It is nearly 1am as I begin this post. Aidan is in his room throwing things and being angry because I won’t lay with him. He also keeps coming out of his room. I am trying to finish up some freelance work, and Aidan knows this. He keeps coming out of his room with some excuse or another. He drew a picture he wants to show me. He “forgot” to call Daddy.
He just told me that because I won’t lay with him, he’s never drawing again. Forever. And that is punishing me how? I told him that’s fine, he just needs to go to bed. He came out of his room again, saying he wants to read me a book. Adam already told him that the routine of the night is that he gets to watch a DVD then he needs to sleep.
He’s not sleeping.
Even if he’d just STAY IN HIS ROOM, that would be nice. I mean, he’s a night owl like me so I understand the not falling asleep right away. But he keeps coming out with that “little voice” trying to get me to drop everything for him. And I have work to do. I really should get back to that actually.
Adam made Aidan a certificate saying that there are no ghosts in this neighborhood, and he and Ken (another ghost hunter) signed it. It’s hanging in Aidan’s room. Adam also blocked off all the windows so the blue light from the courtyard, the one that reminded him of the Sims ghost, is no longer visible in Aidan’s room. Aidan is no longer saying he’s scared. He’s just resisting bedtime big time. Pushing boundaries.
I got a lot of good advice today. I’m hoping that by the end of the week, bedtime is back to no longer being an ordeal. He did have to do his own laundry today. Well, Adam helped and watched him, but he did have to do the bulk of the stuff. He also had to remake his bed.
I know it’s not a punishment for him as it is a lesson in responsibility and taking consequences for his actions. For growing up and being a big boy instead of a baby. But it’s still hard. I feel bad. I keep telling myself NOT to feel bad, that this is good for him. Why is that so hard to believe, though?
Tough love. Why did no one tell me it was tough for the mommies, too?
And he just came out of his room again. I was warned that tonight was going to be exhausting.
As the summer goes on, the challenges of having Aidan around all the time are really starting to rear. Ever since he saw that ghost on The Sims, it’s been a fight to get him to bed at a reasonable hour. I used to let him stay up until 10 or so, and then send him on his merry way, with a snack and a hug and a kiss. Now, what happened in his room was a different story. I’d hear him jumping on his bed, yelling at the TV, and even yelling out his window to the neighbors in the back. Adam and I had to go in and tell him to close the window and go to bed. We don’t mind him talking to the people in the back, but we DO mind him being up past midnight!
Anyway, it doesn’t work like that now. Adam and I have to tell him about 50 times to go to bed, and no matter how firm we are, Aidan still manages to stall about it. He cries and says he is scared. We go and reassure him, and then he cries again, or he calls us for a snack or a drink or just to tell us that the guy upstairs is stomping around. He always wants me to lay with him for about an hour or so before I can go, and I’m just to the point where I don’t want to do that. I mean, an hour? Especially if I have freelance work to do that I couldn’t work on because of Aidan constantly asking me questions or showing me stuff. So, I’ll read him a story (or more accurately, make HIM read to me while I help him figure out the more challenging words), but he’s a classic example of give an inch, take a mile. If I stay with him for five minutes, he wants me to stay for 15. If I stay for 15, he wants me to stay for 30. And so on. I eventually just have to push him away and tell him I have to go. Then I feel bad all night. I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing–I mean, will he feel rejected? And God forbid if he cries. Even if it sounds fake, I still feel bad.
Tonight was (and still is) especially challenging. After we sent him to bed, he stood by his door and “sobbed” for about 15 minutes very loudly. Adam went in and gave him the “first graders don’t act like this” talk, but Aidan rebutted with “I’m not in first grade yet.” He called for me several times after, and each time Adam went in and talked to Aidan and answered his random questions. Then, after Adam had fallen asleep, instead of calling for me, Aidan started calling for Adam. THEN he started calling for me again, and I just finally went in. Again, he just wanted me to lay with him. He’d wet the bed on purpose because he was “scared” to go to the bathroom, even though I’d seen him go in the middle of the night plenty of times before.
I don’t know if all of this is resulting from that brief incident with The Sims, or if this is something deeper. All I know is that it is exhausting. I love my little boy, but sometimes I just need a break. I do know that he has definitely inherited my night owl tendencies, which is nice when I want to sleep in, but not nice when I am ready for him to go to bed so I can focus on work (or just screwing around on Facebook) or just turn my brain off for a while. I don’t think 10 or 10:30pm is an unreasonable time for a six-year old on summer vacation to go to bed, especially if he knows that he can watch a DVD or read a book to help him fall asleep, but I still feel guilty. Like I’m being a bad and self-indulgent mom because I make him go to his room at night so I can have a few hours of quiet and ME ME ME time before I crawl into bed.
