I’ll be honest, I’m feeling really inadequate lately. The house has been an upside-down wreck, the closets are still horrors (well, ours and the guest room), the dirty clothes can’t ever seem to get resolves, dishes are always – ALWAYS – overflowing and Dave is always the one who ends up taking care of them and I barely find time to run the vacuum or sweep under the filthy kitchen table and around the island and counters.
How do these women who make “Happy Turkey Day” banners and heart-shaped pancakes do it? Most days I can’t even get myself dressed before we do school!
We hosted our small group a few Sundays ago which necessitated cleaning the house. I’m glad we volunteered for so many reasons and being forced to clean is one of them. I actually vacuumed the bathroom wall. It so needed it. I don’t know how or why a bathroom wall would get dusty or any dustier than any other room, but ours was very gross. Everything got scrubbed – I think, though, the guest bathroom looked suspect – so I feel like we’re starting with a clean slate.
In an effort to get our act together and get a bit more organized, I’ve bought Monday – “Weekend” clothes hangers for the boys and I’ve stocked each day with an outfit for them. Their job is to put their pajamas under their pillow (thank you, Mom) and then get changed, brush their hair/teeth and come downstairs and eat breakfast. The first day Rhys was dressed but NOT in what I’d put in his “Monday” cubby and Henry was still in his pajamas. Neither of them had eaten and they were watching something scary on the Roku. So. A slow start, but at least it was a start. I sent Henry up to right himself. I guess Rhys is just going to have to stock his own clothes if he’s this picky. I mean, I should have known, it’s RHYS.
And school. I’ve been so discouraged the last few weeks. I think, “I’d rather make banners and cupcakes and fun dinners and keep the house clean and just send them to school, rather than get a migraine from someone whining at me because they don’t want to do their spelling test first.” or “Our house wouldn’t be in utter chaos if they were in school.” or “I could actually GO TO THE STORE if they were in school.” They’ve just been very disobedient, very disrespectful.
This was written last week, before I passed out into an hour and a half nap. I feel better now, but they were still being disobedient. I got up at 5 am and Rhys joined me downstairs not long after. He’s my snuggle bug. He’s also always afraid someone’s breaking in the house, so instead of cowering in bed like I’d want to do (but don’t, since I feel the need to protect the family and Dave won’t get up and patrol unless he takes the time to fully dress, by which time we could be killed because he puts on a belt) he comes downstairs, all sleepy-eyed, ready to confront the ne’er do well. My brave, not necessarily intimidating, yet dauntless little protector of the realm.
Speaking of Rhys and Dave and getting dressed, yesterday Rhys was pitching a fit of monstrous proportions. He wanted animal crackers. Sarah had animal crackers. Sarah doesn’t do homeschool and I’ll give her whatever (besides elicit drugs) to keep her quiet while I teach the boys. So animal crackers it was. They have high fructose corn syrup, something I overlooked when I bought them. Yes, I *do* look at every single package of crap I buy, believe it or not. I will not buy things with HFC because it makes my boys, particularly Henry CRAZY. It just doesn’t come in this house. We are not the model eaters (HAR!), but we don’t allow snack cakes, candy, HFC, potato chips, that colored drink in the soda-shaped bottle, koolaid, things like kid-marketed colored yogurt or squeeze yogurt that’s colored, artificial colors or sweeteners, fruit juce or soda (unless it’s a VERY special occasion) to be consumed. They drink water, or maybe milk for breakfast, although we limit their milk intake (grandmas cringe at this, calcium comes from other places, trust me) and only give them organic milk. I would love to feed them organic everything but DUDE, have you seen the price of organic berries at Whole Foods?! $7.99 for four blackberries? Totally insane. Sorry, we’re just going to have to scrub the pesticides off the outside and at least hope they’re non-GMO so their grandchildren are able to reproduce. Well, I went off on a tangent there. Oh and “natural” doesn’t mean anything, when advertized. It’s just a word companies like to slap on products to make you think they’re safe – but it means nothing. I think I’ve seen “natural bologna” for sale before. Okay. “100% All real meat!” Well dang, I hope so! What else would it be? Part meat, part tires?
What was I talking about? Oh, Rhys and his animal crackers fit. It was LOUD and ugly. He was lying in the floor in front of the pantry door screaming which eventually morphed into a guttural roar and I finally shouted (yes, bad mama but he was scaring me) “STOP GROWLING AT ME!” Dave didn’t have to work and I guess he’d been hearing this melee from the bed upstairs and had enough because the next thing I knew, he stomped across the kitchen in his underwear, snatched Rhys up and took him upstairs with him. Even Henry was taken aback. ”Dad was in his underwear! He must really be mad!” I have never, ever seen him walk around the house, nevermind the downstairs in broad daylight in his underwear. The sight of Dad in his skivvies probably sent a shock of fear through Rhys’ heart, enough to make him forget about those crackers because I think once he caught a sight of that Fruit from the Loom he shut right up. So the next time he pitches a fit, I’m going upstairs, taking my clothes off and coming down in underwear. He’ll probably just laugh.
I don’t know how to get through to him. I used to think he was like me. He is like me, but 100 times worse. I don’t know how to deal.
As far as Henry goes, he’s just a bouncy ball. He’s all over the place. If he were in public school, they’d diagnose him as ADD and maybe suggest medication (NO) and we might have a fight on our hands, or we might not. I’ve never read a positive story about this because people don’t generally post positive experiences, only horror stories about how the drugs made their children “zombies” or something along those lines. I take that back – I have heard one positive story, firsthand from a teacher who said it did make all the difference in the world and that the child wasn’t just a seat wiggler but actually in need of medical intervention. From the specifics of the story I will agree on this point, and I am a strong advocate of only medicating children (even with pain relievers – and never Tylenol – only Advil) when absolutely necessary.
Instead, I am reading a book called “Right Brained Children Living in a Left Brained World” by Jeffery Freed and it’s completely changed how I look at him and how he looks at learning. It’s changed how I look at myself because I think I’m right brained as well, if internet quizzes are to be trusted. I just flipped through a book on right-brained addition and subtraction as well as multiplication and division and stared in wonder: that’s how I look at it in my head! So I got Henry the multiplication book since he’s doing fine with addition and subtraction at this point, particularly subtraction, which he didn’t need any instruction on whatsoever. What a blessing! Something that has come naturally besides farting!
Oh – and we’re also implementing a gluten-free diet today to see if that will help him mentally as well as with his horrible eczema. Please pray we all have the willpower to do this! It’s going to be hard, especially with their nut allergy which cuts down on an already smaller list of food choices. Thank you, friends!