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post #101 of 138
Thanks for the website!
post #102 of 138
:

Hi subscribing to this thread for ideas.....

I read the book a couple of months ago. I do alot of knock mommy down games and chase games, which ds loves. He is 2.5 yrs old but will be 3 in MAy.

I lack in creative ideas when I hit a snag like bedtime routine. The 10 mins of a game for which ds gets to chose to play before going upstairs to brush your teeth and start the bedtime routine isn't working anymore. He fights me going upstairs. It is easier when dh is home for the routine but that is only 3 nights out of 7 nights he's home for the evening.

I like the "Don't brush your teeth, whatever you do" that someone suggested here. I am going to try this tonight!
post #103 of 138
Welcome! I'm glad there are still new folks interested in this thread--it's been a great source of support and inspiration for me.

Beachbaby, hooray for you, working on the feelings thing with your baby. It's one thing I wish I could go back and tell myself then--it's such an awkward, complex thing to grasp, to let your baby have her own feelings and not try to "fix" them, even as you try to understand and respond to what she's needing....I still don't quite get it, but intuition tells me this is where I wish I had been more.

nicholas_mom, I have a game that I use for difficult transitions (bedtime, getting dressed) when I am together enough to think of it: I have this character called Hand (like a puppet, but without a puppet I have to keep track of ) who is truly clueless about everything. Hand can't figure out how this hat is supposed to go on (ds's pants), thinks you brush your teeth with the handle of the toothbrush, and stuff. If Hand is ridiculous enough, DS will start giving instructions or demonstrating, while giggling constantly (and Hand usually couldn't figure out the instructions very well, either). So for a while I could just pull out Hand and say "Now where did I put that weird-looking sock?" and DS would leap right into getting dressed. This was really great when he was 3. (Now it is still great, but sometimes it takes way longer because he starts playing dumb too, and ends up dressed upside down.) Hand has become very useful, and DS will say "Mama, get Hand!" in various situations...I get bored, ds does not.
post #104 of 138
Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to try something like that!

Dh is better at transitions....he makes up songs to get him to do stuff. OR wear BIG bear slippers and starts brushing his teeth
post #105 of 138
Bleah.... DS is getting over his cold, and mine is getting worse--mismatch of energies in the extreme. He is a nut today--just trying anything to get my goat...

Here is the game he was playing when I tried to play with him--does anyone have a suggestion about how I could respond better to this? He got a truck, and he was the voice of one of my uncles, Lloyd (a hero), and he drove crazy and wrecked everything and flipped his truck repeatedly and killed people. He said I should be the police and arrest Lloyd. So then I did (this is all imagined--he likes narrated games), and he said Lloyd opened the handcuffs with his elbows. This happened over and over, each time Lloyd getting free to wreak more havoc, and DS insisting that the police HAD to get him under control, but the police were not allowed to ever succeed. Until I got so bored and frustrated that I quit . Dh tried having the police shoot Lloyd (cringe) but ds did not approve. We are running into this game often. If you have a thought about how to play it in a way that would maybe help ds get thru whatever he's messing with, or help me not just want to crawl under the bed, I'd love to hear it. He did recently find out that many of my relatives, incl. his grandparents and heroes, have been arrested (civil disobedience, which is hard to explain), and was really upset. Do I just keep doing the same same same thing? Maybe he is just trying to pass his experience of powerlessness and frustration on to me...in which case I have to admire his efficiency.

We spent our official playtime playing that I was a visiting 2 year old. I did not feel that I was being a very interesting or realistic 2 year old, not having any energy to speak of--but I reminded myself that Cohen says he is sometimes bad at this too, and that I don't have to brilliant, I just have to show up. Boy is that a message and a half, and hard to live up to in its own way.

And it has helped, today, to know that there are other parents out there trying to play with their kids, and struggling, and doing their best. I feel I'm not alone. Thanks for being there.
post #106 of 138
Great point Denise--"just have to show up" is a great one to remember on those days when I'm just not able to be animated and clued in as I would like to be. I can get to being pretty bla on some days. And although I've found the "official playtime" to be useful, it nor anything else I've ever tried, seems to be a cure for PMS. I just show up, and do what I can...

