Mama Mia!

Every parent is judged at one time or another. We can all feel it when we’re out with our kids, other parents watching how you handle an outburst or a tantrum. If we say no to a toy or give in and purchase something to pacify a begging child. Do we give idle threats or follow through? Most of all we feel our children being compared to other people’s children. If they are better behaved or more polite. Are they horrible little terrors or the angels we wish we had? This happens to us and our children on our worst and best days and no matter how we behave ourselves someone will always be there to make silent commentary. Then there are the not so silent cases of comments. The ones that come from our families, the people we know and love.

I have two children, Lex (4) and Loki (2). As children go, they have their good moments and they have their bad moments. Most kids fall into those categories from time to time. Lex has been described as a “whirlwind”  and I think that describes him to a T. He is a very sweet child, who gets very excited and curious about things. We do have issues with his loudness. His volume control seems to be broken 95% of the time, but he is working on it. Loki is very different from her older brother. She is quiet and tends to keep to herself, however can become rumbustious with the help of Lex. Of the two of them she is far more daring and likely to put us in the emergency room.  Both children have inherited traits from Mad Dog and myself (more me than him). Loki is very strong-headed and stubborn like I am at times, where Lex is overly sensitive like his father. We have been complimented on their behavior and manners by friends, family and strangers in the past. This doesn’t always happen, but for the most part we do get positive feedback from people we meet with them. We owe a lot of their good behavior to our Daycare Provider, Kim. She works very hard with them and with us. She gives us recommendations on how to correct behaviors and reminders that we have to follow through with punishments when they are needed. 

Today, I was home from work sick. I’ve been getting over some kind of “something” which has kicked my butt a bit. Whereas yesterday Mad Dog drove the kids all the way down to daycare, today they were home with me (and Mad Dog). The morning was alright, Mad Dog let me sleep in waking me just in time to call into work. Often on Tuesdays my Mother-in-Law Mary Ann comes for visits to see Mad Dog and the kids. I am rarely around for these visits since I’m usually at work. The kids are always excited when someone comes to visit, often giving them a tour of the house, showing them all their toys and anything new since their last visit. Lex of course is the most excitable, remember “whirlwind”. He is just a happy kid. On Mary Ann’s arrival, Lex went down to answer the door to the building. Loki waited at the top of the stairs for our visitor.

During the time Mary Ann was in the apartment prior to going out, the kids were excitable but did not behave badly. This is according to Mad Dog and my standards. Remember the first paragraph of this post? Yeah, you see where I’m going. Lets list the things off that didn’t happen in that half  hour:

  • No one threw anything.
  • No one hit, bit or bruised anyone.
  • No one kicked anything.
  • No one broke anything.
  • No one was lit on fire.
  • No one lost an arm, eye or any other body part.
  • There was no blood.

Please let me be clear: a lot of the things on my list have never happened to our children, however others are a part of  the normal bad behavior we deal with. Currently Lex has an issue, if he gets upset he kicks something. When this happens he usually spends some time in the corner (aka time-out). 

I tagged along to the library with everyone. Lex and Loki were well behaved. Lex reminding everyone we had to be quiet after all it was the library. Mad Dog and the kids went to the Children’s Library while I looked at the new releases for anything good. When I made my way to the children’s department the kids had picked out DVDs to take out, and were heading to the sitting area to color quietly at a table. Both children were well behaved and Loki even shared crayons with another little girl. After the library, we hit a Borders since Mary Ann wanted to pick up a book for each of the kids as an Easter gift. Our Borders is going out of business, so it was chaotic at best there. While looking at what was left of the children’s books I asked Lex to lower his voice once or twice. He was getting loud and since this is an ongoing battle for us, I was trying to be consistent. A Border’s Bookseller spoke up and told me not to worry, “it’s a bookstore, not a library”, to which another parent shopping agreed. This irked Mad Dog and myself. Please let us parent our children and I won’t tell you A) how to recover books and B) display them. The end of our shopping time at Borders got a little hairy. It was close to lunch, which meant both Lex and Loki were hungry and getting cranky. 

We ended up at iHop, since we knew the kids would be happy there. Lex wanted to order before the Waitress even greeted us. She was kind enough to take the kids orders, put them in to hurry things up for them. Once the food came, Lex and Loki ate which helped their blood sugar and kept them focused for a while. The focus part ended when they finished eating. Like most people, adults included, the kids were both ready to leave once they finished. I can’t blame them, I’m usually the same way. Lex was given a few warnings that he needed to calm down and wait. Mad Dog mentioned he would take him out to the car to sit if he couldn’t behave. This was before the food came and as I said before, once the food came he was fine. After eating Lex needed to wash his hands. He has a thing about being dirty (not really O.C.D., but something). Mad Dog took him and left Loki, Mary Ann and myself to finish. Once they were back Loki decided she wanted to go under the table. Mad Dog picked her up to prevent her from doing this. This resulted in a battle of the wills, and I’m surprised Mad Dog was winning. Loki can be very headstrong and determined when she wants to be. While Mad Dog was dealing with that, we were getting ready to leave. Lex hit his head on the booth in all his excitement to leave. This resulted in a earth shattering scream that broke the sound barrier. I ushered Lex out, calming him down while Mad Dog fought with an upset Loki (Mad Dog had forgotten to take her milk when we left). In the car, both children were advised of how upset we were with their behavior. Having said that, with the exception of the last 10 minutes it wasn’t that bad.

We got home and everyone took naps after Mary Ann left. Later Mad Dog called to talk to Mary Ann about something else. What ensued was a lecture on the kids behavior. That they are out of control, the bad behavior started at the house, that we don’t follow through on discipline. Mad Dog couldn’t get a word in. She compared Lex and Loki to Mad Dog, his brother (4 years younger than Mad Dog) and his sister (5 years older than Mad Dog). She went on to mention how Mad Dog thought his nephew was out of control at times and now his children were acting the same way. Mad Dog couldn’t say anything, she wouldn’t let him. As Mad Dog and I discussed after, his Mother’s memory of her three children’s behavior is frosted over by age. They were not saints and not perfectly behaved. Another point is that neither his nephew Craig nor Gabrielle (Mad Dog’s daughter) grew up with a sibling like Lex and Loki. Gabrielle was 7 when her step-sister Sophy was born and Craig has no siblings. Lex and Loki are less than 2 years apart from one another in age, they feed off each other and learn from one another – this has its good points and bad points. At the time Mad Dog mentioned his nephews bad behavior he was 7 not 4 or 2.

Though they did have their bad moments today, they were not out of control. They were children. Hungry, bored and done.


~ by Cute Fan Girl on April 26, 2011.

One Response to “Mama Mia!”

  1. […] short follow-up to my post last night (see Mama Mia!). My Mother-in-law, Mary Ann called Mad Dog this morning an apologized to him for her phone call […]

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