Saturday, May 1, 2010

The art of helping

 It was yet another furlough Friday leading into Drill weekend for Phil which means exhausted mommy. Pair it with 2 doctor's appointments the day before for Lily and everyone was a little on edge. I decided it was best to keep the kids active to try and circumvent the usual bickering. We went for a walk and played at the park and came home and started painting the Lemonade stand. It seems like everytime I breathe, someone is screaming. And not so far from that screaming is Phillip. As the eldest- he is burdened with "knowing better" for just about everything. The younger ones are adequately(well, consistently might be the better word- if it was adequate they would stop and I wouldn't have to make sure they were) punished and Phillip chastised for his role. I do appreciate that he is old enough to reason with now and try to spend time explaining to him why- although good intentioned, his efforts are sometimes misplaced.

Before we went for our walk this morning, I told Bella to turn off the tv. She is 4. Turning off the Tv is not her forte. Phillip swipes the remote from her and she begins to belt out notes that make my ears hurt. I know part of this is the genetic sex linked trait to be commander of the remote. Part of it is Phillip trying to help me.  I explain to him in my slightly louder than normal voice that it is not his job to enforce her behavior that no good comes from him getting involved when I am dealing with the girls.

Later, after our walk- Lily was pouring lemonade. Phillip saw that she was going to spill and intervenes by moving the cup. Don't ask me here why this course of action seemed to be the best in his mind- but it resulted in Lily ceasing to pour to avoid spillage. So basically if that was his hope- it worked. The down side is that the most probable outcome from this behavior will be spillage and screaming(most likely mine) and I am about to reason it out with him- but Lily is screaming like he cut her hand off. I remove her from the situation and counsel him on the errors of his ways in my slightly louder than normal voice. 1)removing a cup from the path of liquid generally results in spillage. and 2) it greatly increases my stress levels when he does stuff to make her scream. It isn't helping.  

Phil arrived home earlier than usual to take the kids to a movie. I ventured upstairs to bask in the quiet and found this laying on my bed..... 

So I learned a couple of things after the mommy guilt wore off and I stopped feeling like all of my efforts in the parenting realm were in fact misguided and not helping.
1) He does hear me and is very good at drawing cartoon emotions 2) Relationships are this sticky amoeba like thing that you can't define- so is life. That and apparently Catholic guilt tripping is genetically linked.


Amy said...

Ohhh, that sweet, sweet boy! What a sweet note with amazing illustration. He DOES draw emotions perfectly! (& I looove the freckles.) One question though--have you grown a beard since I saw you last? LOL! Too cute!

Angela said...

Oh, poor oldest child! I love love love his drawing and note! :<