Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Imaginations run amok?

I love my children. They fill my heart with love and my life with joy. I treasure all the moments I share with them. They make everyday better. I consider myself so lucky and so blessed to have two beautiful, smart, funny, precious, healthy children. They are the center of my world. I would do anything for them.

That being said, they are driving me NUTS! I am not sure if it is the stress of the situation. Moving can be tough on kids. Or maybe they are not sure why we are staying here at Momma's. Maybe it is the stress of the deployment and David's being gone is really upsetting them deep down. Or maybe it is a phase. Oh dear Lord, if it is a phase, let it be short. . .

They argue all the time. Over anything and everything. I have tried letting them work it out, I have tried separating them, I have tried putting an object that causes a fight in time out. Nothing seems to get through to them. I actually have traffic signals up to warn them when they are on thin ice!

Here is the main problem: They can argue and even fight over objects that do not exist or things that are impossible. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but here is how it goes.

J: Spencer, I've got your nose.
S: No, give it back. (tears, screaming) MOM, she got my nose!

And it works both ways. They take each other's arm, leg, hand, nose, head. I want to scream, YOUR ARM IS RIGHT THERE. YOU JUST HIT HIM WITH IT, HOW CAN HE HAVE IT?? And they do it to annoy each other more than anything. They know the reaction they are going to get when they start. So I, being a logical person say, "Just ignore him/her." Apparently, we are not ready to quite grasp this concept. This is what happens after I make my "ignore" suggestion.

J: Spencer I am going to ignore you!
S: No, I agnore you.
J: No, I am ignoring you!
S: I agnore Jessa.
J: No, I ignored you first!
S: (tears) Mommy, she agnores me!

I try to explain that telling someone you are ignoring them defeats the purpose. Deaf ears.
So their vivid imaginations go ever further.

J: I have pretend make-up.
S: I want some petend make-up.
J: No, I am putting it in my pocket (she does not have a pocket, so it, too is pretend).
J: Boys don't wear make-up!
S: I want it, Jessa. Mommy!!!!

A conversation in the car:

J: I am going to order an Aurora play set from Santa (she thinks that you "order" things from Santa, not make a wish list) And it is going to have all 3 fairy godmothers.
S: I want the green one.
J: No, they are mine.
S: I want the green one.
J: You can have the blue one.
J: No, I want the green one.

They cannot see these fairies, they may never see them or have them, yet they can argue about them. This one did end a little better with Jessa deciding to "order" 2 green ones from Santa so that she can keep her 3 and give the extra green one to Spencer. How nice of her!

They also have knock-down, drag-out fights over objects that have no value. They have literally thousands of dollars worth of toys, books, movies, crayons, markers, games, you name it, yet they both want the same rock or even dog toy!

Truthfully, I rarely see who actually had the rock, dog toy, or other ridiculous item first. I try the taking turns thing, which always makes the one with the first turn more happy than the other one. I have even resorted to asking them what they want to do with the item in question. Jessa, being older, can always quickly come up with an elaborate, detailed plan as to what she wants to do with the item. Spencer, being younger, just says "cause I want it."

One last story:
Yesterday, they were playing nicely in the playroom. She was playing with her big doll house, and he was playing with a smaller one. I check on them more often these days, so as to avoid bloodshed So I had just been down there, and all was well. Within a minute, they were both running up the stairs with her crying hysterically. I put them both on their beds to settle down. And after a few minutes, I went in to get the story.

J: I was playing with Polly Pocket and Spencer invited her over to his house.
Me: Is that true, Spencer?
S: uh-huh
J: And then after Polly rung the door bell, I touched the cat at his house. And he said not to.
Me: Spencer?
S: I not want her to touch cat.
J: So he hit me.
Me: Spencer?
S: I hit her. (Gotta love his honesty!)

And then I actually found myself saying the words "Spencer, if you invite Polly over to your house, you have to be nice to her and to Jessa. And Jessa, if Spencer asks you not to touch the pretend cat at his house, you have to respect his wishes."
Is this a serious conversation?

These says, I have to hold on to the moments of harmony more than ever. . .


MaryBeth said...

We have tons of those arguments too... same exact ones!! I have found most of my resources for dealing with them in Jim Fay's book called Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. Check it out at the library if you haven't already read of it. I think it is great for this age!

Rebecca said...

Hi Dana! I wanted you to know I read your latest blog and it made me laugh out loud and I really needed a break! My favorite is "she got my nose"...Kids are too funny! I hope you are well (although it sounds like you are and will be even better once the house sells) Take Care, Rebecca