And then there is the picky eating! He has some foods that he’ll eat: chicken nuggets, chicken fries, French fries, oranges, apples, grapes, bananas, turkey breast (oven roasted only), chicken breast, beef Ramen noodles, almost ALL candies (of course), bacon, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, Froot Loops, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, macaroni and cheese, cheese pizza, spinach, peas, mashed potatoes (no gravy), rice (yellow), and spaghetti. Actually, that seems like quite a lot, but really, it isn’t. He will barely choke down a peanut butter sandwich, will not touch any other type of sandwich. He won’t eat ketchup or gravy. Or any kind of beef. And some of it is pretty normal, I mean, I don’t recall being that big on beef when I was little unless it was a cheeseburger–but Aidan WILL NOT TOUCH ANY KIND OF BURGER. Or hot dog. Or grilled cheese. Or just about anything that most people have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And even that is OK, but his reluctance to even try stuff is very impatient-making. I TRY to be patient. I don’t want to traumatize the poor boy when it comes to eating. Lord knows that is never a good thing. We want him to just TRY things. Just one bite. I don’t give him food I don’t like. It’s obvious that he’s made up his mind that he will NOT like certain foods no matter what. I’m not a cabbage pusher or anything like that… but sometimes I just wish we could go to a Mexican place and he’d eat a taco. And I know that is NOT going to happen for a long time, if ever. I feel like he is missing out on so much because he’s so used to having his own way when it comes to mealtimes. And I don’t know how to fix that without causing a major battle at the table.
And I’m sure all the parents know about the “whiny” voice. I’m pretty sure every child has this ability to make their voices strike the perfect chord to DRIVE PARENTS CRAZY. And his whiny voice really makes me crazy. It is hard not to lose patience when he does that, especially if it’s for something he is perfectly capable of solving or taking care of. He has shown us his independence many times. He gets dressed himself. He bathes himself. He can make his own chicken nuggets, and mix his own strawberry milk. He makes his own cereal in the mornings. He can change DVDs. He can get games out of the Wii and put in new games. He can do SO MUCH that I am often in awe of it. But sometimes, he’ll just NOT do it and turn on the whine. I don’t understand that. Is it laziness? Wanting attention? To be babied? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
I love my little boy. Very much. He is generally a very sweet and amazing person. He’s super smart. He’s super friendly and his world is all happy and bright (most of the time). He goes up to babies on the playground and can win over every single one of them and their moms. Today, a little boy had fallen and was crying. Aidan went over to him and held his cheek and told him everything would be OK. Then, there was a cute little baby in a swing. Aidan went over to help the baby’s grandmother push him, and the grandmother was so appreciative. She told us that Aidan was very sweet and to definitely bring him back tomorrow (today). People constantly compliment me on Aidan’s behavior, his politeness, his general AWESOMENESS. And I don’t want to squelch that by being a hardass, but maybe part of my being a hardass is to make sure he STAYS that sweet and amazing. I don’t know.
I just want to be a good mommy (and Aidan often tells me that I’m the best mommy in the world, but I always wonder if/when he’s going to decide differently), but I don’t want to lose myself in the process. It’s a hard balance to strike.
To state the obvious, it’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. More than a month; the longest I’ve ever gone, I believe. It’s a complicated paradigm. I have too much to say, and yet, I don’t have anything to say at all.
I have been active on some forums, and on Facebook and Plurk and somewhat on Twitter, so I haven’t been completely off the Internet or anything like that.
Aidan is in town for the summer. He arrived on June 20th. He’s very happy to be in Chicago. I’ve been trying to get outside with him every day. I mean, HELLO, it’s summer! And it’s warm, finally! Sometimes I take him downtown, sometimes we simply walk around the block. Or we hit the CVS. Nothing too exciting, but it’s a nice way to get out of the house every day. We also have a nice courtyard in the back, and we’ve been out there drawing with sidewalk chalk and playing with a bubble machine.
Hmm. Well, it wouldn’t be an update post if I didn’t mention dolls. I’ve gotten two more since my last post. Here is my complete collection (minus the mini Addy, who was inside):
Of course I want more, but unless I find a “YOU’D BE A STARK RAVING IDIOTIC BANANA TO PASS THIS UP” deal on eBay, I won’t be getting any for a while. I’m trying to hold out for gift giving occasions like my birthday or Christmas–but the sucky thing about that is that they’re five days apart. I don’t get gifts in the middle of the year like people whose birthdays are in summer or whatever. That’s hard! But it’s FUN at the time.