As to your arrest/trucks dilemma: we've had similar themes here, both in the sandbox and also this fairy/goblin game we play. I'm supposed to be the one taking care of justice so to speak (taking the naughty truck or goblin to task), but like you, I'm never able to succeed. He can go over and over with this ad naseum. Not like our more usual type of play where it tends to flow more from one thing to the next, and where I can usually sense where he's headed and what he needs me to do. I admit also, this kind of play drives me bananas, the repetition is grinding and I feel like I'm getting nowhere. This to me, is one of those "stuck play themes" and I'm still trying to figure out how to work it through with him. Because of the vibe between us lately, I wonder if he's not trying to relive over and over feeling competent, the one who's in charge and in control (over me). I've been so micro-managy lately, and he could be reacting to my constant reminders about this and that, etc., and just wanting to be the one "on top."

As you suggested, the information about your relatives could certainly have something to do with your current play theme. Could be his way of working it through and as to the repetitive nature, a reflection of the fact that this one of life's gray areas (I think kids of this age are not fans of GRAY AREAS), and difficult for mom to explain to him... may just need to go over and over it until it's of the past so to speak. Not easy though. Recently, during a never ending sandbox construction project where some innocent little mudskippers (aka, DS's plastic fish), were being displaced over and over again, I finally got fed up and grabbed a bucket of water and plopped them in and smiled proudly as if I'd solved the problem of the mudskippers residential dilemma. It was clear from DS's reaction however, that making the mudskippers uncomfortable during construction was NOT of his concern, "Put them back in the sandbox mom. They'll just have to deal with the mess until the construction of their pond and island is done!" Whoah, now that I think of it, that was a pretty illuminating comment... I have indeed been tightly wound lately, and I already tend to be OCD about having a tidy house. I believe DS is trying to tell me something there. Think, think...

And hey, I played the part of a two year old recently as well. I've been trying to help DS deal better with younger siblings of buddies when they come over. As in, not FAREAK out everytime they pick something up, etc. I started picking things up and dropping them about and all was good until... I messed with the train set. OMG. WRONG! BAD MOVE MOM! DS flipped out, a bad scene. I think we might have to come up with a better way of dealing with that one. I'm sensing more and more lately, that there are some things that simply aren't a matter of "playing it through." DS has very definitely things about his personality that I'm going to have to accept and help him deal with more directly... accept who he is, but not allow him to infringe upon the rights of others as it were. Balancing act again. For the time being, we're moving the train set out of the house and into the studio out back. At least now, he won't have to block off his room everytime another kid comes into the house. *sigh*

Sorry, not much advice there, Denise, but certainly lots of rambling.

Welcome to all new comers. I love that this thread is still going and such a source of information, ideas and support. I think of it as home here at MDC. The best to all!

Em
post #107 of 138
Mmmm, playing with power, hm? Maybe ds feels a little powerless when I tell him to shut the fridge before he even gets the door open? Jeez. Maybe I ought to try having the police throw a temper tantrum, or chase him all over the house falling down. (These narration games are hard--you can't be physical. I wonder if I can get this theme to wind up in physical play instead, where all the giggles are.)

Boy howdy on the gray areas. I actually was discussing the term "gray areas" with ds just the other day.

"They'll just have to deal with the mess..." Sometimes you don't even have to translate, huh. I bet that's how ds feels too. I am not that much of a housekeeper, but dh has been pressuring ds to clean up after himself more lately (without offering direct and helpful instructions or helping out, grrrr). Ds's approach to cleanup, heard one day when we were picking up markers with a friend: "I want to be the one who stands here and tells everybody which marker to pick up next." He is so honest.

Our friend's-younger-sibling is a baby, who is just starting to crawl--uh-oh. DS is very nice to me when I am a 2 year old, but like I said I wasn't very realistic. He likes to give the baby things to play with--NOT have the baby crawl around making her own decisions. Happy to share as long as he's in charge.

Ds is falling down all the time. I mean, he'll be standing there, and then he falls down. Is this normal? I am sure that is off topic. Oh well. I can make it on-topic, though, because wouldn't it be smart of me to start falling down more myself.

I watched him yesterday get the adults in the room to connect with him by carrying "the Last Weasel" around (invisibly) and putting it in our laps. I was the most dramatic about this, and thus got to do it most. But what a great tactic. Nothing like a weasel in the living room, to liven up the after-supper Adult Boring Blahs.

