Saturday, July 18, 2009

Like monkeys and the works of Shakespeare

I am a big fan of saving all my deep conversation ideas for the worst possible time and then bringing all of them out and presenting them to Daniel all at once, in no logical order, jumping around from one to the other as fast as possible. :) I decided to do this last night at about midnight. Because midnight on a Friday night is the ideal time for a serious conversation, right?

Anyway, there we were. Lying in bed and trying to not move, since it was still over 80 degrees in our room. (Note to God- this is Seattle, not Atlanta. Please turn down the thermostat 15 degrees or so. Thanks.) And I start crying about the week and bringing up different things right and left. The challenges of doing stuff all day that is undone again pretty much as soon as I finish it. The fact that, as of a few months ago, I was working at a job that I trained for and had an advanced degree in and that I am darned good at, and now I'm spending my day dealing with poop. And about how it's not fair that we get no training and virtually no instruction for this, the toughest job in life.

And then we finally got to what's quickly becoming our biggest challenge, and the source of most of my stress during the days at home. Our beloved 23-month-old and our lack of a method of discipline that actually works. Here's the thing. He's a good kid. He's just a boy with a LOT of energy and we live in a very very small home. So, like the monkeys who could type the works of Shakespeare, given enough time, Ethan is inevitably going to hit on something that he's not supposed to be doing, when he's constantly bouncing around from thing to thing.

I don't mind the energy- he's a funny kid and very entertaining to watch and be around. But at the moment, he's not even acknowledging me when I tell him to stop doing something, and he laughs when I say no or try to discipline him. Recently he's started pulling my hair and kicking me when I'm changing his diaper, and again, he laughs when I tell him to stop. And boy does he like to push the limits or find a slightly new way to do something that we've told him not to do. We had a few methods of discipline that did work before, but now those don't seem to be working either.

So we really need to find some time to sit down and discuss exactly how we're going to handle Ethan's misbehavior and what's going to be an action that is disciplinable (a word? no?) and what that discipline is going to be.

But not today, because my in-laws are arriving in a few hours, so I need to go get ready for that. We're taking them to the Bite of Seattle this evening, which I'm excited about. If you're in the Seattle Center area today or tomorrow, go check it out, especially the section of the festival called The Alley. We've been the last 4 or 5 years now, sometimes returning multiple times over the three days. The Alley is a fundraising effort by Tom Douglas, a top Seattle chef. He has different chefs from other top restaurants come in and make a small bite, and for $10 you get 6 or 7 of these different small bite foods. They're always unbelievably good, so I'm really looking forward to it!


Lizzie said...

Ugh. Frustrating. Good luck with that - let me know what creative thing you come up with so that I can put it in my file drawer of future tactics - and have fun at the Bite!

Kristen said...

Good luck with that. Lord knows I have absolutely NO advice for you on that one. Well, run them like a labrador works, but who has time or energy for that?

maggie said...

I don't profess to know the answer for this one, but I DID want to say that my boy was never so horrible as the six-eight weeks after his new sister was home. I was totally clueless and didn't connect it to Molly until WAAAAY after the fact, but I swear I almost died. EVERY SINGLE STINKING DAY I was stashing that kid in the corner and tearing out my own hair. Around 6-8 weeks he seemed to morph back into his own self. SUPER WEIRD. Now we're dealing with normal aggravating 2yo stuff, but I just wanted to say: don't be too hard on yourself. I tried everything I could think of, when really I think he just needed to get his New Sister willies out. You're not failing the Discipline Thing, promise.