Friday, 23 March 2012

Rockchicks Rockstar Attitude

Well. Yes.

This is what it has recently looked like most of the time between me and Rockchick.

I call it her rockstar attitude (quietly to myself) its her way, or the attitude way. She screams at us, throws hissy-fits, slams doors and sulks, basically she makes life hell for everyone around her.

Needless to say life was stressful for everyone. BUT we have started to deal with it. Its still THERE but its much better.

This is what we did.

The first thing that needs to happen is that you identify the difficult behaviour. As soon as you do that, GET THROUGH TO THE END OF THE DAY. This is a very important step, because if you dont get through to the end of the day, it means your kids have driven you to suicide. We don't want that.

Anyway. Get to the end of the day. Dont do anything that day, carry on. Note both the childs behaviour and your reactions. Identify whats actually going on.

For us it was, the child is fighting everything we say, she is sulking and bitching and being consistently difficult. And we are consistently getting angry and yelling until our voices are hoarse.

Now if you can do that, you can research. Type it into google, look at the childcare and parenting books gathering dust on your bookshelves. Sit back and process it. So I did. This is what I found:

An article on sulking and whining which reminded me of

Nigel Latta's blog article about stopping your head exploding, hes so hilarious!


His article on "the golden rule of parenting" Which is: Do not make their problems your problem. Its very easy to tell when you do that, because YOU are stressing out.

So I read the lot. And then shared my findings with my hubby. We sat and discussed and thought and finetuned and tweaked and recalled specfic incidents and then we made a plan.

Number one: Stop rising to the bait, stop feeding the tiger. Thats much easier said than done but I tell ya making the plan sure helps. Knowing what THEY do and planning HOW your going to react means that its much easier to fall onto that plan in that situation.

Number two: When the attitude appears calmly tell her we will not speak to her when she behaves that way. If it continues, warn her we will send her to her room if it continues.  Again easier said than done. However, again, the plan helps.

Number three: If it continues send her to her room, if she refuses, calmly walk her to her room and shut the door, telling her she may come out when shes going to change her attitude.

Number four: If symptoms persist, take:

So we tried it, with some improvement. But basically old habits die hard. 

Both her attitude habit, and our habit of letting it stress us out. 

She still tested it, pushed it, checked to make sure we meant it, that we were going to stick to our plan, sometimes we failed miserably at that and sometimes we succeeded. However things began to shift, slowly. 

Step in rule number two: you must try every new parenting idea for at least two weeks before you can gauge weather or not its working.

Now a few weeks on, we are seeing results. Slowly. We are finding it easier and easier not to rise to the bait, and she has good attitude days and bad attitude days. Shes getting more likely to respond if we remind her that we wont tolerate it. 

I have found that actually punishing her for it seems to only feed the tiger, simple intolerance tends to work best. Refusal to rise to the bait. 

And if all else fails, there is always Valium.

xx The ramblings of another mother.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Update... me!

Well its been a bloody long time hasn't it? Few things in life recently:

1) We have moved house. We are now living in my parents house for a while. Finishing off the savings then fingers crossed we will be moving into our very own home. LANDLORDS EVERYWHERE KISS MY HAIRY ARSE!

2) Rockchick is now 8 years old, and has brought with her a brand spanking new attitude problem, complete with sulking drama fits and pre-teen traumatic problems. We are in the process of trying out a new tactic for this and if it works I will post about it.

3) My babies are nearly 3!! Out of cots and into beds (yes it was late, but dern their cages were fantastic... I miss their cages) we are working on teaching them the value of sleep and staying in bed at bedtime, the main value being mummy and daddy dont go completely mental and throw them off the deck. We are also starting on potty training... which is, interesting.

4) My 101 challanges crashed and burned. I am in the process of re-writing them, and while i know this is probably not the point I have since recognised that, as usual, I got overly ambitious on myself. I have pulled hte notebook back out and am busily studying them and thinking... (all owls think a lot) thank you to my dear friend and felklow blogger for reminding me both to blog and to look at these: Tasty Tidbits and Random Ramblings.

