This shit is not all rainbows and butterflies. It is all about testing my patience. BAHAHAHA Working on my patience is a recurring New Years resolution…
I wished for boys. I never was excited about bows, dresses and tutus. I played with Barbies, because my dad and Papa bought them for me. My Barbies dated G.I. Joes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Tomboy. Got it. So, it’s surprising to me that I am starting to think I was soooooo wrong. I should have wanted little girls who listen to their parents and never know real punishment.
Last week I instituted a “do not disturb mommy in the morning” idea. In general, it has worked out well. If the boys are quiet and behaving, they can each have 45 minutes of free time in the morning. They may leave their beds after 7:15 and the iPads or whatever have to be off at 8:00am. They only woke me up 1 morning, otherwise they were nice and quiet and not screaming or running at 6:45am! Hallelujah! Everyone in our family knows if you want a happy Lindsey/Mommy, you LET HER SLEEP! Overall this helped improve daily life for a week.
So how do you discipline when on a 6 month vacation? That just doesn’t feel like the right word. Whatever this stage of life is: we work hard in the mornings and play in the afternoon on our “normal” days. But it is not normal; it is not what we are used to. Gone is our former “school-day”/”work-day” schedule. Some days we go off and have science day at Kennedy Space Center.
Other days, we are reviewing ocean animals at Sea World or an Aquarium. Our chill days have been spent at the beach building fish tanks and water-ways or exercising around the playground and then playing soccer together.
We also have color charts on the fridge like Oliver’s school used. Everyone starts on Green, and goes up: blue, purple for outstanding behavior/help; or down: yellow, orange, red for poor behavior or POOP or PEE not in a toilet. Just as I’m telling you all this, I am reworking this tool in my head. I have not given a clear definition of reward/punishment for this tool and therefore it has been used sparingly and not to it’s full potential. In Colorado school days – yellow and red had CONSEQUENCES! No tv, no iPad, straight to your room etc. Blue- $1, and two equaled an ice cream date and purple, well it never happened so I don’t recall its reward. Oliver’s biggest problem in school was interrupting. Not a thing in a 1-1 environment. The current and frequent complaint the boys have to offer me is that I don’t make their schoolwork “fun.” In fairness to Oliver, his assignment by Florida Virtual School this week was HARD, and not fun! I am a responsible, grown adult and I didn’t want to do it either. However, we don’t have that option. I’d like for him to progress to 3rd grade and have a different teacher next year HAHAHA! (For the curious sorts: his assignment is reading a short story, The Tale of the Beckoning Cat, and writing an explanatory summary essay on the story. Yuk, barf. I’m a science/math girl and this is not my thing.) I think I shall reward him and myself tomorrow with SOMETHING? just for persevering and getting it done. 🙂
Now, above, when I said this was a 6-month vacation – don’t be fooled – this is the most WORK I’ve ever done, on vacation/mom duty, in my life. Today, after 3 weeks parked at FamCamp on Patrick Air Force Base, pulling The BEAST again made my palms sweat and my nerves rattle. Though I did back that thing up like a BOSS. First time, it engaged, properly, and closed on its own. I was not happy about this though. I’d rather have to 18 point turn and adjust the camper height a few times to ensure I am fully attached and not going to lose my shit, my tailgate or my house again. NO THANKS.
The a$$hole blinking red lights came back today too. Yay. Who designs these campsites anyway? Hello, we need LEVEL ground to park on! Duh. So yeah, my campsite is more shaped like the top of an umbrella. I put it into the best possible position on the concrete site– considering power, water and sewer hook up – and hit the autolevel button. I squatted down about 15 feet away watching. Waiting. Like I had a premonition, this is it, here come the dreaded a$$hole lights. And sure enough I could see that evil red light blinking at me. The front was apparently too high and couldn’t lower more, and the back the legs were fully extended. Neighbors had no leveling blocks to borrow – I asked everyone I saw todayJ Its Florida on March 1st, people are everywhere in 80 degrees (VERY unlike Pennsylvania in November). The nice KOA guy in the golf cart went to check the workshop for me. So, just as I am giving up and about to hook the camper back up and move it to a less desirable area in the site he brings 4 2x4s and saves the day. The ass hole blinking lights were banished, my dread settled and my oldest already fishing in the alligator infested pond behind our site. Awesome.
Did I mention slide 3 did not want to come in this morning? Easy fix though, I walk outside, around the camper and stick my hand underneath the corner of the slide and pull on some rubber. Voila! Emptying poop tanks is getting easier? Or maybe the setup at Patrick was just that much better. I didn’t have to accordion my plumbing lines just to empty them due to gravity and hilly terrain! YAY. The little things in life… My fancy pants telescoping plumbing tube holder-upper to the drain worked just as it should. The lid to the septic? sewer? was heavy enough and the right size that everything fit properly and I didn’t have to disconnect the hosing after dumpage. And sure why not, lets get in to dumpage. These boys eat 12 of the 13 hours they are awake. They eat, very well, and have healthy plumbing.
My name is called, often, when either is in the bathroom – “Mom, I need help!” Now this can mean any number of things. Generally its one of these: its too large to go down because it turned sideways, there is poop in underwear and Emerson needs me to wipe his bottom/legs etc, or I get off easy and Em just needs a wipe. They both are quite aware that I am NOT cleaning poopy drawers. “You couldn’t stop playing and make it to the bathroom? I cannot clean your mess.” (This week Emerson spent 20 minutes crying between standing in pee and poop in his playroom and getting his mess dealt with in the bathroom. He then cleaned up his mess with Lysol and paper towels. He was sooooo traumatized by this experience he waited 2-3 hours before he pooped himself again! I CANNOT PEOPLE! He watched Oliver and I share a dessert that night. And I received a diaper from a friend that day, which he is quite aware he will be wearing if this happens again. I found the diaper in the trash this morning – 2 days later – I promptly informed him that wouldn’t work. We are keeping the diaper. 2 days complete without a poop accident! I’m thrilled, and worried…