Monday, June 3, 2013

Parenting, Pride and the Pool

Today was not the best parenting day.  I just seem a little lost at what to do for my sons these days.  They all seem to be going through a difficult phase and honestly, so am I, which probably doesn’t help their little lives.  I am round and freakishly tired, no matter how much iron I take.  Not to mention my week alone with the boys drained me pretty deep.

So little Josh and I, we just are either best buds or not friends.  And the ups and downs are pretty severe.  Matthew is at the super cute phase and even though he drives me crazy sometimes, he can smile and his chubby cheeks that look like the caterpillar from Bugs Life, just make it impossible to stay mad.  Then Caleb can be extremely whiny and at least 20 times a day curls up in a ball somewhere directly in my path moaning about how we have all wreaked his heart.  I want to roll the little ball of Caleb down the hall to his room and lock him there and slip food under the door until this somehow teaches him to no longer whine.  However, he is also a charmer and I find myself constantly not punishing him like I had been planning.

But my sweet Joshua, the one who actually does his chores and watches his brothers and gives me times during the day to rest…the one that when I am not in the same room with him and am a rational creature, I want to spoil and adore?   Well, the poor little guy is the one I get frustrated with the most.

I don’t know how he does it and he has told me several times he doesn’t know either, but he drives me crazy!  And I annoy him pretty bad too.  So, in case you can’t tell, today was one of those days.

I must nag a lot and sound like this creature that just goes “Blah blah blah, clean up toys, stop stop stop,” because none of them listen to me anymore.  And if they are listening, they just respond “Just a minute Mom!  We are still playing!” or they just keep jumping off the couch or standing on little Matthew, you know boy stuff.  Well, it was a lot of that today, with the added, “Mom!  I’m so bored!  I want to go somewhere.  Pleeeeeaasssssssssssssssse!”

Well, let me just tell you, the last time I took them somewhere, they started fighting and causing problems, so we came home and so of course they run around the yard yelling for “daddy” because he of course would not be so cruel to bring them home.  So no, I don’t really feel up to taking them places.  Not to mention Josh had swimming lessons in the afternoon and I knew that would wear him out anyways.

So the swim lessons, Josh has been beyond excited about them for about three weeks.  Stuff like lessons, and soccer, extracurricular stuff is very new to us and they are pretty expensive.  So they are a huge priveledge for our kids.  The last time we did anything, was a little summer soccer camp for Josh two years ago.  He sat on the side of the field for the first three days crying.  He finally kind of started to participate at the end of the week.  Hence the waiting two years to do anything like that again.

We (meaning me and Josh) picked swimming.  Caleb was just a few months too young to take them, so it was just Josh that we signed up.  ALL DAY long, almost every five minutes,

“Mom, when are we going?  Should I get my swim suit on?  Why do we have to wait so long?  Let’s go now!”

I was already regretting the decision to have him take lessons because the day was dragging out so long.  So then I load all the kids up and thank heavens my little sister came with us, because as you will see, I probably would have…well…I don’t know what would have happened.   Matthew would have probably ended up in the pool taking lessons instead.

Josh was beaming, grinning, talking about how he was going to jump in the water as soon as we got there.  His best friend is taking the classes with him and they were practically bouncing off the bleachers they were so excited.  Josh and his friend, Tommy, walk over to the side of the pool, they introduce themselves with the other kids, splash their legs for a minute.  Then they get up and walk to the steps to get in and suddenly Josh flips.  I see him start backing away and nodding no, getting redder and redder.  The poor kid.  Looking back I can see how walking to a giant pool of water to strangers saying, “Come hop in, don’t worry I won’t let you get hurt,” doesn’t sound too promising.

So my sister watched Logan (my little babysitting buddy) and Matthew while the all too willing Caleb and I walked over to where Josh was to try and coax him in the water.  I bribed him, I begged him, I demanded he get in.  Nope.  I prayed with him.  Nope.  And horrible me I just kept thinking, we spent TONS of money for you to just stand here crying making us all look like fools!

Finally in the last few minutes one of the girls from our neighborhood was able to get him to sit on the first step in the water, but he would go no further.  Caleb however the whole time is inching closer and closer to the water and saying things like “If I was old enough to take lessons, I would get in the water.  It looks like so much fun.  I wouldn’t make you be mad Mom, I would be a really good swimmer.”  I had to hang on to the back of his shirt the whole time because he thought the whole thing looked way too fun and wasn’t really paying attention to the fact that he had on pants and sneakers, not really swimming material.

We decided to try again on Wednesday.  I really hope he gets in.  I know he would love it so much.  I just wish I could take back my entire bad attitude all day long.  I always compare the little guy and want him to be “normal” like all the other kids.  But really, where would the fun be in that?  He isn’t like everyone else, because everyone is different.  And so what if he never gets up in church to sing with the other kids on Mother’s Day or doesn’t want to participate in the games other kids play?  I know he is a fun kid and that he loves me.  What I should want is for him to be happy, not for my pride not to be damaged.

This is a long story.  But I think that is okay, because it was a long day and I am one emotional woman, so there is a lot of feeling in this long day.  Lucky for you, you get to read about it.  J


  1. Of course, you remember your afore mentioned little sister wouldn't get in the water at swim lessons, either! Bribery, pleading, logical argument, hissing... none of it worked. Of course, NOW it's different! "Bye, Mom, I'm going to a pool party." "Mom, I need to get a pedicure because we're going swimming." In 20 years, remind Joshua of the escapes. With any luck, he'll buy you a pool.

    1. I love that idea mom, I will totally get Josh to buy me a pool. :)

  2. Oh Cami, you're singing my song! The whole "this is awesome" build up and then whooomp whooomp: the moment of truth and a big "yeah, no thanks!". Just know you're not alone.

  3. FYI- the pool folks did tell me on the phone once (when I was asking about lessons) that if I brought Ellie and she really wasn't ready that they would give my money back. Just a thought if it doesn't work this year. I have a feeling Ellie would be likely to do the exact same thing... which is probably why I keep chickening out of signing up in the first place! I am lame... can't deny it. You are doing great. Let me know if you need to bring the other boys here or something during the next one! Thanks for sharing too. There are many of us around fighting tbe she same battles!

  4. Okay, I am totally having a week like this!!! Seriously, my kids are so grouchy and whiney. I woke up today and just though "can I just not be a mom today and start new tomorrow?" haha It is nice to know I'm not alone, especially when you are like the most amazing mom and I want to be like you! I love this blog by the way, I would be willing to bet money our next two kids are boys and then MAYBE a girl, so I love hearing all the little boy stories! Your boys are the cutest and I can't wait to see the next little guy!

    Caitlin :)

    1. Thanks so much Caitlin, you are awesome. And heavens, I wish I could be half the woman you are. Glad that I am not the only one with unusually cranky kids. Miss you guys!!

  5. I know I have several days like this! You're definitely not alone. Ethnie and I can be the same, too-either best buds or not even friends... Must be an oldest thing? But if you need a break and the boys want to get out, bring them here. Since Ethnie is home we're going to be praying for friends to keep life interesting. :)