You perhaps can't do this with the non-related kid, but I have a passel of kids who do not want to go to bed this side of dawn. So I thought this up years ago when First was very young: I said, yes, you may stay up with me after your designated bedtime BUT - you have to what I am doing. If I am doing dishes, that is what you will do. If I am folding laundry, then you join me in that, etc. No moaning, belittling, anything on my part. They tried it out some, learned that I was always going to do it that way, and quickly decided to stay in bed. :)
SAHM affects me that way sometimes, too - no external validation. Hubby always makes nice noises when I talk to him when I get loony with the repetitive nature of child stuff, but somehow it isn't the same.
Small boy went to sleep by 7.30pm and small girl conked out at about 8pm; so I didn't have to resort to violence. There's nothing like compare and contrast to make one evaluate one's parenting decisions. Small girl cannot use adult cutlery - or any cutlery, perhaps - and is very messy with her food. We make small boy sit with us at the table and we all eat our meals together. We're fairly particular about table manners and competent cutlery use - not a meal passes without me instructing small boy not to bang his teeth on his fork or spoon. Small girl and her tiny brother eat at a children's table unsupervised. It shows. Small girl speaks in a sing-song, lispy cutsey voice that grates. I wonder if she only gets attention when she's being sweet and arch. On the plus side of their ledger, small girl can draw amazingly well and writes well - mum, dad, small boy's name - by herself. She pushes our boundaries a lot more than small boy does, or at least more frequently if not with as much force, but that might be because our boundaries are different than the ones she has at home. Her parents use a lot more discipline than we do - up to and including corporal punishment - but she seems more, not less, rebellious. We are sticklers for manners, but small boy gets to make a lot of decisions for himself. Already, at five, differences are clear.
Small girl stayed until after lunch, whereupon the fathers met up with bikes and the tikes burned off some energy. I wasn't sure how to play this morning - provide activities and make it a special event or let them get on with it by themselves (thinking ahead to years of weekend home invasions, I am keen not to set an unworkable precedent in the beginning). In the end I left them to their own devices until I could hear they were becoming fractious, at which point I provided an activity: art, cooking, meal etc.
I have explained to husband that, just like birthday parties, these friend events are a sort of currency that small boy accrues with his peers. It falls on us to provide a good experience for him and his friends so that he will be popular. It's a whole new world to husband, since he had neither birthday parties nor friends to his house - not even for an hour or two, let alone overnight. He was also ostracised, I've not had to labour the point.
In other boy-related news, I have spent the long weekend sporadically sewing name labels into small boy's clothes (I drew the line at his undies and used a marker pen for these). So far I've managed to do 12: his bag, his swimming togs, his towel, a shirt, some tee shirts, some trousers, a sunhat...I'll be at it for a while. Name labels are another English class issue - bear with me... I had a few options: I could have used a marker pen for everything; I could have bought iron-on woven labels; or I could order sew-on woven labels. Why did I choose the sew-on ones? Why didn't I just write with pen (what we did for his hat and coat at kinder)? It's like I have a template in my mind; it's what my parents did plus whatever snobbish aspirational bits I've added on. I can't now remember how my school clothes were labelled, but in my imagination woven name labels are the correct 'look'; whereas marker pen looks shifty, ad hoc, woven labels carry with them an air of authority (lord only knows what the upper classes do - have monogrammed silk squares or just not care about losing things?)... Anyway, I ummed and ahhed about iron-on versus sewn in (the sewn-in ones are more expensive) and I thought the sew-in ones will be reusable won't curl up at the edges in the wash. So, a one-off expense for several years' worth of labels (albeit at the cost of considerable labour on my part, what with unpicking and resewing each time) with the right look of authority and ownership - sew-on seemed the right decision.
I'm beginning to regret that slightly - iron-on would have been much, much faster. I did get small boy's name done in purple (his favourite colour) on a white label though - every time I finish one I sigh with satisfaction as small boy's name looks very smart all in lilac-tinted serif upper case. My mother made me sew my own badges on my guide uniform and there's a similar sense of foot-dragging pride to this whole endeavour: it's a pain in the arse, but it's the right thing to do and it looks great when it's finished.
Since small boy's school does not have a uniform (unusual here and in the UK) I'm stuck sewing labels in anything he might wear or take to school. I'm going to be sewing in labels for weeks!
B: yoghurt, coffee; slice of banana bread, scoop of cream-cheese icing (kiddie activity turned into verboten eating)
L: mole, avo, one tortilla chip, sour cream
D: egg-fried rice with ham and veg, pear
OMG have fun with the labels LOL
I am so grateful my sons school has a uniform for that reason hehe. I bought a school pack of labels from here [url=http://www.mynamelabel.com.au/]Name labels for kids, clothing labels , shoe labels, bag tags. Ideal for school and aged care.[/url]
I am yet to do all the iron on ones, but I have used the stickers on somethings. Stuff sewing in labels LOL
Re permanent marker labels - I guess we Americans are a nation of shifty lotters, cause that is what we do here by far :)
Yup - sitting down often together to a proper meal time will train your kid in good manners just as surely and naturally as reading together and modeling good speech will train them to acquire a large vocab and pleasing diction. Mine are no angels, but judging solely by the number of out-of-the-blue compliments I get when we are out and about, I am well-pleased, indeed. Got one yesterday about First and Second.
Super, super busy at work and at home. Tomorrow is Day 1 of school, but also day one of therapy and then, on Friday, I'm flying to Sydney and back for a meeting. I've also got a magazine and two 200+ page books to get to press in less than a month. I'm feeling a little bit under pressure, but it's good.