Broom Flower
Woody Nightshade.
5) I am busily re-thinking my tattoo. I still want it either on my wrist or calf, and still want all my family represented (yes even my hubby) I am looking into their various star signs. Animal totems and so on. I am keen on continuing to represent myself with an ivy vine (my celtic tree sign), and am thinking that instead of flowers to represent my children, I would like animals. Working on what kind. Rockchicks celtic totem animal is the dragon, one of my fave animals but I dont want to represent one of my kids with it, as I would like to get a dragon tattooed on my lower back one day. Also the twins are represented by hares and that just does not feel right (I would also like to choose a different animal per child). My husband is fairly easy, his totem flower is the Broom flower. Which I think is rather pretty and can bloom of the ivy vine (this along with the woody nightshade, which is my totem flower. So yes thinking thinking... I have plenty of time to think since every spare penny we have is going into savings and therefore very few frivolities for quite some time.


Business is BOOMING, the kids are GROWING, life is MOVING and its going to be one fantabulous year!

xx The Ramblings of Another Mother

Post from phone

So now i can post from my phone... Does it work? lets see....

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Slacker!! with a blah day.

I feel like such a slacker when I look at other peoples blogs... I am not really all that consistent at this. I also write novquarteels most of the time and I am sure thats not all that appealing to most people, but never mind. It interests me and hopefully the odd other person out there gets value from it.

I have had a blah day.

It started late... I woke up at about quarter to seven to twins yelling in their cots and I thought "2 minutes please girls" and next thing I know its 8... they must have gone quiet cos I don't sleep through them. At least I hope I don't. Its kinda funny when people say "I don't sleep through things" Cos how would they know? They would have been asleep at the time - surely?

Although I am pretty sure I never sleep through the kids.

Anyway's so I get up, change them, feed them blah blah, just feeling really despondent... just blah, not in the mood for anything.

Feel like having a long cry.

The girls were grouchy. I dont know if thats cos I was or if they would have been anyways.

We went to the local library for rhyme time which is usually a highlight of the week but today they were little tantruming things and made me feel very embarrassed and I was rather glad when it was over.

Then we had to go to an appointment, and while we were there a couple of young guys had a rather loud and frightening fistfight outside the doors. During which a young woman got caught in the crossfire and knocked down, spilling everything from her bag all over the pavement.

And then we had to leave. I felt very small and frightened. I am not used to seeing fighting on the street. That is just not something that happens in the neighbourhood we live in. I was standing there with a toddler on each side thinking, I dont want to walk to my car. We are only small. If anything happens theres only me with these children.

As it happened, the fighting people had cleared off so we got to the car without incident.

Today is a thankful for good friends day. I got home to one of my closest friends waiting in my driveway and felt very blessed.

After a nice long gossip the afternoon was over, and it was time to get Rockchick from school.

I'm very grateful to my friend for taking my mind off my mood. And I will be grateful when my husband gets home. My husband is one of the few people on the planet that really understands these moods I get in and accepts me. And loves me anyway.

Mostly I will be grateful at bedtime. Goodnight world.

xx The Ramblings of Another Mother.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Play Styles in Pre-school Children.

Recently we had a child development team come to investigate Banky-Boos slow start to walking... while I was assured she was normal (which I already knew) in the letter I received about the visit it mentioned that BankyBoo and CheekyLala have completely different play styles, and therefore it would be unfair to compare.

That was it. No elaboration on that statement. I was left with a feeling of "What does that mean?" What are the different styles of play, does that mean that I need to support that in different ways? If so, HOW? This has gotten me into an observation mode, my analytical brain tick tick ticking.

Sure I already KNEW they had different styles of play, they are completely different children, with completely different interests. One of the ways I know this is actually THROUGH comparison.

