Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Trouble in the Land of Parenthood

Nothing is more difficult than being a parent (personal opinion). The lives of my three tiny people totally revolved around me (and dad). My actions affect their lives in simple and extreme ways. Their lives literally depend on me. Their food, clothes, shelter, providing them with the skills they need to function, emotional support, discipline and many other things. At times this is a daunting task.

Nothing is worse than feeling like something you are doing or not doing is causing negative habits or problems with your children.

My son is almost 16 months on and he doesn't talk, not really. His pediatrician told us he should have been saying at least one recognizable word by 12 months and if he hadn't by 15 months she was going to recommend speech therapy. This has caused me to put off calling to make his 15 month old well child check. (I know, bad Mama). I did research on my own and found out that speech therapists don't actually find the non talking thing an issue until 18 months.

So my husband and I started doing all the exercises with him recommended, as did our oldest daughter. We began teaching him sign, just a few basic ones like; Mama, Daddy, milk, kitty and eat. Our Goblin King does everything else he is supposed to do for his age. He shakes his head no, he waves Hi and Bye. He walks, runs, feeds himself, points and can play with toys....He just doesn't speak. He even understands at least a dozen words and commands like; come here, give me that and no. Though whether he actually obeys them? That's another story. He is constantly on the move, exploring, testing boundaries and making all sorts of noise. He also sometimes signs daddy and milk.

I asked many of my friends with sons how normal this behavior is since having a boy is new territory for me. Both my girls were speaking by 12 months. (And haven't shut up since lol.) Most of them told anecdotes of children with simple speech delays or boys that didn't speak until they were almost two years old, so I feel like maybe I am over reacting a bit.

The Goblin King has been trying to talk in the past few weeks. He says words we think are Kitty, Hi, No and Thank You. However they don't count in the world of Doctors because they are not obviously words. He says "Na" when he shakes his head no, and only when he means no. He says Hiya when he waves and say Keekat (spelling baby garble is hard!!) when petting or pointing to a cat. Whenever you give him something he says the exact same baby talk every time, it in no way sounds like thank you, except in tone. He uses the exact tone Boo and I use when we tell him thank you. He only says this specific baby talk when he is being handed something. It's cute and funny, but though WE know it's thank you.. no one else could figure it out.

So there's kid stress # 1

Second kid stress? Our oldest daughter and the fact that she doesn't seem to understand how important it is to do her homework. She lies about having it, lies abut doing it, constantly gets caught and is now almost always in trouble. I've asked for advice from friends and family only to be told that I am already doing what they all suggest.

I take away privileges and ground her. I have also tried bribery, pleading, threatening and begging. After a huge fiasco with her Science Fair Project I finally sat down and had a one on one conversation with her, really talked it out....Hopefully I got it into her skull that school and good grades are important...That she is almost 12 (in ONE MONTH AAAAAHHH!) and I shouldn't have to go through her back pack every day and watch her like a hawk while she does her homework. I wasn't like that. I was always so anxious about homework I got it done right away and then could go play. I would be sick to my stomach is I forgot homework or didn't turn it in.

I don't like feeling like a homework Nazi and I don't want my relationship with her changed because I am the homework police.

It's been really bad this year. I know always being in trouble isn't fun, but it is stressful for me and her dad to always have to be the bad guys because she can't get it together and understand homework comes first. She is so bright, smart, beautiful and sweet I would hate to see any of that change because she doesn't want to do her homework. If she can't get good grades this year she won't go to the dual immersion junior high all her friends are attending. And yes, we've told her that several times. I feel this separation from her friends would be bad for not only her personality but her self esteem.

Lastly there is my evil daughter whose teacher called me yesterday because she and a another little girl decided the bell was for everyone else, but not them...The teacher told me that she was about to mark them absent had others in their class not spoken up about seeing them on the play ground.

This is the second time this has happened, so now my five year old is grounded too. Her teacher had to write he up, but was more worried than angry. The teacher is worried that the girls don't understand that when there are no teachers or yard duty or other students around it is not safe for them to be out there playing.

So Boo and I had to have a strict talk with our youngest daughter about obeying school rules and going inside when the first bell rings. The only good thing to come from this incident was that the little girl she was playing with, Countess (name changed), was actually a real person and not imaginary. (She came home from school a month or so ago talking about a girl who was her friend named Countess  who was covered in burns... you can see why we thought she was imaginary.) While Countess is NOT covered in burns, at least she is a real person.

I love being a mommy more than I ever could imagine, but man...When you're 18 you do not think these are going to be the kinds of things that keep you up at night.

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