The MEAN Mommy returns

So, remember how I said I’d show you what my kids were doing while I sewed?

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Well, the boys played.  Don’t they look cute riding on the motorcycle together?

 

Now, Princess………

 

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I came around the corner, and she started running the crooked zig zag line of a guilty little kid.

She’d gotten a marker out and had colored on the door.  She knew full well she wasn’t supposed to be doing it, as evidenced by the run.

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So, I made her help me clean this off.  And then I scrubbed it like crazy myself.  The marker came right off because it was washable, but the pen wasn’t being quite so cooperative.

 

Now, are you ready for the mean Mommy part?

 

We all still went to the swim part, but she wasn’t allowed to swim.  She sat on the side of the pool for TWO HOURS, and didn’t swim.  It was miserable for me as well, because she couldn’t swim, I couldn’t swim.  And it was over 1oo degrees.  I’ve since decided that I will make it more painful next time and I will go swimming and she’ll sit there, not allowed to get wet.

 

Yes, hello, my name is MEAN Mommy, and she made sure to remind me of that on a frequent basis while she sat there, in between horrible crying bouts.

 

But, she hasn’t colored on the wall or doors since, and I’d say that was a lesson well remembered.

 

And before anyone tells me how I’ve scarred my daughter for life over a minor thing.  This was not her first time, and we had tried other things.  This did not hurt her, but it made an impression.  So, no I wouldn’t change what I did, other than going swimming myself next time.

Dealing with grief

tear soup

As most of you know who have been following my blog for the last few weeks, I have a good friend who just died.  He’s the sort of person who was more family than friend, he’s just been a part of my life that long.  And, for anyone who might be dealing with grief or wants recommendations on what to say to your kids in this time, here’s what’s been helping me.
Get a copy of the book Tear Soup, it’s a book on dealing with loss.  I like it because you can read it to your kids to explain why you’re crying so much, but it is more intended for adults.  Back when my Dad died I read this book more times than I can count because there were a lot of hurt feelings between me and my Dad’s family.  Most of it was over disagreements over silly details and I’m sure everyone meant well, but it ended with me feeling rather like a wet rag.
This book does a good job of talking about how grief is not just crying.  It’s also laughing at the crazy things you used to do together.  How the two of you would sit there and croon cheese at each other and discuss the relative merits of different types of cheese.
And sometimes you need to take a break from grieving, that doesn’t mean you are amazingly better, but you need a distraction, so you go to a Chuck E Cheese party with your kids.
On the subject  of kids, they’re understanding will completely depend on their age.  My oldest are about to turn five, and we’ve talked about death before when they asked about my Dad.  They’re dealing with it in their own way.  Some of it is in needing extra cuddles, some of it is in acting out more to get more attention.  And some of it is in the awkward manner of asking lots of questions I don’t have answers for.  They’re also incorporating death into their creative play.  Now, when they play house or the like Jeff and I are dead.  It’s somewhat disturbing because Jeff went to heaven, but I’m a ghost, but that’s them working it through.
For me the main thing to understand is this takes time.  You can’t microwave Tear Soup, it needs to be made in a slow-cooker for several weeks, and sometimes even for months.  You have to do it on your own terms, everyone has their own way of dealing with death or a loss.  When I had a miscarriage before the boys were born I was desperate to never be left alone for the first few weeks, but I didn’t want to talk about the miscarriage.  I just wanted someone with me.
With this, I don’t know.  It’s a little like having a scab, and you poke it every now and then to see if it still hurts.  I can mostly deal and carry on as long as I’m not thinking too much about it.  But, there’s still things that I break down at.  I sat and bawled through small group last week, but was relatively controlled at the memorial service until someone asked how I was holding up.
I know this was a rambling post that may or may not help anyone, but I wanted to share it in case it would help someone.
Oh, and for a book aimed specifically at kids get Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs by Tomie DePoala.  It’s a children’s book about death.  I actually have a whole list of books to help kids with this subject from when I was teaching, but it’s in my copy of Tear Soup, which I’ve loaned out to a friend, and that’s the only one I can think of offhand.
Well, if you’d like more great tips head over to We are THAT family for Works for Me Wednesday.

Cheap, quick way to entertain a child in line

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The green thing on his finger is a hair tie. He spent five to ten minutes in the store using that silly little thing to chase people, run it up and down the store shelves, have conversations. At one point it was the “Icky bug,” which is also a new way to torment his sister. Want a screaming little girl? Have her big brother run at her with his arms up in the air, shouting at the top of his lungs “I’m an icky bug.”

But, I digress.

I bought a pack of hair ties from Target for $1. They came with 8 or so of these things, half of them with eyes. The ones with eyes I had thought to use for something, I have no clue what. Those are what led to our making monsters last year. Now, I’ve learned nice easy entertainment, random hair tie.

Works for me Wednesday: Assign a color

Each kid in my family has their own color assigned to them. They also have their own type of cup assigned to them. My boys have Batman and Superman, and my girl has Princess. If I am choosing other stuff for them Batman gets green, Superman gets blue, and Princess gets pink.

This works for me because I can automatically know who hasn’t put away their stuff or hasn’t done their dishes. Then I can tell that person to do it.

For other WFMW posts go here.