Project label it continues apace. I realised today that I need to label his wet bag (for his swimming gear) and a bag to hold his towel as his school bag is full with the regulation: spare clothes, sunhat (all schools in Australia demand hats for winter and summer), sunscreen, water bottle and the books he liberated from the library on previous visits. It's a good job he doesn't need to take books, pens, food and so on - he'd need a school suitcase on wheels to take that stuff as well.
I've been racking my brain, trying to remember how my school uniforms were labelled. I cannot remember seeing my name in my clothes, but I can remember seeing labels in the clothes of other children. Very odd.
Husband and I were remembering our own childhoods last night over a game of scrabble. Party dresses and costumes were made by mums - if you were lucky from a special pattern - none of this off-the-shelf nonsense. We find ourselves doing a bit of both, but homemade costumes invariably end up costing more than the mass-produced stuff. For the recent party we just went straight to the toyshop to get the requisite wizard costume (party theme: wizards and fairies).
Anyway, Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts tomorrow and then the magic really begins...
B: yoghurt, coffee
L: pate, cucumber, celery
D: steak, Mediterranean veg (capsicum, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, herbs); cheese; pear
Big day. Small boy had his first day at Hogwarts; I had my first therapy session. I never know about these things - is it gratifying to be told how depressed and on edge you are? Sort of, but not really.
Huge day at work, too. I'm doing a chapter or two a day of a course book on emergency obstetrics. I now know how to stick an inverted uterus back in and how to perform bimanual compression to stop postpartum haemorrhage. The pictures of internal podalic version I could have done without.
B: yoghurt, coffee
L: leftover veg; sardines
D: two beef sausages, two slices of veg omelette (maybe two eggs' worth); pear; small slice of brie with chives
Bigger day. I wrote to Dumbledore to express concern that small boy was crying on the Hogwarts Express and opine that perhaps he needed more help/structure in getting acclimatised. *woker-woker-woker* that's the sound of my rotor blades: I AM HELICOPTER MOTHER. Of course, today went a little better and the tears were less (apparently). We took small boy out for Thai food to congratulate him on being such a big, brave boy. He totally won over the staff by eating his spicy food and got a lollipop for his pains.
Was busy, but dragging my feet at work as I have caught a cold and am slowly drowning in mucus. Great - perfect for tomorrow's flights.
B: yoghurt, coffee
L: three slices of veg omelette - three eggs, maybe
D: thai food: beef penang, little bit of rice, some veggies, chicken skewer; coconut water
Do you hear that, badger?.... Thumpety-thump, thumpety-thump... that is the sound of Small Boy's heart swelling as he knows his very own Professor McGonagall has his very best interests at heart, and also has his back.
Oh dear, if I'm McGonagall and small boy is Harry Potter who shall husband be? Physically he's more of a Snape (written by someone who thinks Alan Rickman is the bees' knees) than, say, a Hagrid, but yesterday he transported Harry Potter to Hogwarts, held off the Whomping Willow of morning meeting and stayed there until Harry was settled in with Pomona Sprout, his teacher. Morning meeting (or school assembly, as it was called in my era), husband reports, is rather chaotic to begin with: 120 children of varying sizes (school goes to 16, so some of these 'kids' will be 15 - giants when you're only just five) and multiple adult strangers (teachers, sundry parents) milling around, chatting, shouting, running. No wonder small boy is scared and overwhelmed. He'll get more confident, but I can see why he's finding it hard.
While husband was being heroic and protective, I went to Sydney. Long, long day, not improved by a thunderstorm that shut the airport for two hours in the afternoon. Also, I was trapped in close proximity with my line manager, who we already know is Delores Umbridge as played by Grayson Perry dressed as 'Claire'...which probably only makes sense to me, but is a completely accurate character and physical attribute description.
Also, I ate like a hobbit yesterday - second meals all day - does that make me pre-Primal (like Lucy)?
B: yoghurt, coffee
Second B (on plane): sugar added, zero fat extra creamy (doublespeak at its finest) passionfruit Greek yoghurt, coffee
L: chicken, salad leaves, slices of fruit
Second lunch/pre-dinner (in QANTAS club): small bowl of minted pea soup, slice of ham, slice of beef
On plane: glass of shiraz (savory snack - three biscuits and [inexplicably] dip - got binned)
Thank-Christ-I-made-it-home dinner: Thai fish curry*
*Fish curry has become an ongoing joke in our house. In the extended DVD extra features for LoTR there is an interview with Viggo Mortenson (SWOOOOOOON!) where he describes catching and cooking a huge fish for one of the scale doubles (an Indian chap who he spent a lot of time playing chess with and who made the most amazingly spiced delicious dinners). Afterwards Viggo modestly asks his friend what he thought of the fish.
Casually, downbeat, the guy said: "S'okay."
Friend: "I would have made fish curry."
Whenever husband doesn't make good use of his raw materials, I respond with 'S'okay... I would have made fish curry."
A day of Japanese bed therapy as someone here called it or staring at walls as I have always referred to it. I'm too busy to take a sick day so I used a Sunday instead - and feel guilty, because it's not what mothers do, is it? Actually wanted a bedtime companion, but had to make do with my own company. Can't seem to find peace. An itch I can't quite scratch, so to speak. I'm a mystery to myself and everyone else.
Thinking. Thinking. Will be writing soon. Sex scenes are the least of it - things are coalescing, flesh is being put on bones. An exorcism is brewing, I think.
Food a disaster. Can one sweat out sugar like one sweats out salt? Certainly, I've been burning hot today.