Sunday, 7 October 2012

Week 30 - ups and downs

It's Sunday night, and we are all exhausted. It's been an interesting week. On one hand, Joe really is making great progress. He seems so much more settled as each week passes and he's starting to do better at school, even scoring 10/10 in this weeks spelling test. He's bringing more homework home (including this weeks 'make a lighthouse challenge which has got G's art college skills well and truly dusted off!) and is speaking about things he's done during the day rather than shutting down and not talking about school.

Charlie on the other hand is becoming more of a pickle and has had us both at the end of our tethers this week. I have never known a child with such an inquisitive mind, he wants to play and touch with everything and he really wants to be helping all the time. That, and the 500 'why' questions a day are fairly exhausting, but added to that this week is an increased stubborn streak with a complete lack of awareness of when he is being told off. He doesn't take discipline seriously at all, and nothing really seems to affect him. You can be shouting at him to stop doing something having already told him 6 times in 10 minutes, and he will still continue. For the first time in 7 months, he actually reduced me to tears this week because I just felt like I was completely failing in my parenting of him as he just seems to have this knack of winding me up and getting me angry, which  I hate about myself as I really just want to be having a nice time with him.

The only saving grace is that we are not alone with this feeling, his teacher is finding him hard work too and this makes me feel a bit less like it's just me. In fact this was his first week of full time schooling and at the end of the week his teacher suggested that perhaps we do half days on Wednesdays to break the week up a bit!

This weekend we had a long awaited trip to my sisters house. This year has been an odd one, because for so much of it we were keeping the boys at home in order to help them to understand what home is all about, but as a result we haven't been out and about visiting like we used to, so it was our first overnight stay at my sisters since the boys arrived 7 months ago. It was great to see the boys playing with their cousins so happily, and great to have a bit of a break and be waited on by my sister and brother in law. The boys had a blast but Charlie did still prove to be hard work. The journey home became fractious, we were all tired in truth and Charlie was messing around, shouting and at one point unfastened his seatbelt. We kept telling him off and he just ignored us. In the end we threatened that every time he ignored us, we would remove something from his room for 2 days. First it would be his books, then his DS, then his cuddly toys, then his train set, until he learned to listen to us. He had lost his books and DS by the time we were 15 minutes in to the journey, but whether it had any impact remains to be seen.

When we got home however, we did realise just how tired they both were. In fact both boys went to bed an hour early tonight, both requesting no bath and no story because they just wanted to go to sleep. Charlie didn't even have the energy to brush his own teeth. On reflection, we've probably tried to do too much - his first couple of weeks at school and last weekend we went to stay at Grandma and Granddads, and this weekend we went to stay at Aunty Helen's. Perhaps we have underestimated the amount of energy spent, and maybe that is why we are paying the price.

Tough this Learner Parenting lark - still we live and learn!

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