You know, our stress levels have been really high lately--dh and I have a lot on our minds, including some things going on that make the police/crime scenario feel very uncomfortable for me. For once in my life I am really wanting the police to do their job, and here is Ds making police powerless. Yikes. He sure goes for the jugular. I hadn't thought of it, but I wonder if that is one reason he keeps coming back--sensing some uneasiness in me that he can't figure out. Also, when I am scared I tend to withdraw, and ds will do ANYTHING to get me to connect. Play, tease, throw mud, bite me.... The message I get is "I know what it's like when you're depressed, and no way am I going to let you ever get that far away from me again." I love him so much. Right now I feel such admiration for his toughness and determination and just being able to stand how crazy it is to be 4, and I can't imagine why I would ever yell at him and push him around for doing whatever he can think of to cope. And yet I do....

Becky Bailey is where I go when play doesn't work. And she overlaps, too: "Children turn fear into play," she says. This is why ds gets the giggles when I get really mad. I don't get madder when he laughs, anymore--I start trying to chill out, because I know I'm scaring him. And myself. What a change, from one piece of information. I have to remember how far I have come, and not always judge myself in relation to where I wish I were.....
post #108 of 138
Hey all,

Been awhile since I checked in... things here are ok. I've been low energy today and a tad bit impatient. Our biggest play vehicle right now is puppets. DS received four lovely "glove puppets" for Christmas and they are really getting some good use! Several hours a day in fact, and I admit there are times when I want to hide them.

For the most part however, things are pretty good here. The puppets go through many different scenarios during the day (he uses two and I use two usually) and it's easy to see that through them, he is working out lots of issues. He really is still trying to wrap his mind around the balance of being a free spirit but also respecting those societal rules of etiquette. At the post office the other day, he brought two of the puppets with him and while in line, he kept up an entire dialog of one puppet "acting up" and the other constantly explaining and re-explaining the rules and how to be respectful towards others. It's so illuminating to see both sides coming from within DS, such a metaphor for his own life. In general, I see a calming in DS lately, but with trips along the way.

Denise - I've been thinking about you... anytime we have a repetetive play theme, I think to myself, at least I'm not alone!! DS is very into repeating things over and over right now. He and DH have begun the very early stages of building a train set together (a little earlier than I'd hoped for but that another post ). It's been a lesson in impulse control for DS, and we spent the entire first day after receiving the starter kit in the mail, pretending over and over that it JUST arrived and then the puppets had to go through the routine over and over again, "Ok mommy, now let's pretend they haven't seen it yet!" Cute actually, and it gave him a chance to repeat the rules of the set over and over. Waiting for the trains to come in the mail was sheer torture for DS, but throughout the week, we played and talked about it and in the end, he was more patient than DH! And, our worst fear being that he couldn't handle being gentle with the trains has been totally wiped off... repetetive play again, a helpful solution, "ok, let's pretend this is my new train and be VERY careful." Or, let's pretend this is my new train and it drops and breaks." Gees, DS surely is the master of his domain. I only need to play along.

Sorry, rambling. How are things at your place? Getting anywhere with the car play/police/arrest scenario???

How's everyone else doing. Would love to see what ya'll are up to playwise and otherwise. I for one, would LOVE LOVE LOVE some ideas for playing and mealtimes. Dinner has become rather funky at our house and NOT in a good way. I lost my temper last night and made it an even bigger issue. Ideas for dealing with a regression in manners and overall wiggliness? Am I expecting too much from a just turned 5 year old????

The best,
Em
post #109 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Becky Bailey is where I go when play doesn't work. And she overlaps, too: "Children turn fear into play," she says. This is why ds gets the giggles when I get really mad. I don't get madder when he laughs, anymore--I start trying to chill out, because I know I'm scaring him.
Good for you mama! I need this reminder as well. I KNOW what that giggling means but I admit, even so, I've allowed it to fuel my fire a time or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
And myself. What a change, from one piece of information. I have to remember how far I have come, and not always judge myself in relation to where I wish I were.....
Beautiful. Yes. Yes. I need to remember this as well. And I still firmly believe that teaching children compassion includes having them see you give yourself a break sometimes. They then can learn to accept their mistakes and focus on "how far they've come" as well.

The best,
Em
post #110 of 138
:
post #111 of 138
Well, the police play has died down a bit. We still have crazy drivers going on, but now I just ride along and throw up a lot. Not as freaked out in general in our household right now, which may have let the repetitiveness ease up a bit.

