We went to the beach to get a family picture but all we got was sand-blasted. So we promptly retreated to the city streets and turned our beach defeat around with some good old fashioned sugar and shell shopping! We still love Cannon Beach, OR.
Three times a week we go to soccer. On the way Calli sleeps like this -
Grant is awesome like this -
Plus we saw some SWIFTS and went sledding down a grass hill with 200 other small children. Just ask Calli about it.
We took Calli to preschool last week (when it was closed) and this week (when it was open)!
She was just as happy the second time we went to the first day of school.
Tim took a picture of Grant for his first day. I remember that his blue sweatshirt sleeves were covering his hands. It was a horrible picture and I lost it….thinking back now, I may have lost it out of spite.
We were blessed to celebrate K-dad's 70th birthday (just a little late) at Sauvie Island. There was rhubarb wine, roasted corn, and honey sticks galore! We LOVE it when Grandad and Rin come to visit the Portland gang. As far as I can tell, 70 is the new 50.
Now I know there is no way on earth to write parenting advice on the internet without making someone mad. And rightly so. Every family and child has different goals and reacts in different ways. But even so I am writing my parenting advice tonight because (1) some people are searching for good parenting advice (2) some people are working hard parenting and they just want to feel like others are in the same boat and (3) I hope Grant and/or Calli read this when they are 24 or 36 and have children of their own. Maybe this will be just the perspective they need in the future - because heaven knows I can't remember a darn thing unless I write it down! If this advice goes against what you believe is right, please feel no judgement at all from me.
Flashback: All my parenting tips and tricks have been learned from my Brother Dawson or my Mom. Dawson was working with his kids before I had my kids, and I watched him. He told me a standard rule for his children was to respect adults. Even shy Macy had no excuse. The respect and common courtesy of looking someone in the face and saying hello and goodbye was expected. I was not super impressed but it obviously stuck with me.
Yesterday: The East Coast Grandparents are visiting this week. Last night when the Grandparents said good night, Calli (age 4) ran to her room and hid under her bed. I asked her to say goodnight. She would only crumple up and cry and say no.
I've made some excuses for her in the past when she didn't want to say goodbye. I know Grandparents swooping in for 3 days at a time, twice a year, must be hard on a little one. To give her the benefit of the doubt I felt like she hated goodbyes because she didn't know if she would see the people she loved again and that maybe made her feel upset and was cause to withdraw.
But I took initiative anyway because I felt it was right for her to learn not to be selfish and to love her Grandparents even if she is upset about it. Here is what happened.
- I asked her to stop behaving in this shy manner and be respectful. She declined that invitation with extra wailing and I think she threw up in her mouth a little.
- After the Grandparents left the house I explained what she did incorrectly and she received a spanking. I then told her what I would like her to work on next time. She pretended to go into cardiac arrest and blew a sobbing snot rocket across the room. I got a kleenex and finished the melt down like I always do. I asked, "would you like to keep crying or stop crying and I can read you a book before bed?" She always chooses a book.
- Yes it was dramatic as all get-out but she lived! She always does.
- This morning Calli asked for a piece of candy and I made a deal with her. I will give you that piece of candy tonight if you work on respecting your mom and dad and grandparents. She took the deal.
- Over breakfast I gave Calli some examples of things she could say when her Grandparents left. I also let her know what behavior I wanted to see when I ask her to do something.
- When the time had come for the Grandparents to leave, Calli ran into the living room. She ran in circle of excitement and said, "goodbye! love you!" and then later, "see you later! have a good weekend!".
Well, I'd say that was an improvement! I love it when parenting works. When mom feels like she has directed selfish behavior to non-selfish behavior (even if just by a bit) and when the child is happier because of it.
Press on parents of preschoolers! Press on! Do not be swayed by tears and snot and throw up! Press on!
The last day of summer is here again. It really snuck up on me this year between everyone being sick and then traveling to Reno for two weeks. Grant has some clothes and a backpack and a marble addiction... I think I did good.