Bankyboo is a thinker, she enjoys imaginative play more that any other type. She is less likely to need validation for this, and is more likely to remain contented in her corner. She loves movement style play like dancing and physical touch. She is more likely to relax into a cuddle. She enjoys baby dolls and playing near or with her sister. Shes quiet and rarely babbles, but is usually very clear when she does speak. While she has a sweet temperament and tantrums less often, but when she tantrums it can last a long time. She is quicker to anger than her sister. While she can solve problems she is more likely to get bored and move onto something else. She likes staying near her "people". She undresses herself.

Cheekylala is a doer, she wants to KNOW everything and she wants us to tell her so she can learn it. She is more dependant than her sister, not needing her own space as much and rarely straying far from me. She loves puzzles, problem solving type play like "posting" and building. She is a chatterbox and wanders about the house calling whoever is in her head at that moment. She is a babbler. She is more likely to tantrum when things don't go her way, but gets over it quickly. Shes a problem solver. But she does not undress herself. She is more likely to have "accidents", being physically adventurous.

They both misbehave to get attention, and they both love watching tv! They both like to "help" mummy or daddy.

Its kind of interesting setting it all out like that.... its almost like they (God, the powers that be, genetics, whatever you call it) took two people and separated the personality's and then kinda patch worked it back together into twins.

This morning we read a book about insects and Cheekylala was able to label almost all of them, and the two she didn't know, she wanted me to repeat the name several times then on a second read she was able to label them. Her sister, standing next to us reading the same book parroted the names and knew a few, but lost interest quickly and moved on.

Later this morning we played with the Duplo and spent a long time learning the colours. Bankyboo was immediately on my knee, while Cheekylala was content to sit near us to play. While Bankyboo would repeat the colours after I said them, she was not interested in engaging in a colour search with me, while Cheekylala happily piled all the red blocks together, then the blue etc. Bankyboo wanted to build. We had a great time making little buildings of blocks and then banging them down and it was really interesting for me to watch.

I have seen this in other areas too, while drawing together, Cheekylala wants me to draw objects and letters so she can study them, and gets very angry when I tell her to try, while Bankyboo will snatch the crayon off me to draw herself.

Bankyboo is more likely to use several colours during drawing and Cheeklylala rarely switches colours, making me think she is more interested in the shapes.

They are both keenly intelligent, Cheekylala is what I believe slightly more analytical and Bankyboo is a little more practical. Air vs. earth.

They are both definitely girls! We have shoes all over the house. They are very keen on having a say in what clothes they wear and quite decisive about it. Though they have yet to take on any particular style. Ending up with interesting mismatched outfits.

I struggle to find ways to play with Bankyboo as she is quite independent, and often not interested in engaging with me in play. But she will come and lean into me for cuddles. Her temperament is closer to her fathers and he understands her better. I feel like a dreadful mother admitting such a thing but it is true. I adore all my children equally, but differently. They are different children.

I am struggling to find any information for the everyday person about styles of play and what that means. A Google search took me to many psychology studies, most of which I need to belong to the website or pay for to read. I intend to have a good peruse through my old university textbooks later to see what I can find. Such a thing is impossible with two toddlers underfoot! I have trouble setting my mind to reading university textbooks in a quiet moment let alone with toddlers climbing all over me!!

In the meantime I do know that all my children feel loved and supported, and in no way do I try and make them into something they are not. But at the same time I wish to discover the different "Playstyles" and what that requires of me the parent.

xx The Rambling of Another Mother

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Middle of the night darkness.

My day is starting at 5:30, thanks to my twins who decided they were both done with sleeping. Very unusual for them they almost always sleep in till seven at the earliest. Sometimes I'm still convincing them to get up at 7:30. (Yes I have odd toddlers).

I dont mind though, In fact I'm rather grateful, as I was already awake.

And thinking dark thoughts.

"You are useless, why cant you just do the housework as you go so you dont end up living in a pigsty?"

"Why can't you just keep on top of things."

"You're a lazy cow." (one of my favourite self-depreciating remarks)

"You aren't good enough. You have to work harder."