Mealtimes? I have to admit I totally bail on this one. Which stood out sharply at my grandparents' this week. DS doesn't so much have manners problems as he is just mainly absent from the table. My grandparents obviously do not approve, but they are not the boss of me. DS has always eaten so little, and so randomly, and is so ravenous at unexpected moments, that it feels like I would be shooting myself in the foot if I start being rigid about meal behavior. OK, he is not allowed to throw food etc, and I refuse to get up and do anything not meal-related during MY meal, unless he needs to poop. Sometimes if he needs to eat but is too restless, I will play train diner car with him, or make elaborate birthday cakes w him out of bread/pb/bananas/carob etc. Mostly at snack or lunch though--dinner is more about just eating. Some good meal times have come from letting him help make the food (esp over a campfire), he feels proud and wants to eat with us and be appreciated. My suppertime vibe is somethign like "supper is when we all come to the table and eat. If you don't want to come eat, that's fine, but everyone else is going to, so find something to do that isn't disruptive of that." I figure we are modeling what we would like to see someday, and that's all we can pull off at the moment. I do think sitting and being still and polite through the whole meal is way too much to ask of THIS particular 4.5 year old....but I don't know about your 5 year old. Oh yeah, and the other thing we have is a ritual of lighting a candle and singing the Johnny Appleseed prayer (with World instead of Lord, to suit our theology ) during meals. We all come togehter to do this--not exactly mandatory, but encouraged--and it makes it feel like we have a shared experience even if ds spends a lot of the meal running around. I think that ritual does a lot of what play does, in a way grownups find easier to connect with. I will go on and on about that sometime, but not now.

Good play we're into lately, on the connection front : one day at my parents', my dad happened to go on and on about how he hates the word "dollop" --then ds had to hate it too, and was hitting people who said it. Now, it is slooooooowly getting thru my skull that hitting, outside of an obvious conflict, is ds's not-so-endearing way of asking for connection. I convinced him that when anyone says "Dollop" we have to hug each other for comfort against the terrible word, instead. Lately he is using this as a code word for needing a hug--he'll be a total pill, and then run off, and then yell "dollop" from the hall and I have to chase him and hug him. Giggles. Sometimes he hides in his room and I pass him notes under the door.... It is incredibly boring at times, but I tell myself how awesome it is that he has this way of asking-without-asking for a hug, and how much better it is than hitting me (which still happens a lot), and I go along with it as best I can.

