As the Munchkin has gotten older and is now not nursing every 1-2 hrs (because she really likes food that's been grown in the ground or from a tree) we've all realized (probably something our neighbors have all known) that the Monkey and I need to have time just for us. During the day we have the Munchkin with us and she rarely sleeps during the day - and usually when she does we're either in the car driving somewhere, or she wants me to hold her, OR it's during the Monkey's nap time...so during the day it's rare that he and I get any time just the two of us, and it's starting to take a toll.
Driving me to South Korea, because that's where his house is.
I know that he's 4 1/2 and part of that is not listening to us, and part of that is being absolutely loving one minute and the biggest bully (who wants to hurt us) the next minute...I know this. I know he was created to push all of my buttons at the exact moment that I just can't handle having another button pushed. But even knowing all of this, and even treating him like an alien who just landed in our house and so therefore has no clue about any of our rules (until someone comes over or the Munchkin does something that he's not allowed to do and you realize that over the past 4 1/2 yrs he has learned the "rules of the house") there are times when I don't act like the adult I'm suppose to be - where I lower myself to the 4 1/2 yr olds level and I just yell back at him and think all the evil/naughty thoughts and wonder when I get to spank him because "that'll show/teach him"...yeah. In the minute I don't really realize I'm lowering to my kids level, but when I look back I do and I think "CRAP! That's not what I want to teach him. I don't want him to respond to trying situations like that!" and then I realize (and everyone else does too) that the two of us just need to go have some fun together! So we have!
We live right next to an amusement park/playground park with a miniature golf course(!) - and we bought season passes for the rides - so we take advantage of it and we go!
On the Carosol
It might not be for long - but we try to go for at least 1-2 hrs, but the important thing is - it's time away from everyone else and we can do whatever we want! Many times our trips there consist of at least 3 toilet stops (sometimes he reminds me of me...when I was pregnant!) - but toilet stops don't stop the fun and laughter and random stories from happening! Besides that I know that some of his "bullying" ways are simply because he wants more time individually so we can actually focus and play things he wants to and not just what we can when the Munchkin is around.
And so we will continue to have "dates" out together because not only are we creating some special times and memories together that will hopefully help us communicate in the long run, I want him to know 100% how important he is and that just because the Munchkin is around doesn't mean I don't love hanging out with him. I'm hoping that as these continue to be part of our week, he'll know that when he gets upset he doesn't have to overreact, but that is yet to be seen...only time will tell, but I'm being optimistic in believing they will! Until then we're having fun together and Daddy and the Munchkin get to have fun times together as well. What I do know is 4 1/2 is tough - no wonder they call the 4's "the F'ing 4's" and that does not mean "Fantastic"...
(This is from yesterday) At 3:30 this morning I knew today was going to be a long day, I just didn't know how long. Thanks kids for letting me know just how long a morning can be, because every once in awhile I do forget - you know on those days when we have fun things planned or when we just have fun. So yes, there are times I need to be reminded what it was like to be a child when the hours you had to wait to see a friend seemed like years...only you two forgot about the good thing at the end of the long wait. Oh well. There's always tomorrow. But back to today...since 7 am (because the one that woke up at 3:30 did eventually give in and fell back to sleep at 5 am, and they were both sleeping till around 7 am. Me? Yeah, I snoozed about 30 min before I had to get up for the day - hey no one said "Parenting is glamorous" and if someone did say it they have never had a child.
So from 7 am till 9 am this was pretty much our morning:
Sheets changed: 1 crib
Breakfast: 1 hr
Tantrums: 30 min
Reading books: 30 min
Laundry: 2 loads washed, and almost dried (don't ask about folding and putting away - those are probably both for another day.)
Drinks spilled all over clothes: 1 (which was actually hilarious in the sense that I told him 4 times not to tip his sipper-saurus back like he does with his water bottles - but he did and the consequence was diluted apple juice all over his clothes. You know what happened then right? That's right! A meltdown because he had to change his clothes because he was soaking wet - he didn't want to change his clothes, but he also did not want to be wet.)
Hurting his sister (because she was "distracting" his from eating his cereal by standing next to his chair and smiling at him): 3 times
Spitting on the floor (because apparently sometimes you get so mad you just NEED to spit?): 1 time
Playing with only 1 child (because the other was so upset that when he finally went up to his room to change his clothes he forgot about us downstairs and started playing happily by himself with his trains): 20 GLORIOUS minutes.
The rest of the day wasn't as bad - there were some moments where we had fun and played and the minutes went by faster than in the morning...
and when Rusty asked me in the afternoon how our day was going I responded with "We're all alive" because some days that's a win, and you have to be content or at least able to deal with that.