Saturday, April 12, 2008

Two-Day Old Bliss

The upheaval caused by being sick and off routine sent the boys in a bad behavior tailspin, just in time for Mommy's body to succumb to the Worst Cold Virus Ever. I am still worn out, and all three kids are still sleeping about an hour extra a day. Weird. I've had many cold viruses, but none like this. I still can't even walk through the grocery store without feeling spent. Seems more like the flu to me, but the doctor said this area hasn't seen much flu.

Being an ex-teacher, I was certain the behavioral nightmare that had descended upon our home resulted from lack of routine. I struggled, believe me, to suck it up and get back to normal speed. But at the same time, Emily cut more molars, or at least one edge each of her upper and lower right, first year molars. I know, I know. I've been talking about her molars for weeks, but who knew they can take such an excruciating long time to fully surface? The boys teethed so easily. This is all new to me!

Anyway, she's been up countless times a night, meaning I'm one sick daytime zombie. Daddy's been helping with the wake ups, thank goodness. To make matters worse, two days ago she picked up a new virus, even though she hadn't been anywhere but the doctor's office, at which I made certain she didn't touch a thing. Go figure! We go two-and-a-half months with no illness, then get hit for a month straight! Just in time for spring!

Super News, Though!

We've solved our bad behavior nightmare. The boys are sweet, well-managed kiddos these past couple of days, thanks to an idea I gleaned from MollyCoddle.

Today was Day 2 of our implementation, and it went quite well. It's an extremely simple idea. We posted a To-Do list for both of them on the fridge. As they complete each task, they have to put a checkmark next to it, under the correct date. They don't have to do them in any certain order, so they feel like they have control over their day; there's been virtually no griping. I'll be changing some of the tasks about every ten days or so, depending on what skills we're working on.

Some of the tasks aren't necessarily part of their school day, but are just included to keep them busy and out of trouble. Other school activities that require more adult preparation aren't included, as we have to retain control over when they are done. The listed tasks requiring a parent have to be completed by 2:00 pm, which is when Daddy leaves for work, after which I solo parent until 11:30 pm.

Timmy, who is four, has to complete:

Draw a picture.

Count to 100 with chart.

Write in your journal. (He sounds out the words, I write them, as we are still working on his penmanship.)

Do two puzzles.

Practice your sight words.

Read to a parent.

Cut with scissors (working on his fine motor skills.)

Daniel, who is six, has to complete much of the same, with a few things added, like penmanship and number-writing practice. Of course, Daniel has mastered scissor skills, but still likes to do that anyway. He requested that I add it to his daily list. :)

Pleased As Punch

Both Don and I are pleased as punch with this system. They're busy and behaving. They don't use the computer as much, they're playing more together, and I'm seeing more imagination in their playtime. Daniel is following me around less, although that probably won't ever end entirely, as it's part of his ADHD-like, high-maintenance nature.

Baby Corner

With two active homeschooling boys around, Emily, almost 16 months, doesn't always get enough adult attention. Nevertheless, she has been mastering skills of her own lately, much to my guilty amazement. I think I will post a list of educational things to do with her everyday, just to make sure she is getting enough stimulation.

Here are some things you can do right now, My Rosey Roo:

- Climb! I can't leave boxes around anymore, even diaper boxes, because you climb on them to reach forbidden things. Our preschool table chairs have to be put up on the dining room table, until your naptime. Recently, you carried one over to the stove, and climbed on it to try to reach the flame. Yikes! I found you out in time and I actually screamed in fear. That scared you. It takes a lot of work to keep you out of harm's way.

- Point to pictures in books. Today I asked you to point to the shoes in your First Words Book. You did it!

- You can work one of our shape sorter toys, and you can do our large wooden shape knob-puzzle, with some help.

-You will sit for two to four pages of a book, unless it includes farm animal sounds. Then you'll sit a little longer.

-You bring me books, then when I sit down to read them to you, you get up and get another book to look at by yourself. Do you want us to silent read together? I'm never sure! :)

-You don't have much interest in talking, but you make yourself understood very well. (head shakes, nods, smiles of approval, grunting)

-You take off your clothes before your bath, as long as I get each garment started. You clap for yourself after each clothing item is taken off and thrown down.

-You love to play with the soap bar in the bath. It keeps falling out of your reach, but you steadfastly refuse to give up on it.

-You help me unload the dryer. I give you garments and you take them to the couch. Boy! This makes you so happy!

-You started playing with the boys' foam alphabet letters in the tub. Then yesterday you noticed that we also have some in the playroom, although they are plastic magnet letters. They've been around a while, but you just recognized that they're the same thing you play with in the tub. Simple observation, but I thought it was pretty neat. You held one up for me very excitedly, then got them all out of their container, showing me each one in turn. I gave you the name of each, and you seemed to like that. Made you feel like your big brothers, maybe?

-You have 12 teeth, although three of them are molars that are only partially erupted. The boys had only a few teeth at your age.

Mommy Loves You! You light up our life!

Right now you've just started crying from your crib. When will it end? You actually slept through the night for six nights straight, for the first time ever, right before you got sick. That's all for now, My Sweet Love.

1 comment:

Evenspor said...

That is a great system. We'll have to try it at some point. And it's fun to hear how your littlest is progressing too.