So I come downstairs tonight after making it home from a visit with the Andersons. I have an armload of laundry as I make my way through the obstacle course that is my living room floor, catching glimpses of the dirty high-chairs in my kitchen. Gilbert's on the computer and this is his statement to me: "Kate, you're slacking on your blog these days." So, here I am, with clinched teeth, creating a new post.
Knox-sitting is going well. I've reached the end of week three and the boys have become like brothers in every sense of the word. In the last two weeks, Cole has chosen to take Tuesday and Thursday as his feisty days. Knox has taken Wednesday. Today I decided that I might like them to take the same day every once in a while so they'll start taking up for themselves. Today, Cole, believe or not, was "mean and rotten to the core," as my Mom used to say. I think he waited for Knox to start playing nicely on his own so he could come over and ruin it. Poor Knox would just look at him. I secretly hoped Knox would deck him a time or two, just to give him a taste of his own medicine.
To tell the truth, since they started behaving this way, I have really, really struggled with how to handle it. I guess I'm still struggling, but after talking to some ladies who have dealt with boys of their own, I'm coming to terms with the idea that I must remember that they are boys and they are almost 17 months old. Just because they are behaving this way now doesn't necessarily mean that they will behave the same way as adults. I should also not feel the need to nip every single occurrence in the bud or fight every battle for them. So sometimes when they look at me for intersession, I just say, "You're gonna have to handle this one on your own." As long as no one is getting injured, I think it might be wise to let a few slide and teach them to stick up for themselves as well as they can. Bad idea? Got a better one? Your feedback is welcome, especially from you who have dealt with boys.
Cole is completely unresponsive to time-out these days. It used to make an impact. Not anymore. He used to sit in the corner, face the wall, and cry. Now he gets up, comes over to me, and calls my name as if to say nonchalantly, "Hey Mom. You forgot me in that corner over there, but don't worry. It's no big deal." So I've been putting him in my lap and sitting with him in the corner. When I do that, he puts that chin up and peeks at me and grins like I've just made up a new game, so I stare up at the ceiling and pin his arms to his sides, hoping at least for a whine of discomfort. Does this make me evil? Today we tried this after he hit Knox. When time was up, I turned him around, gave him a brief talking-to, told him to say sorry and hug his "opponent" (he does this eagerly every time, as if that's his favorite part). And, seriously, as soon as he released Knox from the hug, he smacked him in the head. I think time-out will be much easier when I can lock him in the basement without food or water for a couple of days. But seriously, when I can put him in his room to think about his behavior, I hope it will improve. Until then, is time-out worthless? Is it acceptable for me just sternly say NO every once in a while? I mean, if I used time-out for every incident, there would be a spot worn in the floor after a week. I will also say that I did spank once this week and was completely riddled with guilt and felt the need to beg for his forgiveness afterward. Is that what parents mean when they say, "This will hurt me more than it hurts you?" Keeping in mind that every kid, every parent, and every situation is different, I say again: ideas and feedback welcomed.
So seriously, things are going okay. Some bumpy spots, some definite eye-opening experiences for me (and probably for both boys) but overall, all's well. Thanks for letting me vent, and thanks in advance for your ideas.
Oh. Thought I'd share a picture of Cole's attempt at a hiding place when he has something Knox might want. As you can see, the hiding isn't usually a success.