"Why can't you just give up the smoking? Do you want to be around for your kids or not?" And then the anxiety attacks start and I can barely keep them away. Beyond the darkness. Please stop thoughts, please stop brain! Just stop...

So yes, I am grateful to my girls for giving me a good excuse to get away from those thoughts. Breaking up fights and dealing with toddlers is a great distraction.

Its easier to shut it all up in the day.

xx The Ramblings of Another Mother

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Crayon Disasters.

Bring on holidays!! Been having fun doing some of the stuff I planned. In my usual over-ambitious way I have planned more than I can possibly fit into two weeks, especially when I continued to work for one of them.

Previously I have soldiered on through the holidays but this time I thought to my self "why did I start this job?" Sure my main reason was that it was available, but I could have gone out and gotten any old job like any other person, but I took this opportunity because I could work it around my family.

But have I? No, not really. Apart from the many (many) medical appointments I have not really "worked around my kids" no more often my kids have fitted around my work.

And for the most part thats how it should be, I am in this to run a business, to make money and improve my family's financial situation. To do that I must put in the hours.

But at the same time we were coming up to these holidays and I thought, you know what? No one is going to die if I take the second week off. So I have, and am spending some quality time with my babies.

I am also taking the opportunity to dedicate a day to myself. Mental health and well being and all that jazz.

In the words of one of my favourite authors: Terry Goodkind If you are at all interested in the fantasy genre and have not read him, then do:   Life is for living, so rise up and live it.

Yesterday me and the kids spent the morning browsing round the local shops and while that may not have been everyone's favourite way to spend time with their kids it was fun to just wander with them, be involved in what they are interested in and get some ideas for xmas. Looming up fast the fat man in a red suit and all his dollar requirements.

Then home and lunch and twins down for a nap. And I thought time to see what I can do, so I sorted out the crayons, long ones short ones, stubbs. This was all in the thought of "I will make these" :

AND another thing to cross off my list of 101 things.

Mine did NOT work the same as these ones.... I am not entirely sure why... I have several theories including "baked too long" "baked too hot" "different brands" but really... they just didnt really work.

At thought at first I might have accidentally put one of the oil pastels in too, as there seemed to kind of pool at the top with some weird liquid that was just brown... and very intelligently I poured it down the sink.

Wasn't I clever? I mean, what an INTELLIGENT thing to do??!!

So I come back to the sink to find a pool of solidified wax there... Oh sh** I thought. I chipped it away, and then realised that the sink was bloody blocked. 

I blocked the sink with crayons. I BLOCKED THE FRICKEN SINK??? 

Try explaining that one to the landlords think I... "Hi there, well my brain fell out on the way to the hospital to have twins and it never did get fully recovered... I think a truck may have run over it and damaged vital parts of reason and common sense...."

TRY explaining that one to my husband (by the way, he still doesn't know this story.... I am not hiding it or anything.... no no no I am uhhhm well.... rather mortified at myself!).

Ok so think think... what to do... Boil kettle, and pour boiling water down the sink.... wait. wait. A few small ribbons of wax appeared and I scalded my hand pulling them out as quickly as possible, melted wax mind you, that kind of attached itself to my hand like a leech and discolour it....

MORE hot water.... the sink is rapidly filling with hot water and I am squeezing major amounts of dish liquid in as well for good measure.

More ribbons of wax... 

And suddenly WHOOSH the whole thing empties. Well thank eff for that.... One more kettle of hot water down the sink and a copious squeeze of dish liquid for good measure.. and then I remember that the crayons are still in the oven.

Pull em out. Very brown and rather odd looking things but after they re-hardened and I popped them out I saw that the bottoms looked like this.

Not too bad for a first effort. I intend to have a few more goes, perhaps melting the colours separately and then pouring them into the moulds... no not the sink. The moulds.

And yes, I can be incredibly ditzy at times....

xx The Ramblings of Another Mother