Sunday, January 29, 2012
The last month has been very wearying – which is a worry as I had quite a lot of time off, and was meant to have re-charged my batteries for the new year.
One reason has been my health. My slipped disc noticeably impacted my movement for several weeks after it happened, and even now after 6 weeks it is still not 100%. Then late last week a trip to the dentist found a badly rotted tooth. A 5 minute extraction turned into two and a half hours in the chair, taking it out in small crumbling pieces. Physically my mouth is still recovering from that. My mental recovery will take even longer!
Another reason has been the effort to clear up a few items off the To Do list. I found Jack a laptop at a good price in the Boxing Day Sales. It may seem strange for a 6 year old to have his own laptop, but it was pertinent to get him off Al’s computer. For one he was learning enough through school to start downloading and installing things. We were also having problems with Grace insisting of taking over when he was using it, or deliberately turning it off to upset him.
This saw a chain of purchases over the month – which culminated in buying and setting up a new bookcase and desk for his room, and moving his old storage units to the downstairs play area. This took a lot of research and running around! Between these and some cleanup efforts, we managed to get several of the areas in the house to look neat for almost the first time since the kids arrived.
Mostly however the month has been wearing due to Grace. It started out with her toilet training, which after a couple hard days has gone far more smoothly than Jack’s did. It still adds work to the day though. She also hasn’t been sleeping as well – battling or skipping her midday sleep at times, going to bed late (often using the potty as an excuse to get up several times), and getting up early. This tires both her and her Mum out. Plus she has generally just been throwing a lot more tantrums than normal. The moment she doesn't get what she wants she goes into banshee mode, being deliberately naughty, hitting, biting, scratching, screaming, and damaging things around the house. A dozen of those in a row and both of us are rattled and over it.
Jack is getting the short straw here, being sent off and told to keep himself amused and out of the way while we try to deal with Grace. (A task he can be rather bad at – often returning minutes later to be belted by Grace, and yelled at for not doing what he was told.)
We don’t really have Grace’s measure on this – and have been ineffective in containing the behaviour or getting it to improve. You can’t discuss it with her (as she is too busy trying to bash your head in), there is no place in the house we can contain her within (she climbs out of her cot, opens any door etc), and there seems to nothing of consequence we can threaten or punish her with that she cares enough about. (In fact, she will often deliberately do whatever you tell her not to while you are watching, to trigger the punishment to spite you (and herself).)
As a consequence we have rarely left the house with her this month.
It is certainly not all doom and gloom. Grace really is doing great with her toilet training, and I can’t remember the last time she had an accident during the day. (Mostly it is just not getting her dress or her “bundies” out of the way properly while sitting on the potty). She is also pretty happy – assuming she has her Mum’s full attention and is doing whatever she wants, for as long as she wants. She is also going well in the new room at childcare (although was told off for singing at the top of her voice during one nap time). We are coping well with Jack being on school holidays, and the house is looking better organised than it has in years. I am also pretty happy with how I have coped overall. That doesn’t however make the last month any less tiring!Posted by Doug at 10:32 PM