Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meet in the middle / HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY, NIKKO!

Today was Nikko's 4th birthday. He had ABA with Kathy at 11a, then lunch, then we went to Mom's house for the afternoon. When we came home, I fed them dinner, Denis showed up, we blew out candles again, did some gifts, then bath and bed. All in a nutshell. Did Nikko enjoy his day? I really hope so. Thank goodness there were no huge crying fits, although I can't say the same for Ronin, poor Ronin who is obsessed with having a birthday and wanting to "have Nikko's birthday" and everything that goes with it: the day, cake, presents. Ronin doesn't understand the concept of days, weeks or months so telling him his birthday is coming in two weeks was not comforting enough. I had to make sure that Ronin had a gift to open at Mom's house, and then again at home, because the alternative was to have a brute, upset, loud, crying, screaming little boy. I figured there's no real harm, that Ronin will be more mature next year to handle birthdays, and he can practice all year while attending other kids' parties that he can't always have a gift. I also didn't want to spoil Nikko's birthday with Ronin's incessant crying, because every time either Ronin or Audrey is in full cry mode, Nikko starts getting upset and will come over to swat the offending crier on the head. Not pretty. Best to placate the offender with toys. Nikko received a Toy Story 3 Pizza Palace car set and a Matchbox truck from Mom, while Ronin got a car carrier. I brought along a Disney Cars Dr. Mater truck for Nikko and a Cars ambulance for Ronin, but somewhere along the way they got switched in ownership. I brought a purple Little Pony for Audrey to open, but she didn't show much interest in it. At home, I gave Ronin a Buzz Lightyear puzzle which he worked on with our help and was so proud to complete. I got Nikko the play cash register and he quickly adopted the plastic play credit card as his own. I don't think Nikko understands what a birthday is at all, but that's ok for now.

I was answering a Facebook post on Nikko's birthday when I typed, "Sometimes I wonder what qualified me to be a mom in the first place." It made me wonder, truly, why God would give me three little lives to be in my care, when I have such a terrible temper. If someone told me I was such a caring person, responsible and great with people, I'd probably snort and laugh cruelly. On days when I'm yelling my head off because my kids won't listen to me or turn their heads towards me when I'm asking them to do something, I really wonder why I was given this opportunity to have kids. It almost seems doomed for failure, because if you are too stern then your kids could ignore you or turn away from you, and if you're too lax then they will step all over you and you'll feel powerless either way. I suppose there's the happy medium, but attaining it means working hard, REALLY HARD, to meet in the middle. Once I acknowledge this concept, I wonder if I'll be trying to meet in the middle for the rest of my life. I've admitted that I yell, in general, WAY too much. I yell at Ronin a lot, or reprimand him for not meeting my expectations. I get impatient with Nikko (and the others, too) so much that I hit that level of exasperation that elevates the shrillness in my tone of voice. I'm really quite ashamed of it and vow continually not to do that. When people tell me to try counting to 10, 60, 100, I tend to roll my eyes because that kind of "relaxation" method is not working. Go to the bathroom, close the door behind you to gather your thoughts, and let them cry and pound on the door. Um, no, that doesn't ease my nerves one bit. What I AM thinking of trying is to write out those key words (the ones that would make my eyes roll) on paper, very thick, and put them on the walls. Phrases like:

COUNT TO TEN (rolling my eyes)
Perhaps the visual reminders will help me to come down from my high horse. I may give it a try.


  1. Happy Birthday Nikko!

    And congratulations Melissa Mama for bringing him, and your other two stunners this far. You have been sent a major challenge, and as far as I can understand, you are going great guns.


  2. Happy Birthday to your little Nikko! Sounds like he had a fun day! He has come so far because of his dedicated family and great mother! You should all be very proud :)