesn’t bounce off rubber, some things that are said stay with you and affect how you view yourself even as an adult.  There are enough people out there willing to tear my kids down, I won’t let them do it to each other.  They don’t have to like each other, and they are going to fight, but they still have to be respectful towards each other. 

To the person who told me yesterday that Nano behaves the way he does because I “let” him – no I don’t. See the story above.

To the two grandmas in the waiting room at the dentist the other day who told me he just needs a good spanking to turn his behavior around, other things work.  See the story above.  I promise you, that was not my first day as a parent.

What do you do to stop your kids from calling each other names?  I would love to hear other parenting techniques.  Even after doing this whole mom thing for almost 15 years, I sometimes feel like I am floundering as I try to find what reinforcement or punishment works for each kid for each situation.

What battles won’t you budge on?  I am very strict on a lot of things but more lenient on others.  I’m not going to pull my hair out and get an aneurism over the small stuff, but to you, what is the big stuff? 

Have a wonderful day and may no one call you a stupid butt today.

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