Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We are fine, thank you

The boys are doing well. Hayden continues to thrive in preschool and is now learning to read. He says doing "paperwork" is his favorite part of the day, and he constantly asks his teacher for more work. She says she rarely gets a great student like him, and he is (almost) always a perfect angel for her. Before you think he is the greatest kid ever, let me tell you that with the other teachers at the school, he is more than challenging. He's got it into his head that he only has one teacher he needs to listen to. Life would be more pleasant during his afternoons if he would just believe everyone when we say he needs to be nice to ALL the teachers.

Logan is now potty trained which is fantastic. We have a very lackadaisical approach- meaning we don't do anything, and let the boys decide when they are ready. It's worked both times, and had them trained stress-free relatively early. For the first time in 4 1/2 years we aren't changing diapers!!! Whoo hoo!! Logan proudly drops trow wherever he is to show off his new Batman, Speedracer, Spiderman etc. underwear. We'll have to get him to stop eventually, but it's pretty funny right now.

It seems we have turned a bend on behavior. For awhile they were completely out of control, and bedtime was a 2 hour ordeal. Just when we would get one settled, the other would get crazy, and it would instantly become a 3-Ring circus. So, we started putting Logan to sleep in our room with a few minutes of snuggles before we leave the room. Instead of nagging him to sleep, cuddling him to sleep, holding him down when he gets up, or any other unpleasant and fruitless methods we were using, we now don't acknowledge him at all. If he does get up, we silently just put him back on the bed. Eventually, it isn't fun for him anymore and he just goes to sleep. He tries calling us, but we tell him we aren't going to answer, then just ignore it. If it goes on too long, we give him a warning then close the door. This method has had surprisingly quick results, and we are all much more relaxed. Hayden of course, gets put to bed with a brief snuggle, then he lays quietly until he falls asleep.

In addition to bedtime, we are using a quieter approach to discipline in general. One warning, then time out in the chair. Logan finally stays put most of the time. When he doesn't, I silently keep putting him back in the chair until he sits quietly for his full 2 minutes. Hayden is good about serving his 4 minute sentence, and we have broken his habit of stomping as loudly as he can into his room every time.

They seem to be getting along quite well these days, playing cooperatively and working as a team. They do squabble, but it is no longer constant. We have a lot of pretend play around here, and lots of drawing and writing. They also like to take there cardboard bricks to build anything they think of - a pool with spa, Starbucks drive-thru, a dog park... it's really one of my favorite things to find, despite the fact that it means I can't really walk through the room easily. I just love seeing their creativity and teamwork.

Fridays remain our fun day together. This week we went back to the Museum of Natural History by request. They were engrossed in my "tour" through the room of animal skeletons and seemed genuinely interested in the details I pointed out such as animal size, and smaller things like the proportion of rib length to leg length. Had that been me, I might have fallen asleep standing there, but they really listened and asked very well thought out questions. Last year, taking them out anywhere by myself was a huge ordeal. Now, they are truly a pleasure to bring them on one adventure after another. This week, maybe back to the beach!

No comments: