Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You want me to buy what?

As the start of the school year rapidly approaches, my children have been sucking the life blood out of me so I have been unable to coherently post about much of anything. There is so much to do, and so very little time left in which to do it. At the very top of my agenda is school supply shopping. I hate doing this.

It seems that every year the school supply demands become more and more outlandish. My oldest daughter for example has 2 packs of printer paper on her supply list. I am greatly annoyed that say 20 parents (a low estimate) are expected to provide 40 packs of paper for each of 10 classes making the 4th grade parents responsible for providing 400 packs of paper this year!!! Excuse me, but, where are my tax dollars going? Surely they aren't going towards transportation. Why is it that my other children don't need me to provide all their copy paper?

My other children have lists that include 'teacher wishes' which I find far more palatable than the suggestion that if I am not providing the paper for dittos, I am sending my child to school unprepared. You may count on me fulfilling as many wishes as I can before I buy that printer paper.

My other supply peeves are art supplies and communal use items. Do my children really need to have markers, colored pencils, and crayons? Are the supplies going to be for my child's personal use or will they be collected and redistributed among the class? There is nothing that I find more distasteful than spending the extra money and buying the recycled paper/folders/notebooks only to have some child that isn't mine using them. Don't get me wrong, I understand the concept behind not having each child (especially the little ones) manage their own extra loose leaf paper, I would just like to know in advance when I should spend the extra and when I shouldn't. Okay, end of rant.

In the comments from my update on H's doctor stuff, Shosh asked what 'normal' means anyway. I thought it was a pretty good question. The concern being when not normal transcends all the experiences I've had thus far as a mother and my wildest imagination. It isn't so much that H is a constant rule breaker that concerns me. It is that H consistently breaks the same rules that he deems unnecessary/unfair/unimportant. No matter what the consequence is, no matter that the consequences are consistently enforced, H chooses to flaunt the rules and instead marches to the beat of his own drum. Unfortunately, you don't make your own rules in life. I am concerned that he will be ill prepared to start school and maybe even later in life if he continues on like he is now.

I also worry about his safety and the safety of his siblings. For example, it is impossible to keep H from unplugging the vacuum/iron/anything with a plug usually while they are turned on because it amuses him. Dangerous? Yes. It scares me. I also realize that it isn't possible for me (and the rest of the family) to only use electrical devices while he sleeps. Minimizing the temptation has been the most successful answer so far, but, now that he is napping less, it is impossible for me to do all the vacuuming and ironing only when he sleeps, because that is my time to sleep too!

Then there is the hitting, biting, and scratching. When he doesn't get his way, he often bullies the other children. Is there an example being set by my older children that roughhousing in such a manner is acceptable? To some degree, yes, there is. Kids will be kids, and brothers especially, fight. There are times when I am fixing dinner that I can clearly hear (though not see) my older boys exchanging blows. I'll stop, walk into the room and ask if someone was hitting. Without batting an eyelash those two will say, "no" in unison while waiting for me to turn back around to jump on each other again. The difference is that my older boys know it is wrong and that they want to avoid punishment. H however, will smack BB and then come to me and announce that he is going to go sit in time out because he hit his brother. O-K-A-Y, how do you deal with that?

I don't want to paint a picture of my son as just an out of control bully, because he isn't. There is so much more to him. Unfortunately, you never know which side of him you are going to get. He can be the most loving and affectionate child in the world. He is laugh out loud funny, and he is so much smarter than the average bear (or three year old as the case may be) that I am always a little bit in awe of him. I just worry. A lot. I just worry a lot.


  1. Oh, wow, he is like our Rachel was at age 4! Read the posts under "It's All True" in my sidebar, especially Playing With Scissors and More Toilet Tales. What disturbed me the most about that whole time was how Rachel deliberately did what she knew was wrong. And how clever and sneaky she was. Although I must say, after I explained to her that cutting live electrical wires (as she was doing) was life-threatening, she made sure to unplug the wires before cutting. Scary.

  2. I've got one too. ALmost three year old Tallulah hits, bites, scratches, pulls hair, is a total brute. I do worry about it. She's the youngest of 5 and the meanest. And she is bright and funny and adorable and loving too, but I am often taken aback by her mean and mischievous streak. She's a force to be reckoned with...and I wonder when it will get to the point when I will feel that it's time to do something more, ie., talk to docs or other "experts". Hercules, by the way, is adorable. I bet he's partly this way because he IS so bright and smart. Maybe everything about his personality is on the extreme side -- the good and the not-so-good. That's what I think sometimes with Tallulah. I wonder if she will ever mellow...