Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day Seven

In the words of Dora the Explorer, 'we did it!'. Day seven and no shouting. I'm so proud.

So, what's the moral of this story? My kids don't listen to me whether or not I yell at them. Just kidding. [Kind of.] If I really want to, I can discipline my kids without yelling. It may take a little longer, but I'm hoping that's just part of the learning curve. They're so sweet and so bright, I don't want them to remember their Mom as the crazy yelling parent. Totally uncool.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Six

Today went very well. No shouting and the kids were angels. Maybe I should keep this up even after d-day tomorrow. lol!

Day 6

I got to spend more time with the kids today, namely around lunch. They were absolute angels. No discipline necessary. Bath time went OK also.

Day 5

I didn't spend a lot of time with the kids today, although I did have to discipline them. I managed to do so without shouting.

Smooth Operator

Yesterday while cooking dinner, my three-year old son comes up to me and says:

Him: Mommy, I have an idea.
Me: Yeah Baby?
Him: If you let me watch Cars [2-hour movie], I'll eat one piece of beef.
Me: How about if you eat one piece of beef, I'll let you watch Chuggington [30 minute program].
Him: No, the deal is for Cars. [Shrewd Negotiator this one.]
Me: Well, how about if you eat one piece of beef and the rest of your mac and cheese, I'll let you watch Cars.
Him: [I can see the wheels turning.] Yeah, ok.

I didn't let him see me, but I could not stop laughing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day Five

I didn't shout at my kids at all today. I'm happy about that. But it was not a calm morning. We had an out of town doctor's appointment and I thought it would be nice to make it a fun day for the three of us. I guess driving all weekend got old because once they were out of the car, they let loose bigtime.

Interestingly, most of the people out that early were other Moms with kids, so I didn't get those super annoying disapproving stares. Thank God. There was a spank each, some speaking sternly and otherwise letting them be. I was a little worn out by lunch, but the three of us were much better after an afternoon rest.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Four

Apart from one huge gaffaw, today was a good day for the four of us.

While packing up our hotel room, my two-year old daughter decided to rummage under the bed and stuff and chew on something unidentifiable. Gross! Both the hubby and I shouted at her to stop. Which parent wouldn't have? But, we collected ourselves and it didn't happen anymore.

I still don't know if this is making a difference for the kids. Their behavior hasn't changed as they're still wide open. But I find it makes a difference for me. Shouting at the kids throughout the day really drains me and after putting them to bed, I'm ready to pass out. For the last few days though, I haven't been as tired. Coincidentally, we've had a few exciting and busy days. Wish I could determine the effects of each.

Day 4

Today, the peace was broken. After finding my daughter grabbing under the hotel bed for something to stuff in her mouth, I broke protocol and shouted "Stop it."

Of course, the whole problem with this is that it doesn't really affect her (or him). I've found over the past few days that it works better to talk to them, use their name so they understand "stop it" is really directed at them.

Day 3

Halfway on our road trip, it hit me that maybe choosing a week when there is a road trip scheduled may not have been a good time to pick not to shout. Still everything went OK on the road trip and at the hotel.

Day Three

I have to say, our three-hour drive to Atlanta went really smoothly. The kids were as excited about the road trip as we were.

After settling into the hotel, we stopped by the mall to kill time while waiting for a friend of ours. We were there for about 1.5 hours and 1 hour 15 minutes of that went well. My two-year old daughter did not want to leave the play area and had a full blown meltdown. Of course, were were parked on the other side of Perimeter Mall, and had to walk through two department stores and all of the interior with my husband wrestling to carry her out. After failing to reason with her, he had to spank her twice (the wailing increased ten-fold) and he was forced to raise his voice at least once. Once she was settled into the car and got her sippy cup, she calmed down and was our adorable princess for the rest of the day.

As for me, I don't recall shouting at the kids at all. How's that for progress?!?

With our friend babysitting the munchkins, my very dapper DH and I spent a lovely evening at a Consulate party. Wonderful end to a mostly awesome day.

Day Two

I started shouting three times today. Bad I know, but one less than yesterday. In my defense, Friday was a super hectic day. In the morning we attended the University's graduation ceremony, immediately followed by a graduation luncheon, and we were all rushing to get out of the house on time. That's when I shouted twice for the kids to get a move on. The third time occured late in the evening as the DH and I were trying to get ready for a graduation party and the kids would not stop bouncing off the walls. My darling hubby reminded me they were just overstimulated from the day.

Overall however, most of the day went smoothly. For the second night in a row, I wasn't super exhausted at the end of the day. Maybe it was because I didn't shout as much. Who knows?

Day 2

Day 2, Friday, no problem that I can recall now. It's actually neat not to shout.

Day 1

Day 1 went OK, but it's easy to do anything for 1 day though

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day One

I found myself starting to shout four times today, and was able to stop myself three times. (Something to be proud of eh.) The fourth happened right before the DH and I put the kids to bed. My nearly two-year old daughter had face and hands full of yogurt and was about to pounce on an uphosltered chair. My cries of 'NOOOOOOOOOO' caught her attention...after she cleaned herself on the cushion. Double bugger.

So, how did the kids react to a calmer Mom? Not sure if there was a difference on their part. I guess it's too early to tell. For my part, I had to keep reminding myself not to shout when:

1. My three-year old son started doing forward rolls in the sofa;
2. His little sister followed suit;
3. They smeared ice cream in the carpet;
4. Both took great pleasure in pulling every single book out of the bookcase and started kicking them around. Right after I cleaned up their bedrooms.
5. My daughter, normally the good eater, hosted a one-woman stand-off at dinnertime, absolutely refusing to eat her food if she couldn't watch Dora.

Once I got the hang of that, I wasn't as flustered as I normally am. But I feel I was too lenient on the kids since reasoning with toddlers as to why they should stop doing something takes 10x as long as just shouting 'STOP', 'NO' or "BECAUSE I SAID SO'. But, we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Next Seven Days

My hubby and I have two beautiful toddlers whom we adore. Like most toddlers, they have an abundance of energy (which I desperately wish I could  bottle), are super inquisitive (ain't no mountain high enough), exceptionally bright (racing through the mall the other day, my three-year old son stopped frequently to point out patterns to his two-year old little sister), but don't understand the word 'NO' unless it's screamed at them (occassionally with a few choice words for good measure).

So for a few months, the DH and I have been toying with the idea of a no-shouting-at-the-kids disciplinary strategy, and only now are we brave enough to implement it. Starting tomorrow, we're aiming for seven straight days of calmly disciplining our kids. Should be interesting with an out of town weekend trip in the mix, immediately followed by three weeks of being spoiled by Grandma.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Feel Pretty. O So Pretty.

A few weeks ago, my nearly two-year old daughter and I were walking past a mirror when she glimpsed her reflection. Naturally she stopped to admire herself, big grin and all.

Me:     Who is that?
Her:     That's me! [with all the enthusiasm a two-year old could muster]
Me:     And what's your name?
Her:    [Very matter of factly] PRETTY!

Vain, but true.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ah, What Could Have Been

The kids are in bed.

Romantic music starts...

The DH and I decide to snuggle on the sofa and watch some tv.

Tempo increases...

We're searching through the DVR but all we see are a gazillion episodes of Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi and Chuggington.

Music comes to an abrupt halt!

By the time we actually find a PG-movie-needle-in-a-haystack we can agree on, we decide it's too late to start watching.

Good times.