Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Still Dealing

Although my mood has improved, somewhat, since the very low and obnoxious state I was in Monday, it's still not up to what it should be. At least not in my opinion. (Probably not up-to-par for those having to live with me either, I'm sure.)

But then, considering some of the things that have been annoying me, a change in attitude and actions in some of those "near and dear" to me probably wouldn't hurt either. But I am trying to work my 12-step-program through Al-Anon and in doing that, I have to recognize what I can and what I cannot change and then, work on the issues that I do have control over and leave the others to manage their stuff!

Sounds simple enough in theory, but sometimes, especially when one is accustomed to being very independent and doing as she pleases for many, many moons, those habits are damned hard to drop by the wayside.

Just a couple little tidbits though from around the house over the past couple of days.

Late last week, Mandy and I discovered something from Kurt's teacher that she had posted on her facebook.

It started with a post she had made in which she said she never thought she'd see the day she would be telling a student to "Stop licking your knee." When I read that I thought with all the little quirky things Kurt does, that isn't one of them -not to my knowledge anyway -so I made a comment back to that effect.

She then replied that most definitely it was not Kurt doing this and added that he is doing really great. The shocker though was when she also said that he was a regular little "cleaning machine" and that as soon as she told the kids "Five minute warning" he would rush into action, picking up toys and papers and stuff all over the place.

Mandy and I looked at each other -amazed. In pretty much a state of shock at those words. Kurtis? Cleaning up? How could that be?

So we decided to test this out then and there and we got his attention and told him "Five minute warning, Kurtis."

Boy, his teacher was right! He hopped off the couch and started to pick up his matchbox cars, crayons, books and even trying to put many of these things away then too. Since then we have found this only works when Maya is not there to provide opposition to the idea of cleaning up and then, he seems to like to follow in the direction of whoever he considers to be his peer support group at the time -that being Maya, of course!

So the clean-up battles rage on -and ON!

Sunday provided a classic scene of the clean-up your mess wars that flare up here almost daily.

The living room floor -the usual battleground -looked like it had been bombarded from virtually every possible angle and I got after Maya to start picking some of this stuff up before getting any more toys out to make it even worse to deal with and she gave me her standard answer.


And that meant the war had officially begun. I kept after her for about 30-40 minutes, off and on, telling her to get busy and pick up and each time, getting the same negative response.

Finally -when my patience had worn down completely -I warned her that if Grammy has to pick this stuff up, it will be heading for the garbage. She knows that I have at times in the past, picked toys up, stuffed the offending items into garbage bags and then, with respect to most of those toys, just hid the bags for a couple of weeks or so. I'm not sure if she realizes that I have hidden the stuff but she does know I will fill garbage bags with their toys from time to time.

A lot of the things out on the floor on Sunday were new items -things she had received a week earlier for her birthday so I though maybe she would still be really interested in keeping those available to play with and I could then use them for special emphasis.

So, when I came to the pile of brand-new coloring books strewn around the room and I asked her if she still wanted them, she nodded her head and said "Yes." I then asked her if she was gonna help pick up but each time -even with the new items -she continued to say no to helping pick up. With each "no" I then put the item into the bag and as I placed it in there, I would tell Maya then that she could "kiss that baby goodbye."

As I went around picking up ALL the toys and with each item, as she refused to help, I ended up with all the books, crayons, toys of all types -some hers, some belonging to Kurtis (who was asleep while this was going on ) -all bagged up and on the dining room table. She wanted to know about the toys that belonged to Kurtis that I had picked up and I told her that Mommy would go through them when she came home and she would pick out Kurt's toys then. (Some toys -like crayons -are automatically shared though by both kids -well, they are "Supposed" to be shared, let's put it that way.)

I started to walk away from the table to go finish preparing supper and I heard Maya saying something behind me. I turned to look and there she was, leaning over each bag, mumbling something, and then gently kissing each bag of the toys.

So I asked her why she was doing that and she told me, "I'm kissing them all goodbye."

And no, that gesture didn't soften me up and I didn't open the bag and remove any items from them either. But I did get a good chuckle under my breath.


Sandee said...

I'm glad you are feeling better. Being in the dumps really sucks.

I have to laugh over the toy thing. I did that so many times with my son. I donated the toy to goodwill instead of throwing them out. Pretty soon he figured out that I meant what I said.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

wendyytb said...

That is the cutest thing I have heard...kissing the toys good-bye LOL!!

Maggie May said...

Glad you are feeling a tad better.!

That is great training for Kurtis. He likes the discipline of the warning!

Nuts in May

TechnoBabe said...

I have to tell you that there are clean up issues in a household that does not have a little guy in it. But a big guy. Maybe I should try the "Five Minute Warning" on my dear hubby!!

Dr.John said...

Our living room floor is covered with dog bones and toys. We pick them all up and put them in a platic container on top of the dog crate/cage. When we aren't looking Maggie climbs up and takes them all out and puts them back on the floor. You can't reason with a dog.
Maya at least will grow and change.

Berni said...

That is funny kissing her toys goodbye. There couldn't be a little pride involved in her actions could there. My youngest wouldn't comply with my request when he was about 4 and I waited him out for two days. It was harder on me than him but I think it was simply him not wanting to give in. I think we are all like that aren't we to some degree or other.

Marguerite said...

Bless her sweet little heart! So cute! I used to do the same thing with my kids toys, when company was coming! Glad you're feeling better, Jeni!

Debbie said...

Good for you for not giving in! Hang in there:)

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm stopping by from Eddie Bluelights'. Thanks for checking out my Sunday Roast.

I've spent some time reading several of your posts and hope that your days brighten soon.

We are VERY much alike with the kids picking up toys. I found the 5 minute warning to be very effective as well as toys in the garbage. Once toys get to the "bare bones" for a while, the "light bulb" comes on and you'll see improvements so hang in there.

It's nice to meet you. I'll be back again soon.

... Paige said...

bless your heart.

fermicat said...

Do you think that "five minute warning" thing would work on my husband? :-)

terri said...

That five minute warning is amazing! What a nice suprise for you and Mandy!

I love that Maya took you so literally and kissed the bags of toys goodbye...

Jocelyn said...

You are THE Grandma! I'm so glad you didn't open the bag and take anything out. Way to hold to the consequences.

Lifecruiser said...

Awwwww.... so cute!!!!

I think I have to start to use that 5 min warning at home even though it's just the two of us!!! *giggles*