Boyses 12/05/13

Puzzles

Sir A is super into puzzles now that he’s figured them out. He’s mastered all the 9 and 12 piece ones, the big 36 piece animal/alphabet puzzle, and will no doubt figure out the 35 piece cars puzzles I bought the other day. All easy peasy for Lord B. I think it’s time to get some 100 piece ones for him. A friend at church gave them a set of 3 12 piece Thomas ones, which add difficulty cos if you do them together you have to figure out which piece goes with which puzzle. Lord B did them quickly. Sir A was mostly too busy running around like a madman. Will try them on him again when he’s a bit calmer!

This can keep him occupied for ages. It's very handy. Except when he's doing it on the potty, which makes me anxious - given his track record.

This can keep him occupied for ages. It’s very handy. Except when he’s doing it on the potty, which makes me anxious – given his track record.

Driving Mummy crazy

Lord B has not being doing well with Daddy not being around during the day all that often (during the week, that is). Things had been getting much more manageable with the boys, with them playing happily together a lot of the time. Since Daddy stopped being around so much, Lord B has been “acting out” rather a lot – this means being rather intolerant of his brother most of the time, hitting him for no reason, always wanting things his way and deciding communal toys are his when they’re not, and generally being an Eeyore child. It’s also now colder and often wet outside, which means less time to play outside (which usually works out well). All this has made it a lot harder for me to get things done when he’s around, as he wants my constant and full attention, gets very sulky or aggressive to his brother if he doesn’t get it, and does passive aggressive things like tipping over a pile of books (and refusing to put them back) to get my attention.

I try to deal with this with as much compassion and empathy as possible, acknowledging that he misses Daddy, trying to give him as much attention as I can, trying to direct him to activities that he enjoys and don’t cause trouble, giving him many opportunities to express how he’s feeling (sadly, like his mother, he’s atrocious at saying what he wants and how he’s feeling), but unfortunately my frustration does occasionally get the better of me and I shriek at them. Then they’ll suddenly become best friends again and go and play nice cooperative and non-destructive games together, cheerfully discussing amongst themselves whether Mummy is still cross.

Making up some random game with cars or something, making up dialogue for them.

Making up some random game with cars or something, involving imaginative dialogue.

Not really a positive method of getting to enjoy each other’s company!

Cousins

They’ve been seeing quite a lot of their maternal cousins lately. When the elder one arrives she instantly suggests wheelbarrow rides. The second most recent visit involved no wheelbarrow rides as AH was not home and neither my sister-in-law nor I felt like ferrying them about. The next time she was in luck as AH was working from home. He often uses wheelbarrow rides as part of his workout – even better with 4 kids instead of 2!

2013-05-07 16.59.38 2013-05-07 16.54.58

Another part of his workout is yagaboo rides. I don’t think I can even do this with one kid – definitely not with both.

Classic yagaboo rides involve this position, lifting one's bottom off the ground, and roaming about backwards. A variation is going forwards, or having one child and chasing Mummy around with the other on her back. The classic yagaboo is often accompanied by the riders chanting yag-a-boo! yag-a-boo!

Classic yagaboo rides involve this position, lifting one’s bottom off the ground, and roaming about backwards. A variation is going forwards, or carrying only one child and chasing Mummy around with the other on her back. The classic yagaboo is often accompanied by the riders chanting yag-a-boo! yag-a-boo! (My father invented the yagaboo. Sadly, he can no longer execute it owing to old age and decrepitude. I really hope he doesn’t read this blog…)

Of Wills and Attire

We like to look a little nicer than usual for Sunday Mass. For the menfolk this means shirts (a suit for AH). Over the last few weeks, Sir A has been increasingly more disgusted with the shirts he had to choose from, and wore them under protest (which he would voice occasionally at Mass).

Last Sunday he required dressing very early for some reason, and I just put on the only top he’s been wanting to wear – a longsleeved Thomas t-shirt. (This top, I might add, has caused much trouble, since it is not always clean or dry. It has, however, helped Sir A grasp the concepts of “clean”, “dirty”, and “dry”, and also given Lord B the opportunity to be extremely generous in letting his brother wear his Thomas top when said younger brother’s was unavailable.) When it came time to shirt up, he point blank refused. I did manage to get a polo shirt (at least it has a collar) over his Thomas top, but then he was too hot so I had to take it off. Do I insist and put up with his squawking until he’s allowed to change? I wondered. On the one hand, it was an important “rule” and the available compromises hadn’t worked. On the other, he would be very loud and upset about it the whole way through Mass, and, even worse, would start associating conflict and unpleasantness with Sunday Mass, which isn’t something one really wants if one has hopes of one’s child embracing his faith.

I figured we could pretend we weren’t giving in and ignore it for the day, and in the meantime figure out a compromise that would actually work – so I jumped on trademe to see if there were any Thomas shirts – a wonderful invention that would satisfy both our criterion and his. And, score! there was even a red one (they both LOVE red – Lord B said today that “Rowan likes pink and purple. I like wed and wed.”) It was a little big, but that just means it’ll do him till he’s 3 or 4, and he LOVED it. No more fights about wearing a shirt to Sunday Mass.

When we went to pick it up he wanted to hold it on the way home, and put it on immediately upon arrival.

When we went to pick it up he wanted to hold it on the way home, and put it on immediately upon arrival.

We’ve also finally managed to convince him that, some days, pants, or long sleeves, or boots, or winter pyjamas, are actually not so bad. This is mainly because either (a) Lord B wore them and showed enthusiasm, or (b) Lord B magnanimously passed on pants or jamas that he’d grown out of. If Lord B thinks it’s good, it must be. (On a side note, I made the silly mistake of offering a series of new foods to the boys, oldest to youngest – naturally Sir A wouldn’t touch anything since his brother refused it all.)

Sir A has also mostly figured out how to dress himself, though if we’re in a hurry I help in cos it can take ages. Sometimes his undies turn into g-strings and his shorts turn into skirts and he gets most frustrated, but on the whole he’s doing well.

And today has been a lovely mothers’ day, with housework getting done all by itself (or so it seemes), and lots of time for me to enjoy my boys, give them cuddles, have yummy food with them, do some reading and blogging and other relaxing things, and bask in the warmish sunlight. *Contented sigh.*

 

I just realised I forgot Sir A and his colours. He can clearly recognise colours cos he knows which coloured stool belongs to whom (and tells people off if they try to transcend the established order), which trains are which, and which shorts and undies are various colours that he likes, but when it comes to naming them… And the weird thing is that he’ll call “blue” “green” and then “green” “green” and then “yellow” “green” even though he knows they’re all different. Oh well, all kids seem to do that.

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