Thursday, April 4, 2013

Discipline Fails and Little Boys

While Anders naps, and Penny and Jesse play in the bathtub next to me (after having exacted a promise that they could indeed play in the bath without any actual washing happening), I have allotted myself some blogging time.

My mothering style doesn’t, perhaps, fit any certain method. I’ve read some things . . . though, if I get any time to read, I am more likely to be deep in fiction rather than the realm of . . . bettering myself (typed shamefacedly). I tend to mother mostly based on instinct, occasional inspiration, a fair amount of winging it, and, sometimes . . . pure survival.

For the most part my kids seem to be well behaved, well rounded, and overall pleasant enough children, so I suppose I am doing all right, or, perhaps, they are doing all right despite me.

Jesse is no exception to this rule. Yes, his overwhelming curiosity and desire to understand how all things work causes some stress, but also, a lot of happiness. It is quite enjoyable to watch that mind at work. And, he is a quick one to accept correction. Still, as with all of my kids, there are times when some aspect of his behavior needs curbing.

Lately, he has taken to using a rather frustrated, exasperated, and out right annoyed voice with me. “FINE, MOM!” Seems to be a favorite.

I was discussing this with Mike on the phone one day when he suggested a method that might most likely be found in a book of questionable dog training techniques. “Maybe every time he uses that voice, we just need to squirt him in the face with a squirt bottle,” he suggested.

When I told Jesse, as seriously as I could, that we might have to do that if he speaks angrily with me, both he and Penny burst out in hysterical laughter. As they rolled about laughing, Penny exclaimed, “I wish they would do that to me!”


Another day, when Jesse was in a time out, I asked him what he thought we should do about the situation – giving him the chance to suggest an appropriate punishment.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I’m all out of ideas.”

Well, and so was I. We did nothing. Who needs discipline?
Speaking of mothering. It is strange how, in 12 years, things can switch themselves around so much. First my boy and girl – who loved to play – creating different scenarios for hours – with small figures. Then, as Abe went to school, there was nothing but girls. When Daisy left, still girls. Little girls were always here left behind. After eight years, there was again a boy left home in the day, but always still with a sister or two.

Now, suddenly, my day times are full of two rascally little boys.

Sometimes, after we have taken every one else off to school, I find myself rather surprised. I’ve never been a mother of little boys together.

Here they are a day or two ago. I was lying on the couch reading. They were throwing pillows at each other and fighting over flip flops that were not their own (why??). Luckily my camera was nearby so I caught a few moments of . . . I don’t know . . . just little boys running about. I like them, and I like that my mothering years are including so many different combinations of people together.

Also, despite all of my mothering failures, I appear to have, ounce again, given birth to a child prodigy. It can’t be helped.


Andrea said...

What fun! I'd love to have two little boys at home. And yeah...I've definitely been there with the discipline fail thing.

Mr.Mrs.Pack. said...

Basically I just wanted to say what a great mother you are. Your blog and your mothering abilities always impress me.

Nancy said...

Thanks, Lond. That was awfully sweet. And Andrea, glad I'm not the only one who isn't a champion at following through with discipline! :/

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