Thanks for staying connected, embee--I think of this thread during my nutty days and write you all imaginary aggravated posts that I never actually get around to....it's nice to feel like someone would care, though!
post #112 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Well, the police play has died down a bit. We still have crazy drivers going on, but now I just ride along and throw up a lot. Not as freaked out in general in our household right now, which may have let the repetitiveness ease up a bit.
Whew! Getting breaks from repetitive play is important for MY mental health. Glad things are easing in that department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Mealtimes? I have to admit I totally bail on this one. Which stood out sharply at my grandparents' this week. DS doesn't so much have manners problems as he is just mainly absent from the table. My grandparents obviously do not approve, but they are not the boss of me. DS has always eaten so little, and so randomly, and is so ravenous at unexpected moments, that it feels like I would be shooting myself in the foot if I start being rigid about meal behavior. OK, he is not allowed to throw food etc, and I refuse to get up and do anything not meal-related during MY meal, unless he needs to poop. Sometimes if he needs to eat but is too restless, I will play train diner car with him, or make elaborate birthday cakes w him out of bread/pb/bananas/carob etc. Mostly at snack or lunch though--dinner is more about just eating. Some good meal times have come from letting him help make the food (esp over a campfire), he feels proud and wants to eat with us and be appreciated. My suppertime vibe is somethign like "supper is when we all come to the table and eat. If you don't want to come eat, that's fine, but everyone else is going to, so find something to do that isn't disruptive of that."
He he he... it never ceases to amaze me Denise, just how similar our households are. This is us as well, and aside from that occasional reality check of "dinner with others as in grandparents" I'm comfortable with it (totally get that by the way). Last week however, DS couldn't seem to find anything NOT disruptive and things went over the line for me. He's taken to hanging all over DH and I while we're trying to eat, or going under the table and tickling our legs. I did overreact and send it into power struggle mode though and I'm kicking myself for it. For whatever reason, these things tend to trip my anger wire and I think a lot of it is because I'm so easy going about meals in general. Things are a little better this week. I do think DS is still in this no-man's land somewhere between wanting to break the rules and wanting to abide by them. I acknowledge the reasons for both and his having trouble processing his own mixed feelings, but I'm dumbfounded somedays as to how to predict and deal with the 'turn on a dime" scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Now, it is slooooooowly getting thru my skull that hitting, outside of an obvious conflict, is ds's not-so-endearing way of asking for connection.
Oh yeah, this realization has afforded me much comfort and even perhaps, a little wisdom. To say nothing of a look back at my own childhood...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
I convinced him that when anyone says "Dollop" we have to hug each other for comfort against the terrible word, instead. Lately he is using this as a code word for needing a hug--he'll be a total pill, and then run off, and then yell "dollop" from the hall and I have to chase him and hug him. Giggles.
Beautiful. I love this. I've tried turning hits into hugs before and it's been a help on many fronts. It's when I forget or if DS is feeling particularly "punchy" that it's less effective. But that's no reason to stop trying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Sometimes he hides in his room and I pass him notes under the door....
I tried this a few weeks ago and thought of you! Sometimes when DS's buddy first gets here on Thursday mornings, DS can be a bit testy. Particularly if he feels his friend is "holding on too tight." She's a STRONG pesonality and isn't always the easiest to get along with. If DS is feeling like he's going to be shut down a lot, he "locks" himself in his room playing the part of a "Goblin" or other bad guy. I started passing picture/word notes under the door in relation to who he was pretending to be and his buddy had fun playing along (being the note passer). Things like: "JACK FROST, we need you" with a picture of Jack sitting in front of his castle, etc. And with each silly note and picture, the giggles finally coaxed him out and a good tone was set for the following 4 hours of play. It actually helped them both to hang on a little less and be more giving with each other. I love a win/win!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denise K
Thanks for staying connected, embee--I think of this thread during my nutty days and write you all imaginary aggravated posts that I never actually get around to....it's nice to feel like someone would care, though!
ME TOO! When things are really bad or really good, I think I HAVE to pop in and vent or share at the PP thread. I do feel like this thread is HOME on MDC. Thanks to you too, Denise (and all)!

The best,
Em
post #113 of 138
I'm still here....somedays it's much easier to play than others!
Denise & Embee, I've loved reading your posts. Sometimes I feel so inadequate though...not by anything you've said...just my own discomfort in my challenges with getting into some of my dd1's play. I've been doing better about getting 1:1 time with my dd1 and remembering to let her take the lead. We're just going through a tough time with her...so many crying fits and so much resistance, irritability, and mood swings. She seems to have some kind of blood sugar problems becasue she cannot handle ANY refined sugar and has to eat every 1.5 hours or else she will have a huge meltdown. I thought I would be ttc around this time but these challenges have changed that for now...I just cannot bring anything else onto my plate-- or hers. I'm still hoping this is just a phase because she has always been a happy, easy going child...up until 3. She'll be 4 next month and I hope these issues resolve themselves as quickly as they seemed to appear! Of course, I cherish my dd1 as much as always! Parenting is just tougher than it looks!

One other thing, I love PP and really embrace the philosophy but sometimes I wish the author had more than one child. I know, I know it probably wouldn't matter. But I'm just being honest that sometimes when I read it I think that he doesn't fully appreciate the experience of having 2 or more children.
Anyone else playful-parenting 2 or more?
post #114 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary-Beth
I'm still hoping this is just a phase because she has always been a happy, easy going child...up until 3. She'll be 4 next month and I hope these issues resolve themselves as quickly as they seemed to appear! Of course, I cherish my dd1 as much as always! Parenting is just tougher than it looks!
Wow, it sounds like you're dealing with a lot right now, Mary-Beth (gotta remember that hyphen--I always wanted the hyphen!) At any rate, when I have trouble digging in and playing along, I remember something Denise reminded me of just recently, "sometimes just showing up is enough." Here, here and you're doing great mom, all things considered. When they are going through emotional upturns, it's just hard!! Hard to see them like that and hard to connect when we feel like screaming (or me, locking myself in the bathroom with chocolate). We went through a tough time between 3.5 and 4. Mainly, DS started having a lot of "fears" at this time and they started to rule his perceptions of everything and life was quite simply, difficult. It's been three steps forward, two steps back since then and four had it's ups and downs as well. I know what you mean about having a happy kid and then a not so happy kid. I know for fact that I didn't appreciate DS enough before age 3.5. He truly was a pretty easy kid to start (ok, with the exception of bedtime which save for the brief period between 2.5 and 3.5) has always and continues to be somewhat of a challenge. Now, as he's coming more into his own, I'm constantly having to readjust my thinking and my actions, my perceptions. It's work, and hard work at that!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary-Beth
One other thing, I love PP and really embrace the philosophy but sometimes I wish the author had more than one child. I know, I know it probably wouldn't matter. But I'm just being honest that sometimes when I read it I think that he doesn't fully appreciate the experience of having 2 or more children.
I have an only child, but I too have given this some thought. While I appreciate that this is one of the few parenting books written by someone who has only one child and can relate to my experience somewhat, I can easily see that it would be frustrating for those dealing with dividing attention between siblings, dueling personalities, etc. I've watched many upon many friends become mothers of two or more in the last couple of years and the fact is, their challenges and mine are just very different. DS has a close buddy with whom he has a 'siblingish' relationship and I've gained some great ideas for playing with two or more from that portion of the book but... it does occur to me that most of his ideas there might be easier to utilize as the kids get older? Just a theory though of course. I hope someone else with more than one can pop in and talk about this. Even having only one, I'd be interested in sharing the perspective as well.