Last weekend, Adam, Aidan and I headed to Des Moines, IA for the Selzer Family Reunion. I had fun. Iowa is nice. It reminds me of Columbus without the Buckeye mania. I liked it. So much that I think I wouldn’t mind living there. Except for the fact that I would NOT be proofreading there–I’d be someone’s secretary and working for a bank or an insurance company. I don’t know how I feel about that. But the slower pace, the non-cutthroat culture, and the cost of living is so much easier to swallow. I dunno. Who knows what the future will bring?
Anyway, it was nice seeing family and spending time in a park (even though it was hotter than all blazes). Aidan tried his hand at the monkey bars:
It didn’t go well.
“That is not happy,” he said when he saw his face in the picture.
It’s been a joy and a challenge having Aidan here. He’s pretty clumsy, so nothing’s really safe around him. He’s a maddeningly picky eater, so dinner time is always a challenge unless it’s chicken fries and mac & cheese. He still wets the bed at night if I don’t get up in time to take him. If I need to concentrate and work, he doesn’t get that. He wants to share everything, so it’s constantly MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY. Sometimes, it’s tiring.
But he’s so affectionate. He will often come over just to put his hand on my cheek. His laugh is the most awesome sound ever and he laughs a LOT. It’s easy to make him laugh, too. He’s very gentle. His world is still sunshine and lollipops. I can tell that by the stories he makes up. He draws–my God–his art is unbelievable. And he draws all the time. He’s really good at the Wii (he did Wii Fit for about an hour today!), and he’s super smart–got all 100s and is at the top of his class. After Adam leaves in the morning, he’ll come out and climb into bed with me to keep me company, hand on my cheek, of course.
On July 13, Adam and I went one day to DucKon 18, a sci-fi con that takes place in a Chicago suburb. I had a lot of fun. I got to hear great music (Vixy & Tony, SJ Tucker–who blew me AWAY with her song Firebird’s Child) and got to meet cool people. I bought a new worry stone in the dealer’s room. I also got to see Tesla Coils. They played music. Here they are playing The Imperial March:
And here is SJ, backed by Vixy, singing Firebird’s Child. It was this performance that almost caused me to fall out of my chair, and this performance that inspired me to run to the dealer’s room and buy her CD as soon as the concert ended before they all sold out. And thank goodness I did, because they DID all sell out!
(I want to go to more cons NOW.)
Today, happiness came in the mail for me. An arc of CATCHING FIRE. Yes, the sequel to THE HUNGER GAMES, (which I have read way more times than I could ever count). I have CATCHING FIRE right next to me. I am deliberately prolonging reading it to build the anticipation, but you’d better believe that once I’m done with this entry, I’m going to make myself a turkey sandwich and dive in. Oh yeah. *salivates*
Only 30 days until my and Adam’s one year anniversary. ♥
Only 50 more days until Disney World!
And a whole summer ahead of me.
To finish up, I want to say that I’m very much in shock and saddened by Michael Jackson’s passing. Wow, that was really hard to type. I am still in a state of STRONG disbelief over it. He was my first crush. I was seven years old, watching Billie Jean, and staring at the TV slack-jawed. It was love at first sight. And now… I just can’t believe he’s gone. I don’t know what will make me believe he’s gone. My friend Jen called me that night, to see if I was OK. I mean, I once got *really* upset because a bunch of people took my Michael Jackson doll and hid it or were abusing it or something. So yeah, this is hitting me hard when I let myself think about it, which really isn’t often, to be honest. I’m scared if I think too much about it, I’ll get too upset, and with Aidan around, I don’t want to do that.
Aidan: How ya doing?
Ronni: I’m OK, how are you?
Aidan: REALLY good!
Ronni: Oh wow. Why are you feeling really good?
Aidan: Because I’m talking to you. You make me happy.
Ronni: You make ME happy!
Aidan: You’re the best mommy in the world!
I love that little boy so much and I can’t wait to see him in a few days!!! He may have earned a couple more Christmas gifts for that.
Today, Aidan and I were talking about Dora, school, stuff like that. I also like to talk to him to see what kinds of things he knows and is learning. Today, I asked him about things that begin with T. He said the usual. Toys, stuff like that. I told him that “tiny” begins with T, which he took and ran with.
Ronni: What are some tiny things?
Aidan: Jerry from Tom and Jerry is tiny.
Ronni: That’s right. What else is tiny?
Aidan: When I was in your tummy being a baby, I was a teeny tiny dot.