Monday, July 23, 2007

7/23/07 Gabriel reads a book

Tonya is closed this week, so Julian is doing a half-day one-week day camp at the Y. He was looking forward to it, and was just fine when I dropped him off, and chatting happily with a new friend at lunch when I picked him up. He had a great time, and now Gabriel wants to go to day camp too!

What a relief to drop Julian off and get the boys separated.

Last weekend, Dave and I bought two kid-books with the intent of them being Gabriel-readable. After some debate, we got him two "Level 2" books, which are roughly guidelined to be "I can read with help." Within that, they vary widely; and the "Small Pig" story is far more substantial than the goofy Thomas-the-Tank-Engine stories (which I'm starting to get very tired of!).

This morning, Gabriel read both books without stopping, carefully studying each page, reading each word aloud slowly and clearly. Not only did he read almost all the words, but he understood the stories too. Best of all, he really liked sitting down and reading a new story himself. It's time to get this kid a library card!

Later in the day, after we picked up Julian, Gabriel read both books again to Julian. Julian really needed to finish his lunch before nap, but I didn't have the heart to insist when they were both so absorbed in the new stories.

Meantime, Katrina practiced her non-crawling mobility skills. Though she'll take one barely-credible crawl step, she hasn't really made all fours a way of getting from one place to another. She ends up sliding to her tummy and then rolling around on her back. What happened to infant girls hitting physical milestones sooner?!

Calm Mom took a brief hiatus today, as I lost my temper with the boys three times today. Now that I do that a lot less, the triggers are clearer. And almost all of the trouble centers around the boys' nonstop, if loving, harassment of their baby sister.

For every time I sit Katrina down in the family room, I have to tell the boys numerous times to stop: stop putting things in her face, stop taking toys away, stop giving her toys with tiny pieces, stop cupping their hands and shouting in her ear, stop grabbing her hands, stop stepping on her feet, stop running cars over her head, stop jumping over her, stop running in circles around her, stop pushing her, stop this, stop that, STOP EVERYTHING AND JUST LEAVE HER ALONE!!!!!!!

The "numerous times" part is a problem. Should I shorten the escalation cycle each time? It starts with warning, kick him (usually Julian) off the rug, then to the living room, then to his room; each time with a warning first and then the consequence. Again and again and again. I don't want to send him straight to his room for grabbing her feet, but by the 10th time in the day, I have no patience left for warning/consequence-1/warning/consequence-2/warning/consequence-3 etc.

Oh boy, will I be happy when Katrina can stick up for herself a little more. She'll never be a match for her rambunctious older brothers, but she won't always be quite as helpless as she is now.

Betsy says her kids mostly ignore their baby brother...break my heart! I can't imagine!! Protecting helpless baby from her overzealous brothers is a nonstop source of anxiety for me.

Yesterday (Sunday) morning, instead of sleeping late and then making a big bang-up breakfast for the family (which I love to do), I got up uber-early and ran in the Wharf-to-Wharf 10K instead. And today, no trace of a Monday Migraine. None!! Do you know how rare it is not to even feel a headache brewing?! That's huge! What the heck is going on Sunday mornings?!


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