Friday, January 01, 2010

1/1/10 New Day

Hmm, I had a hard time typing the date!! One-one-ten. Wow.

Well, good riddance 2009.

We're having a serious attitude problem with Gabriel these days. Asked to do something (e.g. pick up your socks that are strewn in front of the front door), he answers with exasperation or flat-out refusal. "NO," or, "I REFUSE." Literally -- he says "REFUSED" !

I'm not sure how to handle this. It has to be extreme, whatever it is. With Gabriel, if you enter the battle underequipped, it's bound to be protracted. You have to strike fast and hard. Taking toys away -- even very highly valued ones -- barely works. Threatening spanking, that sort of works, if it's delivered in a calm even tone informing him just how many he's going to get. But I don't want to live that way, it's very stressful. And he's almost 8 -- we need to update/upgrade our discipline methods. To what, I have no idea.

I'm dealing with a 7-year-old teenager.

Talking to him calmly later, like about how rudeness isn't acceptable and that it will only make things worse for him, listening to his side, suggesting other responses, and relating similar stories from my own childood, definitely reaches him. But it has no effect in the heat of the moment. I can see how furious and frustrated he can I guide this intense person not to hang himself in conflicts? His iron backbone is an admirable asset, but it's going to work against him until he learns to control it. Which likely won't happen until he's 40 and divorced and in group therapy.

Katrina, meantime, has been surprisingly cooperative and agreeable the past few days. For example: "Mommy, can you please open my Mr. PotatoHead box?" I tell her sure, but first pick up the puzzle you just did. "OK Mommy!" and she trots off to her room, applies herself fiercely to the task, and then reappears a few minutes later. "Mommy, can you please open my PotatoHead box?"

I have my first cold of the year -- already! I spent the New Year turnover watching HGTV, sniffling and coughing and trying to get comfortable, then suddenly realized "oh wow, it's 12:07...guess it's the New Year." Hurrah. Dave was already asleep.

Today I've spent much of the day lying down, and was glad when Katrina kept me company. I get quickly bored with TV, can't concentrate on reading, and poop out quickly walking around doing things. At least I put a few things away in the garage and made some blueberry turnovers...I couldn't resist since a friend so kindly loaned me a stand mixer and I just had to use it today.

But that's it for me, and I suspect much of the same for tomorrow. I'd better dig deep though, 'cause the good karma from our trip to the city yesterday has totally worn off. Those kids need to get out.


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