Ironically, today I was just emailing to Kris, telling her that I don't post over at Clever Mamas anymore because I feel like I just don't know what I'm doing as a parent. And then, I do two smart things in one day. Score. You want to hear them (of course as soon as I write them down they will never work again, but oh well).
Emma is feeling sick today (although this photo of her falling asleep at the table is from this weekend at the Smith's house). At bed time she just wanted to nurse and nurse, and since she's almost two I'm trying to wean her. I went to get her a cup of water as a substitute, and I realized that I had lemons in the fridge. What is more comforting, and gets rid of yuk quicker than honey and lemon in warm water, I thought? So I put a dab of honey, a squeeze of lemon and some warm tap water in her sippy cup instead of plain water or milk. Two sips, one cough, and she was off to sleep. Why didn't I think of that two children ago, I ask you?
But sometimes they fight, especially the older two. Often it stays at the "you're a poopy head" "You're a baby" level, which is frustrating enough, but other times it degenerates into physical fights. Right now, Andrew has a much longer reach than Aaron, so he can pin him and win almost every time. Aaron is one of those "Bad attention is better than no attention" kind of kids, so he will bug his brother just to get any attention from him when he hasn't seen him lately (like, for instance, when he's been at school all week).
Lately, because Andrew has a loose tooth and is extra grumpy, he tends to loose his temper and pound on his brother a lot. Like, several times a day a lot. Today I was tired of it, and I needed a new solution. So I decided that I would take one lego guy away every time he lost his temper with Aaron. This worked for a few times, until Aaron figured it out. Well, what is more fun than watching your brother's lego guys get taken away because of you? So Aaron started pestering Andrew.
After I took away the fourth lego guy, I got wise to the deal. So I said, "You know what, I am tired of hearing fights and insults coming from this room. You must play over here by the bed, and you must play over here by the bookshelf. You are not allowed to talk to each other until you have something nice to say. If I hear insults or threats coming from the room, I'm moving someone out of the room."
What do you think happened? Silence for a while. Two boys who really needed a little space from each other but didn't know it playing happily in their own worlds. And about 20 minutes later, their two games meshed into one and they were playing together again. And they played together happily the rest of the day.
So I guess not being able to play with your brother unless you can be nice is the most logical consequence for constant bickering. It just took me a while to work it out.
And here is a cute photo of Emma with the crown Aaron got her for her birthday last year, because he loves dress up, so he wanted her to have some dress up of her very own. He pulled it out of the bottom of her toybox and she had fun wearing it the other day. Awww.