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The Writing Mother

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Thursday, December 28, 2006
The cylce ends here.
There's an unwritten feud in my family (until now, she wrote). An electric undercurrent that connects the women in this family. There's Cousin, whose arrival to young parents and the move in with the grandparents firmly upset her Aunt's position as 'the baby'.

There's me, the black sheep who takes after her late Grandfather. There's my mother and her mother, I don't fully understand that dynamic. There's plenty of drama between the aunts and the sisters. It's never really bothered me. I figured I was just different. I knew that Grandma favored my cousin, after all, she'd helped raise her and they lived next door to each other for almost 20 years.

I was always envious because I missed the small town that I knew only from summer vacations. I was moved around from town to town or house to house between divorced parents. My cousin was ensconsced in a sweet and loving life, with a huge house and plenty of room to rome. I lived in a trailer park. Or had to endure the parental fights. But I got over it, pretty much, I didn't think it was really my fault that Gramma preferred her.

But now it's different. Now it's my kids. I have two, a boy who is five and a girl who is 4 months. My cousin has a boy who is 1 year old. Grandma went into the hospital on Christmas night. We visited her the next day.

She talked about her kids and how good they are to her and then mentioned my cousin. "She's so good to me. And that boy of hers, he just has my heart."

There was a silence in the room as I sat there with my daughter on my lap and my son sitting on the hospital bed playing quietly (a Christmas miracle).

It was like the closing of a book, a deep thud and a puff of dust. I resigned myself. I know now that nothing I can do will ever afford me a place of honour in her eyes. I'm always the other grand-daughter. My kids will always be the other great-grand-children.

My aunt (the displaced baby) still carries the burden now that she has a son as well, referring to my cousin's son as 'the golden child'. And it's true. I shall continue to bring my children to her, continue to hope that they find favour and vow that this cycle ends with my children.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 1:05 PM

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Very sorry, I seem to be suffering from lack o' bloggin'.

We've had a busy month (uh, I mis-typed and said busty month... very odd). M. is finally settling down at Kindergarten. Could this be becuase I have been going to kindergarten early many days a week and just hanging out with him? I think so.

I am giving kudos to myself becuase I knew deep down he'd have a little bit of a hard time at Kindergarten. Hence my desire to plan E. 'just right' so that I'd be home with her on Maternity Leave while he was starting school.

I can't help but feel that I've done something to create such a 'willful' child, but 'they' say that children's temperaments are set from birth. But still... surely I've fostered this spirit. I'm currently reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" and have been working on thinking about his actions in a positive light.

In stead of 'willful' I'm trying 'certain of desires'... instead of 'stubborn' I'm trying 'sure of self'... yeah, it kind of sounds like bull pucky to me too... BUT, I have found that when he is behaving in a contrary manner that I can look at his behaviour and notice that if he were an adult, this would be GOOD behaviour.

I mean, don't I want a child that sticks to his guns under peer pressure? Don't I want a goal-oriented child even if I have to put up with a little 'goal=extra dessert' time for a while?

Thankfully, I have a wonderful Kindergarten teacher and we've devised a reward system for him. She puts stickers in his communication book each day to let me know how he has been. Each sticker translates to a certain amount of TV and video game time. (15 minutes) The maximum he can get is 6 stickers.

Also, we've pin-pointed that his problems usually occur after 11 am, so I've been heading to the school a little early (he gets out at 11:40) and sitting in the classroom, usually just observing. I will be volunteering in the classroom, but for now it's a little difficult with a 4 month old. The teacher said I can just bring her along, but she naps at 9:30 just about every morning... and if I drag her out of the house I'll just end up with a different cranky child at school.

But we're working on it!

Yesterday I realized how far M. has come in other areas. I remember stressing a year ago because the child seemed terrified of the pool. I started sticking him in classes (because he doesn't really like it when I try to teach him, I'm too forceful....) and last night for the first time in the bathtub he stuck his whole face in the water and had me count to five while he held his breath.

This is a big step for him! I'm so happy! Sure, some of you may be saying 'small things...' but he doesn't do anything without it being his idea and his is very cautious with new things, it really has taken a year for him to be able to do this.

That trait, of being cautious of new experiences, is apparently a trademark of The Spirited Child. In the book they have a test for you to take to see how spirited your child is. M. scored fairly high.

Then there's another test to see how spirited a parent you are.

Surprise, surprise... I scored much higher than my son.

Spirited child, spirited parent. Yikes!

As my family would say: Tree. Apple.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 9:52 AM

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