Saturday, January 13, 2007

Post-nap Saturday afternoon thoughts


Oh, it's so cold today. And I'm eating ice cream. Very, very cold.

This morning I went across the street to the mall and came home with new underwear for Aaron. They're from Gymboree, very cute. He said, with a scrunched up face, "Well, I like them. But I would like them a lot more if they had violent stuff on them." That's my boy.

Now Steve is at work and the kids just woke me up from my nap and darn it if I still don't resent Steve for taking the remote to the bathroom with him so I wouldn't get it, back when we were in San Diego two weeks ago. Kidding!

What I really want is to get my children to respond to my requests/pleas/commands without me having to get mad first. Does anyone know the secret? For instance, if I want Elliot to clean up the dinosaur/pillow fort he made, and I've already asked him to do it 4 times, and he made a half-hearted attempt for 30 seconds, but it's still not clean, what is my next move supposed to be? Do I (a) turn off the tv to regain his focus, (b) punish him, (c) keep nagging about it, or (d) raise my voice? 'Cause baby, I've tried all the above and I think I need an Option E. Suggestions welcome.

I need to start a new book. Last week I finished Letters For Emily. It wasn't really for me. I'm a book and movie snob, I think. For instance, why did so many people tell me that Night at the Museum was good? It was not.

8 comments:

abby said...

Jamie and I just had a hearty laugh about Aaron's violent underwear comment. Where to find underwear with Nerf guns on them? I think you should let Elliot know how happy it will make you when he cleans the mess up. No one likes to be yelled at, everyone loves to be praised. But I really have no idea.

Also, just finished East of Eden. LOVED it.

Emily said...

Abby, that was so the right answer. You are a good mother.

Austin said...

a lot of things are more entertaining when they are marginally violent. Except kids, not very funny when violent.

sarah said...

Are you telling me your kids did not like Night at the Museum? Full of marginal violence and all? I find that very suspicious.

n said...

better snob than slob

Pepper said...

I heard East of Eden was very good, but also long. Doesn't really fit my schedule right now. I also heard that Night at the Museum was excellent. Thanks Em, I won't waste my money.

Abby, I liked your response too, everyone does love praise. Maybe Nels would do better with a little more...

amye said...

This works well for the cleaning:
In the young years, kids are overwhelmed with tackling a cleaning project. They don't know where to begin. So saying something like, "I'm going to help you clean this mess. Let's see if we can do it in 3 minutes" means you will be helping, but the job will get done and it becomes a game for him. Setting an egg timer adds to the fun.

Anonymous said...

Hi from Elinor, and Annonymous because the computer doesn't like me new email. I'm back for my once in a while visit to the blog. Love what you all write. You are totally amazing and I always leave realizing the world is not going to end when those of us who are older - as opposed to just old - don't get it. I almost laughed out loud, and would have, had anyone been around, about the cleaning room bit. Ha Ha is all I can add. Don't get your hopes up that your kids will EVER clean their rooms the way you want it, that is, until they are old and then they turn into Mrs/Mr. Clean instead of the Why should I make my bed when I'm going to sleep in it tonight. Not to worry, and not to give up. surely they learn about perfectionism aka room cleaning somewhere and it might as well be at home. When I visit I have to take off my shoes, keep my car clean, and for goodness sake what do I have in my purse. So ha ha again. Clean their rooms at home? Not on your life. But all is not lost. You get tired of nagging and throw out or put away most of whatever isn't cleaned and they forget about it. But don't quit expecting a clean room, just learn to think like a kid and remember how much you hate somebody messing up your current project, whatever that is. As one neighbor put it, her son truly thought the Clean Up Elves took care of that, like the Tooth Fairy, and a few other great friends. Remember, it isn't anywhere written that you can't live in your own house, and that translates or should, into living in your own room. So don't apologize, and change your expectations, cause it isn't going to get much better for a few years. Then, when you are the Grandma and your kids are the parents, they get embarrassed if their kids mess up your house. Or maybe they don't care, and you have to grit your teeth and wonder who it was who trained them to disrespect kyour house.

Try the reward system. You know, you clean it up and you get to keep your toys. You don't clean it up and the toys go to the trash. Only trouble with that is, who paid for the toys, so they're smart enough to know you aren't really going to thrown them out or give them to D.I. Have fun. It really does get better. Love you all. Elinor