Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five is the same as Three except taller. And with more words.

You know, once Noah turned four, I thought, hey, this is it. We are done with the nonsensical tantrumming, the limp noodle-rigid board histrionics, the second guessing of the wisdom of having another kid. And four was magical. Sweet, snuggly, independent...everything you tell yourself it would be to get through the seventh circle of hell that is three. The corner, it had been turned. Smooth sailing all the way to puberty.

Thanks for setting that unrealistic expectation there Noelle.

Then kindergarten happened and I swear the drama has been upped by a factor of 10, not including my sensitive snowflake.

Let's talk about homework. He gets a packet of homework pages to complete in the week, four to five in total, so we break it down to to one page a night. We aren't talking diff EQs here, more like 'circle the pictures that have the beginning sound of /b/.' Or 'Trace and write uppercase and lowercase /E/.' Stuff he's been doing in school already and just practicing at home (see: homework.) Dylan drills Noelle on her spelling words at the same time so it's not like she's off on some magical adventure while he has to slave and toil. A single page will end up taking him 15 minutes to do because he throws down his pencil after every letter with an 'ugh! I can't do this!' which he has just done so okay. Then the tantrum passes and he finishes it perfectly happy without a fuss. Meanwhile it's taking everything in my power to drop plunge my head into the soapy dish water and scream.

What's also fun is food. We've recently informed him that we now expect him to eat the entire baby carrot as opposed the the single bite we were allowing before. I know, we're such monsters. This news was greeted with much wailing and gnashing of teeth which we ignored and went on with dinner. Five minutes later, Dyl nudges me - Noah's carrot was gone. We told him to eat the whole thing and he did. He also shoved the entire thing in his mouth at one time earning himself a really magnificent gag reflex but that's not the point right now.

But the best, far and away, has to do with anything regarding personal responsibility and not just trashing the house because forts are fun! Noelle has been asking about earning money and so we told them that they had been getting a secret allowance for a while now. Actually, I wasn't sneaking it and told them on more than one occasion where their money was but eh, it's just Mom talking. NBD. There are some Lego Friends sets that she would like that are really elaborate and hence really expensive. I'm not shelling out for that unless it's her birthday or Christmas and since both have just passed, she's got a while to wait but I did bribe offer her a deal: If she can save up half the amount from her allowance then Dyl and I would kick in the rest. Teach money handling, responsibility, delayed gratification etcetera and so forth. This took a turn towards chores and expectations around living in the house and contributing to its cleaning. In for a penny, in for a pound so Noah was included too.

See?! I did have a point with that backstory.

Well since we're now going to really seriously mean that that she needs to help out, it's only fair that Noah have similar requirements. The day we told them about this plan (picking up toys, putting away books, generally not trashing the house), I was sitting on the couch after dinner reading and Legos and various cars and action figures were strewn over the family room floor. It was almost bedtime so hey guys, come in here and put your toys away. Noah came in and gave me major stink-eye for not cleaning up. Sorry bud; I set the table, made dinner, cleared the table and washed the dishes. You're on your own. Moving on. Noelle was nowhere to be seen so he stomped around picking up a single Lego at a time muttering "This is gonna take forever!" and "Ugh! I can't believe I have to pick up all these toys!" Yes darling, it's a hard knock life you have indeed.

(I may have been hiding a big-ass grin while this was going down.)

For all that he may drive me insane, he's still my Doodlebug, my BooBoo, my yummy little guy. Five may be Three on steroids, but in the end, I'll take it.

Besides, can Three give you this much ninja?

I think not.

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