Saturday, July 18, 2009

Power struggles X2

I have been dealing with power struggles between both boys for quite a few days. Ronin picks the times when Audrey is taking a nap to demand crackers when it's not an official mealtime. Nikko is right along with him when it comes to crackers. This morning Nikko dragged me to the fridge, implying that he wanted crackers. I've been encouraging him to point upward, but also to sign More Crackers Please or a variation of the 3 words. When I prompt him with a sign and a question, sometimes he doesn't seem to feel like signing back. I say, "All done, then!" and wave my hands horizontally. He balks and then verbally protests, so I prompt him again with a sign and a question. This could go on for a while; the tide changes when he's reached his limit on how badly he wants the food. After verbally sparring with him over the crackers, he finally gave me a More so I praised him and led him back to the chair so I could reward him with crackers. *whew!* These matches are exhausting and many times I am drained from them.

After lunch I was preparing myself mentally to take all three kids to Target by myself. I really wanted to get a dishwasher basket for the little valves and baby bottle pieces that might fly around in the dishwasher. I've also never tested myself alone with the three at Target. Costco, yes, but not Target where the shopping carts seat one kid. They have some new ones where two kids can sit in a bulky, attached seat with seatbelts, sitting sideways, but I don't think either of the boys have the capacity to sit very still right now. I was getting down to the wire, about to do final diaper changes, when Chinny called me and asked if I needed help going to Target. I only questioned it once, but jumped at the opportunity to have help. She came, and it was a good thing because all three kids were awake and Ronin was incredibly crabby. I don't know if I would have gotten all the items on my list while keeping an eye on Ronin while the others would be in the stroller. Having both Nikko and Ronin free to run around would probably be suicide. What was I thinking?? I guess maybe we're not ready yet to go out solo + kids. I joked on Facebook that I wish I could leash the boys to the cart like sled dogs, but I'd probably get dirty looks from other moms. Before we left the house, I announced Socks and Shoes time. Nikko saw the socks in the living room and brought them to me. He even attempted to put his on, but I helped everyone. When we got back from our trip, Ronin was being fussy and when I pulled Nikko from his car seat he wriggled fiercely against me. I put him on the ground and he took off for the swingset. I told Chinny to let Ronin go and he did the same. I sighed heavily and told Chinny she could go to class. The boys obviously wanted to play outside and I shouldn't keep them from it. I put a fleece on Audrey, put sleeves on the boys, and sat on the banig with Audrey while the boys played. Unfortunately, they both started lifting the lid to the sand box. I really didn't want to deal with sandy kids, especially because I'd have to bring them in by myself and give them baths immediately by myself, but Ronin was screaming in protest while Nikko was deftly getting his fingers under the lid. I gave up and in seconds they were both sitting in the sand. UGH. I think I gave total outdoor time 20 minutes until I remembered that Audrey was kind of sniffly and the chilly winds weren't helping. I put her inside and fixed her up with a bottle, then went back to fetch Ronin, take off his sandy gear and put him inside with his juice, then picked up Nikko (said bye bye sandbox!) and did the same thing until they were both in the tub. It was during the pre-dinner prep that both boys were fighting over getting up on the stool to see what was going on over the countertop. I was trying to cook a cheese pizza for Nikko and heat up nuggets and meatballs for Ronin, but they were squawking and fighting. Audrey was sitting on the floor and also started squawking because she wanted to get picked up. I was getting so irritated by all the pushing and pulling! Nikko was getting upset because I kept brushing him off me, and pushing him away from the hot oven. I had to stop and hug him really tight because I didn't want to raise my voice at him anymore. Near the oven he was relentless in his crying and prodding, so much that I knelt down and put a clenched hand on my face. Nikko was crying and bending down to peer at my covered face, but I stayed down until I could regain my composure. I did, and continued to get plates ready without getting more angry. Audrey was screaming bloody murder and I finally got to pick her up, wipe up her face and settle her into the high chair with sweet potato stars. I really wasn't in the mood to be happy for a while after that! Since the boys already had a bath, the nighttime routine was brushing teeth, reading, song, prayers and bed. I couldn't wait for it to happen soon enough!

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