I don't even know where to begin. The kids are absolutely crazed today and I don't know what is going on. Maybe there is a full moon? I cooked a nice dinner that no one is eating until tomorrow because I am done with all of them. I served peanut butter sandwiches and/or oatmeal all the way around for tonight and bedtime for everyone by 7 p.m. (Regular bedtime is 8 pm.)
Pollito is pretending to be a parrot. Seriously. He has been perched on the edge of a chair in the playroom for the past two and a half hours copying everything someone else says and squawking. He has never done this before and when I tried to ask him "why?" he repeated what I said and kept on squawking. I asked if he wanted a snack and he said he wanted a cracker. Then he asked for birdseed. I would have tried to deal with it some more but he stayed out of the fray except for repeating everything Corazon said and driving her nuts which she kinda deserved so I didn't intervene.
Corazon had 10 sentences to write to remind herself to stop interjecting herself into adult conversations. This strategy has worked wonders for both Corazon and Tortuga in the last 2 months. I got tired of reminding them to do certain things that they were expected to do and had been reminded to do hundred of times. I finally declared that they were old enough to remind themselves about these things so each time they "forgot" they would need to write reminders 5 times, then 10 times, etc. if they just couldn't "remember."
I assign sentences for all the "little things" that just wear me down and drive me crazy. (It feels like being pecked by a gaggle of geese.) For example, Corazon talks really loudly to herself whenever I am speaking to anyone else or when I am on the phone--only during these times [she used to do it all the time but that has subsided considerably]. She also likes to respond to any question I pose to one of the other children or to C. as though I am speaking to her. She also leaves her pencils, markers and crayons where the two younger kids can find them. She only does this with those items. Otherwise she is a dream when it comes to organizing and putting things away.
Tortuga used to engage in passive aggressive behaviors whenever I was talking to him and he didn't want to hear it. He would scratch his face, yawn, roll his eyes, pout, play with his tongue, and/or rub his nose, head, belly, arm, crotch, etc. He would do this only when I or C. are talking to him or helping him with something. [He hates getting help even when he is the one who asks for it.]
I finally got tired of reminding them to not do these things so I start assigning sentences. I figured the repetitions should help if it is really an issue of forgetting and if not, they would stop once they got tired of writing. In the meantime their penmanship would improve and since both of them have terrible handwriting it was a win-win arrangement. [The teacher in me is coming out in this.] So, all in all I would say that 80% of these behaviors are totally gone and the rest have subsided considerably. Corazon averages maybe 25 sentences each week now and Tortuga gets around 40 which is a considerable improvement.
Anyway, Corazon could not settle down to do her sentences and was doing everything as slowly as possible in addition to trying to get Pollito to stop his squawking. Tortuga had come home with very little homework but I found alot of writing on the back of his social studies work that had lots of bad words and insults about a girl in his class. He has issues with girls because he wants to bully them all and he can be very mean to anyone he perceives as weaker than he is. It is a product of his insecurities and his prior socialization while with his birthmom all rolled into one. Because this is a recurring issue that the teachers and I are working with him on, I couldn't let it go. I told him he had to write that girl an apology if he wanted to go to school tomorrow. He doesn't like to miss school so that usually works to get him to do what he is supposed to but it didn't work tonight. He ranted, raved, cried, screamed, rolled on the floor, insulted me, imitated me, and did his very best to set me off. I ignored him for the better part of 2 1/2 hours which just set him off even more. Then Corazon, not wanting to be left out, started screaming that she had to use the bathroom. She had gone 4 times in 1 hour to avoid doing her sentences and I had told her the downstairs bathroom was off limits until she was finished and she hates to go upstairs to use the bathroom. So, she chose to scream and scream that the "pee was coming" and that she "had to go bad." It really was a ploy to get control and get me to change my mind. I ignored it too. It was kind of amusing to hear Pollito imitating her though.
I set about doing the laundry and cooking dinner while keeping all of them within my sightlines. The poor baby played quietly with her toys at my feet for the better part of the afternoon/evening except when she needed to be comforted because she has two new teeth coming in. Once I finished making dinner I decided I couldn't handle a family meal so I fed Milagro, put the rest of the food away and prepared oatmeal and peanut butter sandwiches for everyone else. By 7 pm I announced that it was bedtime much to their surprise and sent everyone off to their respective beds. Both kids had finished their assigned writing just in time for dinner so they were especially shocked to be sent to bed without reading time or anything else. Today was just one of those day where I couldn't take it anymore and I felt like they owed me the time. When C. got home a few minutes later I had her dinner ready and we had a chance to catch up on the day's events. We rarely get to do that without jumping right into hearing about kids' days, bedtime stories, baths, etc. but for tonight that just wasn't happening. I am exhausted and I wonder what tomorrow will bring?