Sunday, February 22, 2009

Acting Out

As previously reported, Kinley and Tanner have been amazingly resilient throughout the last 3 and a half months. So, why am I so surprised that they are choosing now to act out?

The last few days have been interesting around here.

Tanner waits until I'm feeding Crew to asks for something. If I say "no", or if I say "wait", he stands just barely out of arms' reach and screams for it at the very tippiest top of his lungs. If I'm feeding or rocking Crew, he won't come to me when I call. If Justin calls to him (for example, to change his nasty diaper), he turns around and walks over to me with a sassy little smile. Last night when he did it, I spanked him first and sent him to Daddy for another. As far as other attitude issues, since we have generally only used/needed time outs for tantrums until he calms down, Tanner is famous for being in time out for 30 seconds and coming out of the bathroom calm and collected. He was in time out for 45 minutes a few nights ago. Over feeding himself. And he don't cry pretty, I can tell you that.

Kinley isn't being perfectly angelic either. As Tanner is getting into more frequent trouble, Kinley is quite obviously relishing the moments. When I took Tanner upstairs yesterday to confess to Daddy that he colored on the fridge with a crayon, I commanded her to stay in her chair and finish eating her breakfast, but she snuck up the stairs to listen at the door and hear the fallout because she just couldn't help herself. She just had to know exactly how much trouble he was in. She was positively giddy.

Back to coloring with crayons; I have always prided myself and my children on the fact that they really aren't very destructive kids. We've had to get crayon off the wall only once, and that was when Tanner was maybe 18 months. Apparently, 3 and 6 are good ages to take it up the habit. I heard the sing-song voice "Mooooommy! Tanner is coloring on the waaaaaaall!" (insert smug little kindergarten face here). I put Crew's bottle down, raced to Tanner and totally lost it. In the middle of my tirade over the gigantic circle he had just created on the stairway wall, I looked over to the left and down a little and noticed the small pink stick figure. Hmmm... Only one person in this house draws stick figures and it isn't Tanner! What is going on here?!!

And that fridge incident? That came after the wall incident. I was surprised by it anyway, but I was shocked that he did it right in front of me. Like he didn't even care that I was in the kitchen making lunch, in full view of his destruction. And I won't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure that I saw a hint of a smile when I lit into him for that one.


Kira =] said...

"Makes you just want to thump them" is Ben & mine's saying for that type of behavior. So sorry it's going on & adding stress around the house. Wesley's been pulling some of Tanner's behavior lately when i'm feeding Josie. Where did they get this from all of a sudden? And I can't believe it's not just mine doing it!

Caroline said...

when I had Emma 15 mths after Rebekah, my perfect little angel suddenly decided that playing with Daddy's extremely precious Stereo was just the thing when I sat down to feed Emma. They just know the things you get you riled don't they ! LOL wouldn't change it for a second!

Scrapping Mom of 5 said...

Just like you said in an early post you are still trying to figure out the dynamics so are they. In a way its almost a "good" thing. Because they are less afraid that you and/or Crew will disappear again. Not that you want the behavior to continue but it can be one little positive in all the negative behavior. Also they like you perhaps still need to grieve for Dex. The reality is that you have all been so involved in dealing with Crew's fight for life and health than maybe the other stuff never finished processing. I know when we didn't come home with Samuel all of my guys had to deal with it from the 17 yo down to the 3 yo. The 17 yo hated God and wasn't happy with me. He actually went back to the church camp where he had done counselor training and stayed a week so he could process. He came back in a better frame of mine but still doesn't like to talk about it. The 7 yo seemed to be all about me. Was I okay. What did I need. He too never really wanted to talk about it. The 5 yo wanted to talk about it all the time. Why, why, why? When we put the garden out front in Samuel's memory he worked the hardest. When someone would mention oh you have 4 boys he'd tell the entire check out line at Walmart no we have 5 boys but one's in heaven. But he was also the one who showed out. Did stuff I was sure was designed to make me a crazy mom. The 3 yo just seemed to mope around. You could tell what was going on. One minute he was in my face for attention and the next he seemed to want nothing to do with me. But they all reacted. In a way all of that has been delayed because there just wasn't time and you just weren't there. Now they know your home and engaged so let's go nuts. Not sure if any of that is helpful or not. Praying for calmness in your home.

AdronsCatherine said...

I feel your pain. I sure don't have any good advice, other than just keep hanging in there, and you are a great mama! In theory, everything will settle back into some sort of normalcy in the not unforseeable future. It's so hard to balance the need to discipline their behavior with their needs for attention...