children, happiness, humor, kids, kindergarten, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Here’s Hoping…

The IHOP logo
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I’m feeling nervous.  I have been cracking down on the boys and their behavior and frankly, the only thing that is close to cracking is me.  But that’s not why I’m nervous.

I told Full Speed and T.Puzzle that they need excellent reports from school so we can go to IHOP for dinner.  No exceptions.  I need a ‘blue’ day from Full Speed, blue being the absolute best mark you can get in kindergarten, and I need an excellent report from T.Puzzle’s teacher.   If not, no pancakes no how.

So you see I’m nervous because I don’t want to have to follow through with my threat.  It’s not that I’m jonesing for pancakes for dinner.  It’s that I’m jonesing for my kitchen to remain mess-free.

However, I guess the real punishment if I get negative school reports won’t be so much that the boys won’t go to IHOP and my kitchen will be messy, but that I would have to cook for them.

Poor dears.

children, mommyhood

My Nugget(s) of Wisdom

Little T.Puzzle had an excellent tae kwon do class. This morning he went to the childcare at my gym without complaint.

I think he is truly growing and expanding as a human being.


I’m getting better at bribery.

If only all conflict could be solved with the promise of chicken nuggets and fries…

children, humor, life in pictures, mommyhood

The Reward System

My sister came across an interesting article in the June/July issue of Disney’s ‘Family Fun’ magazine. It’s about a reward system to motivate your kids to help out around the house. I liked the idea so much I decided to give it a try. I’ve tweaked it considerably so it fits more for a five and three year old. I made our list of rules very broad so it could fit our changing needs of the day.

My version is if you follow the listed rules, you earn a pebble that goes in your marked jar. When the jar is filled you can have a reward of your choosing within reason of course.

When I picked up the boys from school I tried to explain the concept and the list of rules. Of course Full Speed had to throw his two cents in.

“So you’re saying that if I follow the rules, I get a pebble?”

“Yes, Full Speed, it’s that simple. What do you think some of the rules should be?” I ask.

Full Speed launches into a rote recitation of our rules of the bathtub: no splashing, no throwing toys, no hitting your brother, etc.

“You sort of have the idea but what are some rules for around the house because bathtub rules won’t really work for that,” I say.

“Oh, well there’s be a good listener, respect Mom and Dad, eat your food and don’t put your brother’s head under the couch.”

Well said.

children, eyesight, mommyhood

The Conference

Mad Dog and I attended Full Speed’s year in review at his school. We have been lucky in terms of his placement with a teacher who can appreciate him. She has a son that is very ‘active’ as well and therefore finds Full Speed’s antics to be quite charming.

At the end of the session I asked her point blank if she felt his vision was impeding him in any way. Until now I have never asked this directly. I never wanted to make an issue out of something if there wasn’t one there. I also know that Full Speed being Full Speed, he would voice out loudly if he couldn’t see something well. Over time, I did notice when I picked him up during storytime he was always seated up front. I figured it was so he could see better and let it go at that.

Turns out he’s not placed in the front to see better, it’s so he doesn’t get ‘distracted’ way in the back. Apparently he needs to be right under the teacher’s nose when the class is gathered on the carpet. This is to help prevent some of Full Speed’s aforementioned charming antics.

Maybe I should worry less about his vision and focus more on behavior modification.

children, mommyhood

Baby Steps

The boys play trains together. This lasts peaceably for a whole five minutes.

Mad Dog was working late and to motivate the boys to have good behavior through the evening, I said that we could watch America’s Funniest Home Videos together. Before we headed up to bathtime they went through the rules. No hitting, no biting, no tackling, no splashing, no throwing, no disrespectful talk and at the end of the list they both say, “no nothing (little T.Puzzle says ‘no nuffing’) or you go to bed without a treat or a show”. That’s when I came up with my future book on discipline called ‘The No Nuffing Approach to Making Your Children Behave’.

We got through bathtime, treat time and teeth-brushing and ‘snuggled’ up on the couch together. I use the term ‘snuggle’ lightly because I always end up injured. First someone inadvertently elbows me in the rib-cage, then someone else ‘sits’ on my lap with such force, I almost lose my breath and finally, someone always, always drops a hotwheels on my foot (ouch!).

It’s a given that my boys will be less than gentle but they are learning. At least now they apologize when they unintentionally inflict pain upon me.

Baby steps, right?