The best and great to *see* you. Hang in there mom!

Regards,
Em
post #115 of 138
Thanks for your response Embee. Today was one of the most challenging days yet! My dd1 cried virtually non-stop from the time she woke up until 5:00...then like a flip of a switch she was chipper, playful, talkative, imaginative, etc.
It's 10:45pm and she is not asleep yet...tonight she said she wanted it to be night time today and now she wants it to be day. Right now I'm just hoping for some sleep!
post #116 of 138
I hear you, Mary-Beth. I do want another child, and at the same time I often feel lucky to not have my attention constantly divided...yet! The parents of ds's almost-5 y.o. buddy have an almost-1-y.o. baby too; they are finding that Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting is helping them through some of the hard stuff with their older kid. they like Playful Parenting too, but yes it doesn't really tell you *how* to deal with the logistics of playing with your kid when there is another one needing you too.

I think on the other side of "just showing up" there's another thing, too, of letting it be ok that your child "just showed up" today, too. Your cranky, freaked-out, scared, moody child who is so hard to help sometimes, even when you want to. And it doesn't mean you aren't doing it right. This is definitely me saying stuff I often forget... But anyway, I think being a little kid is just really really stressful sometimes, and sometimes there's not much you can do except try to be there with the pb&j *before* the crisis hits, and keep everyone's bones intact, and express your love in every way you can think of every two seconds or so.

I have been realizing that transitions are SO hard for ds, especially leaving home...and also realizing that I am exactly the same way, I just hide it better and blame it on other people. I am starting to use more ritual to get us thru this--saying "goodbye house," for instance. He gets tears in his eyes!
And the other morning we all had to go out really early to take a vehicle to the shop, and he was almost in tears over whether to toast his bread, and ran away...and I actually got my (breakfast-deprived) brain to kick in and got an envelope. I made him an invitation to go on a thrilling trip to Newt's Marathon, and told him all the stuff it said in a game-show-grand-prize voice (We will see TRUCKS! We will see a RAILROAD CROSSING! Who knows what AMAZING things await you on the Thrilling Trip Ahead! Won't you join us!), and I was shocked, but he actually bought it. I mean, he knew I was playing, but he played too. He said Sure! and I said refreshments were provided, and put him in his carseat with a butter and jelly sandwich, and it was fine. I love it when it can be like that--when I'm not just trying anything to get him out the door but am really trying to empathize and help him relax, that's when it happens.

And, on the somewhat neglected topic of filling your own cup, I will offer an inspirational story: It's too wet for dh to try to work today (and it's saturday!), so he took ds to the woods to play. I had 2 hours with a good friend, with no verbal children present--that's a first for us. And as if that weren't enough, I also had a bike ride to the library, a walk, and writing time.....aaaaaaah. You don't need a cruise to have a luxury vacation, if you are a mom. In fact, I would probably hate a cruise. Give me conversation, springtime, and a fresh journal any day. And this thread for dessert. Be well, you fine mamas, treat yourselves with great love and kindness, and don't forget to go to great lengths to hang out with friends.
post #117 of 138
Thanks for the support!
My dd1 has had a great couple of days...I can't say why but I'm thankful for this time! I wish I could figure out why some days she is so even tempered and easy go lucky and the next day she is...well....not.

