Monday, December 13, 2010


"You are not kind!"

Linnea said it to me, a few times, last week. She was absolutely right.

So I had a go at being kind. Friday was the first day, and it was hard; I just said "fuck it," (not out loud, I don't want to hear them swear just yet) a lot more than usual and gave up on trying to get them to do anything.

Saturday was easier because they were out. I tidied the whole front room properly, chose extra storage, and talked to them. I had tidied the whole room, and we would get them new storage, and get the Playmobil out of the attic (it was banished there over the summer because it was getting lost and maltreated, in part because they didn't want to store it in the only available space). In return, they would keep things tidy enough that I didn't gouge any more holes in my feet just walking around.

And if I step on something and hurt myself, I bin it. If I step on something and break it, I bin it. In return for this privilege, I remind them kindly when they have left stuff out in our limited floorspace.

Saturday evening, Sunday, and all day today went well in this regard. I'm pretty impressed. The hard and fast rule only applies to the one room I really, really tidied, but it will help me get the rest of the house under control if that one room is.

And they will have more fun playing with their stuff, and I will have more fun not losing my temper.

I've asked a few times, and I am, apparently, getting better at being kind.

I hope it gets easier with practice.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leap of Faith

Did it again. Stopped trying to make them do what I wanted them to do, just explained what had to happen so that they could do what THEY wanted to do, and left it more or less up to them.

It may not be wholly unconnected that the eldest child is writing a long, long story about a two-year-old who has to clean houses for a living. Nor that my food is still bleeding from an unfortunate plastic toy/cluttered rug incident 6 hours ago; every time I move the scab cracks.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ticking over

We have had a much easier time of it lately. And pretty exciting, in our low-key way.

Linnea has flipped over into reading; she will openly read things, and pointing out her errors where I think it's useful is just extra information for her now, not criticism. She reads books to the other two very nicely, and also less nicely, if they don't want to be read to.

She also drew a very convincing map of Ireland but it's not mine so I don't have a copy; it was sent off in the post.

Both children find writing very hard work and tiring, so I'm not pushing that. Some writing happens anyway, for Christmas cards and gift labels and things, but not much.

Linnea and Emer have both been drawing about as much as usual, please send help before we drown in the stuff.

Astrid is learning to sit up and swears she can eat things, but as she's not quite 20 weeks old yet I'm reluctant to believe her.

The learning I'm pushing for at the moment is "if you get up in the morning and GET DRESSED we can do more interesting things than if you get up and immediately become inextricably absorbed in whatevertheheckitis," because even if they get enough exercise climbing the furniture and running up and down the house non-stop for 20 minutes at a time, I don't.

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