• Kids

    Corruption

    Despite all of the kid-drama I’ve dealt with thus far with Brogan, one thing I’ve held my hat on is the fact that he and Beckett actually get along. Sure, they chase each other around and fight over toys, but you can tell that they really like each other. But recently, Brogan has begun to exploit Beckett’s admiration… and it would seem that our oldest has found a little recruit to help execute his mischievous efforts. In short, we have entered the corruption phase. Brogan spent a considerable amount of time this weekend “calming down” in a chair in the living room. And since he was physically unable to assault…

  • Kids

    Leading by Example

    When I picked Brogan up from the sitter’s today, he was in one of those moods.  He was running all over the house, talking (obnoxiously and intentionally) loud while the sitter was taking an important call, picking on Beckett (like, literally trying to pick his nose), and not listening to anything I asked of him. And then it was time to make it to the car. Now this daily ritual is always a fun one. Beckett demands to “walk!” (one of his new words), he screams when you put in him his car seat because he wants to turn on the overhead “light!” (another new word). Then he wants to…

  • Kids

    The Bribery Debate

    I bribe my kids. I typically only offer bribes in special circumstances – like when I want them to do something out of the ordinary.  Today, for example, was a no-brainer.  The boys and I were at the park with friends, and I wanted to get a picture of all four of our kids together on a bench. Brogan, who was preoccupied with gathering sticks (he’s a hard worker man), was totally uninterested in my request. I asked him repeatedly to no avail. And then I dug deep into my bag of mommy tricks and said, “Brogan, if you sit down for a picture and smile, I’ll get you ice…

  • Kids

    The Yes Mom

    I decided to conduct an experiment with my oldest today.  I had this thought while the boys were napping… what if I didn’t say “no” when they wake up… what if I agreed to all the requests made of me for the entire evening?  What if, rather than “not now, buddy” or “in a second” or “maybe later” or “I don’t feel like it,” I just said “yes.” If I haven’t said it lately, parenting can be draining. It requires a lot of energy and patience and selflessness.  And so when you’re already at your wits end just trying to keep the peace, keep them fed and keep the house…

  • Kids

    Oh, Beckett

    Now I know I don’t write too much about Beckett. The thing is, thank goodness, he doesn’t give me a whole lot to write about. First off, he doesn’t (really) talk yet. So while I’m waiting for witty little things to come out of his sweet mouth, they haven’t yet. I’ll let you know when they do. Secondly, all of his behavior issues pale in comparison to his older brother. His little outbursts aren’t nearly as bad as his brothers were, and so we feel we’ve sort of been there, done that, got the t-shirt… no soul searching, no advice needed, no pulling-my-hair-out/at-my-wits-ends diatribes. But I’m very conscientious about the…

  • Kids

    Things I never thought I’d say

    Becoming a parent means you subject yourself to new experiences – new joys, new challenges. You often find yourself in situations you could have never, ever fathomed.  And in these situations, there are things that come out of your mouth that are just crazy. Brogan has put me through the wringer over the past two weeks… which makes for some serious stress on the home-front, but hey, it gives me something to write about! (Although in all seriousness, these are not all things I’m happy to be writing about!) So here are the things my three-and-a-half year old has caused me to say as he’s been testing boundaries, pushing the…

  • Kids

    Choices

    As I was tucking Brogan into bed tonight, we were talking about his day. I was using the whole “bad news sandwich” technique… you know, the one where you start and end with something good, but the middle is where the ugly stuff comes out. Well, as I started in on some of the good decisions he made today… “Buddy, today you made some good choices, like when you picked up toys, when you put away your dirty clothes and…” He cut me off. “Not really,” he said. “Not really?” I asked… “I didn’t really make good choices in the bath, or when I was in your bed, or when…

  • Kids

    We’re making progress

    A really rough day with Brogan earlier this week had me and Blake looking for some new tactics to handle our “spirited” child.  Blake found this article Parenting Your Strong Willed Child, and since it was pretty much the polar opposite of the approach we had been taking (which wasn’t working), we figured it was worth a try. So here’s the first status update: we’re making progress. The last 5 days, have, for the most part, gone pretty smoothly. And it was within those 5 days that Brogan took a Sharpie marker to 20+ locations upstairs (walls, doors, furniture, sheets, door knobs…). And how, you ask, is this going smoothly?…

  • Kids

    What kind of “not”?

    Today was a rough day with Brogan. He tested every limit, he pushed every button. He didn’t listen, he defied, he lied, he hit, he back talked, he kicked, he screamed. He got me to a place I rarely go – a place of absolute rage. We’ve had a good run of positive reinforcement induced pretty good behavior, and December brought us a “Santa scared straight” good little boy. But today was so bad that it necessitated straight punishment. He was sent to his room (and told to stay in)… and he walked out. I closed his door (and told him to keep it shut, or he was in there…

  • Kids

    Say what?!?

    Here’s a little sampling of all the inappropriate / interesting things my three-year-old has said to me in the last couple of days. It’s like I have a teenager in a toddler’s body. No, seriously. That’s exactly what he’s like. The smart-mouth comments are relentless. In the car today… Brogan: Mommy, you wear me out. Brogan: Mommy, I have had it with you! Uggghhhh…. Gosh…. Oh. My. Goodness…. Brogan: You are not being a good listener! You aren’t getting ANY MORE presents! The other day when I wouldn’t let him push his own toast down in the toaster… Brogan: You just took away my sunshine. Whenever he hurts his self…