School's Out for Summer!

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As of this past Friday, our little 3Ker is now headed to 4K and this mama's heart is hurting thinking about him graduating next year and then moving up to Kindergarten...but those are tears for another day! I've been enjoying having Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays to devote to work and errands since Bo is usually at school all day, however, I'm bound and determined to find a happy balance of work and play for the next few months while I'm home with both kids. Today we had a great time up in Port Jefferson; it's right on the harbor so we could see the ferry coming in and out, headed to and from Connecticut. There's also a little beach area where the kids can play and a fun sprinkler they can run through. We met a friend and her family up there this morning, then went to have crêpes in the village. Now we're home and both kids are napping--hallelujah!

My kids have always been on a schedule/routine and I'm not sure how anyone survives without one. I'm not as OCD with the schedule now that I have CC but for the most part, they still eat and sleep roughly around the same times everyday. However, with Bo having started school back in April, he wasn't taking naps on the days he had school--he and his classmates would rest on their mats but he would never fall asleep. Now that he's home everyday for the summer though, I would like to keep him on a routine much like he has at school in that he has a scholastic time where he traces letters and numbers, colors and so on. We shall see how that works out!

If I'm being completely honest, it's been a struggle lately with maintaining my sanity with Bo. Don't get me wrong, he is such a great boy! He is one of the smartest kids I know, he has a sweet heart and he's so goofy. However, bless his heart, he is like his mama and has a strong will. Ok, for all of those who may read this, I ADMIT IT! So you can imagine trying to tame a small child with a very strong will is like peeing in the wind. It stinks and it gets messy! The issue I have now come to is how to properly discipline without damaging my child and his view of me as his mommy. Of course I want him to have the time of his life everyday but the fact is, I have another child who needs attention too and who needs to be defended since she can't really defend herself, a budding passion/potential career and a household to run, and there's only one me. I'd love to go off and do fun things everyday with the kids but I know that costs money and as crazy as some people may think it sounds, I don't want to put on like we're going to go and do something out every single day. Maybe my philosophy is jacked up, I don't know, but I feel like there should be a balance between doing fun, extra things and being at home. Today was so much fun and he had such a good time--he listened and obeyed, and of course he's going to be a 3 year old boy at times so I'll have to repeat myself to, "sit down on your hiney" or "chill out and use your inside voice because we're in a restaurant" but overall, he was so good today and he usually is when we're out and doing things. It's when we're home and he and his sister are playing freely that things really get hairy most of the time. I know there will be sibling rivalry and all that but I don't condone Bo being ugly to his sister and/or CC having to just take it. She is starting to fight back by attempting to bite him or she just whines and cries every time he messes with her which drives me batty.

I find myself yelling at Bo because I've told him for the umpteenth time not to touch his sister or not to take whatever the latest "thing" is away from her, then I start being sarcastic in my tone and I forget that he's only 3. I don't want him to think that his behavior is acceptable and that he can continue with how he's acting but I also don't want to fly off the handle and he think that he can do that towards his peers. It's a very thin line between discipling and completely jacking up your child's thought process of how to act. Let's get real, I don't know of any toddler that you can reason with. It just doesn't work and no person on the face of the earth can tell me it does. I've gotten so desperate at times that I've tried it in order to keep the peace and to not have to deal with a tantrum but all it does is open a loop hole for the child to think he or she can negotiate their way through just about anything they want. So reasoning with my strong-willed son is out of the question. I fully believe in spanking but I think there's a time and place for it, and I try with all my might to pull that card if nothing else will get the point across that I need to get across. So now I'm back to how in the world do I discipline a strong-willed child without it feeling like a constant fight and struggle.

My goal for this summer is to maintain some sort of structure even at home. It's so hard sometimes because I'll get involved with something, even washing dishes and picking up the house, so the kids just play and do their thing for a while. However, all hell breaks loose because CC touches something of Bo's and it's game on. I get so wound up when this happens that it could take a feather to break me; it's like an avalanche and then by the time Rob comes home, I'm snippy and moody even with him which I know isn't fair for anyone. I do feel though that with me maintaining a similar structure to what Bo was used to at school, he will hopefully be able to concentrate on his task at hand and not get distracted with whatever CC is doing. Lord knows, I hope and pray!

I'm not all stiff-nose when it comes to parenting, I promise! We are looking forward to a 9 day vacation to Tennessee and Alabama starting next Friday. Bo will be doing {hopefully} a few VBSs this summer as well as trips to playgrounds and the waterpark. Last summer I felt more overwhelmed than anything trying to go out and do things because CC was an infant and not mobile at all. I also constantly felt like I had to be working in order to appear that I was "earning my keep" so I'm really looking forward to doing some fun things away from home with both of them this year and focusing on the valuable time I have with my kids being little. I know the summer is going to fly by so I'm going to trust God that He has a plan and I'm going to try my hardest to cherish every second, even in the chaos. I read something the other day that said, "you only have 18 summers with your kids so make the most of them" and I fully intend to do that.

So here's to the summer of 2018, all the fun that will be had, and the mamas to strong-willed kids! I know I'm not alone so feel free to reach out with tips on how to tame the 'tude!

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