We've been playing!!! We had about 40 min. this morning before her sister woke up...then we played with dd2 as well. And we had 1:1 time when dd2 napped in the afternoon.

Dd1 is really into this game now where she is a lion cub and she gets lost from her mother--who is mean anyway, so she doesn't want to find her. She has me play "the lady" who visits the jungle and just before leaving the jungle sees the lost lion cub. The cub is scared and the lady comforts her and takes her hom- adopting her.
I sure hope she isn't feeling like I'm a mean Mama becasue although I know that I'm not perfect, I'm not mean to her in any way. So I don't think it's about that.

The thing about the play is that my dd1 takes the lead and is totally directive. She tells me exactly what to say, where to stand, etc. Nothing is open for improv. She gets a little irritated when I don't get it just right. She changes the script a lot making it hard to know what I'm supposed to do. So...I do my best to play along and celebrate her for being the "director." She does the same script over & over & over again too. Once we get through once she says, "now do it again!" I think there may be some control issues going on for her...that may relate to her crying fits??? Hopefully just playing this stuff out will help her.

As for having 2 kids...it's funny becasue in most ways it's great. They play together so well. I get 1:1 time with each of them regularly because naps stagger or one wakes earlier...or my dh takes one and I take the other. But it's harder in some ways too...like when my dd1 has a tough day and I cannot just hold her all day!
post #118 of 138
Oh, yeah, that control play is interesting. It makes me think of somethign I got in a parenting workshop: When a kid (or, I would say, your average adult) feels bad, s/he will try to make YOU feel that way, to get rid of the feeling." So, feeling powerless w your kid? Or harassed? Or confused? I like it because it invites me to use my feelings to reach out with some empathy for how ds might be feeling. It's so much nicer, isnt it, for your dc to be controlling and make you be not-ever-quite-right in play than for them to do it in real life..... This is why we play, right? I can only imagine--can't remember--how it must feel to be 4 and have everybody around you be adult and soooooooo competent and in charge and tall and RIGHT. I would freak out every bit as much as ds does, in that situation.

I'm glad you've had some easier days, Mary-Beth. And I think you can give yourself some of the credit, for taking the opportunities you got and playing instead of doing grownup stuff. I think we should all take as much credit as we can, since we end up bearing so much of the guilt and frustration on the yucko days.
post #119 of 138
Oh, yeah, that control play is interesting. It makes me think of somethign I got in a parenting workshop: When a kid (or, I would say, your average adult) feels bad, s/he will try to make YOU feel that way, to get rid of the feeling." So, feeling powerless w your kid? Or harassed? Or confused? I like it because it invites me to use my feelings to reach out with some empathy for how ds might be feeling. It's so much nicer, isnt it, for your dc to be controlling and make you be not-ever-quite-right in play than for them to do it in real life..... This is why we play, right? I can only imagine--can't remember--how it must feel to be 4 and have everybody around you be adult and soooooooo competent and in charge and tall and RIGHT. I would freak out every bit as much as ds does, in that situation.

I'm glad you've had some easier days, Mary-Beth. And I think you can give yourself some of the credit, for taking the opportunities you got and playing instead of doing grownup stuff. I think we should all take as much credit as we can, since we end up bearing so much of the guilt and frustration on the yucko days. ( Buddha would probably say to let go of both the guilt and the credit....which is probably very wise, but then again Buddha was not a mom. )
post #120 of 138
Hey, I just figured something out yesterday. I get uncomfortable sometimes when DS wants to do a craft project, because he's so ambitious and wants me to do everything so it will come out the way he envisions it. Some times he does really get into the process of doing things himself, but not when he has an idea of the end product..... Anyway, yesterday I was feeling like Bad Parent for doing half of "his" project for him--and then I realized, this isn't a craft project at all. DS was making piles of sheet metal (paper) and asbestos-petroleum coloring rods (crayons), and imperiously telling me how jet engines are supposed to look, and making the emblems for the wings.....he was playing. Once I started thinking of it as playing airplane factory, I could quit worrying about his artistic development and relax. He was playign supervisor/engineer, being powerful and bossy, and focused on getting a job done--not expressing himself artistically. And I considered that it might be possible that I am not supposed to do EVERY aspect of good parenting at EVERY moment...
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