Here's what my kids have been saying recently.
Jill: "Which way did it tell you to drive?"
Me: "It told me turn right. . . . Do you know which way is right?"
Jill points to the right.
Jill points to the right.
Me: "Wow! I'm impressed. I didn't know you had learned that."
Jill: "Well, I am right handed, so right is the hand that I write with."
Danny: "I am . . . I am TWO handed."
I finished making lunch, and Daniel came down the stairs to eat with me. As he descended, he apparently pondered life and his relationships.
Daniel: "Mom . . . if I died . . . Michael would be sad."
Me, flabbergasted: "Yes, he would." (I should have said something else like "and so would I," or "so would a lot of people," or "are you making any plans?," but I was really too surprised to continue. And it was kind of funny, too, that he picked out his friend Michael like that.)
Jill, yelling down the stairs "Mom! Danny hit me!"
Me: "Well, did you tell him you didn't like it?"
And at the same time as I said that, Jeff: "Did you hit him back?"
Jill: "Daddy! I can't hit Danny! I want Santa to give me presents for Christmas."
Me: "Jeff! Don't tell her to hit him back!"
Jeff: "Maybe it will teach him that it isn't very much fun to be hit."
Me: "We turn the other cheek in this household!"
Some time passes.
Some time passes.
Jill: "Wait, is Danny going to get presents from Santa? Because he's been naughty."
What I have taught Jill about what to do if another kid physically hurts her:
After being hit once: Tell the child she doesn't like it and ask the child to stop.
After being hit again: Walk away and tell an adult.
If the child follows you: Run away and tell an adult.
If the child follows you and hits you again: Hit the child hard, run away, and tell an adult.
Daniel hasn't really been physically hurt by another child ever since Jill outgrew her biting stage. (I'm so glad she outgrew that!!) With him, I'm working on him not being the one hurting other kids, and all we've covered so far is to use our words. Talk—instead of push. Talk—instead of kick. Talk—instead of hit. And always—Be Patient! We are having limited success, but I'm hopeful for the future. He's a good kid at the core.
It reminds me of what a violent child I was. I used to hit, punch, and kick other children. I used to also bang my head on the wall or floor. I have no idea why I had so much violence pent up in me. (I'm so sweet now!) I don't remember ever wanting to actually hurt anyone, and I was not personally ever hurt by others, so I don't know where it came from. I just seemed to be disconnected from the reality that others didn't like it or that it hurt them.
That's why I ask my children to always talk about it first, because I wonder if there are other kids out there like me who don't realize it isn't socially acceptable. Although I'm sure my mom told me not to do it, but we all know kids are good at ignoring their moms. (Sigh.)
What finally got through to me was one of my best friends coming up to me in fourth grade and saying, "You know, Mimi, we don't really like it when you kick us."
I was dumbfounded.
Life-changing moment right there.
Sometimes I wonder where I would have ended up if my friends hadn't put up with me and if that lone kind friend hadn't said anything.
Anyway. Random trip down to childhood is over!
Life is moving on for us here! With less than two weeks to go, I really feel like the clock is ticking and yet there is so little we can do for ourselves. We've shredded a lot of papers. We have sold our chairs, our couches, our kitchen table and chairs, our television, and our bedroom set. So the house is getting a little bare. I am looking forward to moving into the hotel this week, and I am grateful that we were able to sell those items instead of giving them away. Alice was pretty confused and upset by watching someone walk away with our television. The kids seem to find it funny to have such an empty house, and they have been enjoying riding their bikes through the kitchen, dining room, and living room.
Oh, and since the last time I posted, I learned that we will welcome a boy into our home this spring—Gordon Philip Collett! Yay!
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Cincinnati with Jeff's family. All of his brothers were able to be there, so it was pretty special to spend time with them that weekend. My children were delighted to have so many adults around to give them attention. Although Jill did ask where her cousins were a few times. (I don't think she realizes that once she does have Collett cousins, they will be considerably younger than her. She'll become the babysitter instead of gaining playmates.)
And, because it's December, here's a little taste of Christmas. :)
If you compare, you can see that both Jill and Alice freaked out their second year,
but Daniel has been a champ through them all.