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Sorting stuff out...


Here you can see *some* of the stuff we packed up for storage in the garage in the past three days - there was about twice this much, once the laundry was emptied (my dryer is FINALLY IN my laundry!!!).

This is the stuff we're donating to charity. I feel a bit silly donating this to strangers when I know so many people either pregnant or trying to get pregnant, but everyone I know has enough of their own stuff, so hopefully this stuff will bless people who can't afford much and don't have much... It feels a bit funny FINALLY letting go of the baby stuff, but yk, each time I hear of a new friend getting pregnant, I realise I'm not having that same sense of yearning I had after Luey, when I just *knew* I still had to have Bryn. I guess my time of having babies is really and truly done with... I know there are a few of you out there who won't believe me when you read this, but well, I guess time will tell...

And here is the stuff we've chucked, and no, the job isn't complete yet, Dave hasn't even started on the study (though I'm beginning to wonder if he'll get that done by the time Graham picks up the skip tomorrow, I just have this sinking feeling it won't get done and it will be the one remaining eye sore in this house going into the New Year... I have to laugh when I see this pic, because Dave swore up and down we would NEVER fill a 3 cubic metre skip, and that I was mad for wanting to get a skip at all.... Yeah, ahem, uhuh Dave... (just nod and smile as my Aunty Syta would say)...

In other news, the honeymoon is over at school. E's teacher had to have a little chat with Dave yesterday afternoon about E taking things that weren't his. She didn't call it stealing, in fact, she implied that he seemed to think everything was community property instead, and that he just didn't seem to realise that he had to ask first if he wanted something (I, personally, think he did probably realise he should ask but preferred not to so that he didn't have to deal with the other person refusing his request). Yesterday he'd been found putting food from the Christmas party into his school bag, which he claimed he was taking to give to his brother at home... It was the third such incident.

Dave and I had a conversation with him yesterday and basically said to him that if this continued the school might decide to suspend him, or even expell him and if that happened we would NOT be enrolling him in another school. So, basically if he continues to take things without clearing it with the owner first, he would be choosing NOT to go to school, and rather stay home. He didn't like the sound of that...

I'm mortified. There is NO WAY he doesn't understand what he's doing. And, before anyone says, "Why don't you just explain to him how bad it is for the person he steals from and how it's not legal", etc. and so forth, let me just say, Dave and I have NEVER pussy footed around on this subject. We haven't just let it go, or let him think it's ok, or any such thing... He doesn't steal because he's deprived of lollies or toys or any such childhood delights, he is NOT deprived - certainly we don't indulge every day, but then again I happen to think that is a very irresponsible practice in it's own way...

Sometimes I feel so hopeless! By that I mean, sometimes I feel that DESPITE all that I try as a parent, and I don't just sit on my hands whining about stuff, I really DO DO things to find a resolution, that I'm just trying to hold the tide back...

I was recently at the receiving end of some well meant but pointedly accusing advice on my relationship with my boys as well as on how best to raise them (a way I found profoundly disrespectful on the sensient human condition past the cognitive age of about three - the advice was fine for babies, but not for older kids)...

I felt very judged by this other person, who had completely misread my relationship with my boys, and had furthermore transferred onto all of us her own anxieties. I have anxiety about my child, but not that particular BRAND of anxiety, I guess... After much reflection, I decided that this person had granules of truth wrapped up in layers of transference. That said, I also realised that people DO still judge parents on how their children behave, and if the parents are being judged for other reasons (not living up to the expectations of said judge in other areas), then this likewise becomes transferred to the child...

My kids just AREN'T like a lot of kids out there... I was thinking about this in the shopping mall the other day when I saw seemingly dozens of families with three kids, and for some weird reason all the kids were holding adults/parents hands, or at least walking calmly with their parents... Dave and I have tried everything, talking, letting go, yelling, smacking, bribing, listening, and still our boys either run 10 metres ahead of us, or lag 10 metres behind us... Even when they walk with us, they weave in and our of us, hop, pirouette, crawl (not talking about Bryn now), and walk backwards. They swing their arms around like helicopter propellors, they drag on our clothing or the pram, or the trolley... They just don't seem capable of walking upright at a moderate pace...

Likewise, I can't help but feel, somewhere deep down, that it's not really going to matter what I do with E and this thing he has with taking stuff without seeking permission. I'm not saying I'm giving up. I want it to stop, but I have a niggling suspicion it will only stop when HE decides it's no longer something he is going to do. I can try and MAKE it something he doesn't want to do, but while he still sees things that he wants and still feels the impulse to just "take", there isn't going to be much I can say or do to stop him just going with the impulse.

Which does make me wonder... I was, rightly or wrongly, diagnosed with ADD 15 years ago, could it be he is showing the same impulsive symptoms? This impulsiveness is definitely much stronger in E than in L, in fact, L, while still openly expressing his desires, shows a strong ability to control his imuplses and also shows an understanding of the benefits of doing so...

Sorry for this looooooooong post...

Comments

Hi Sif,

Firstly Happy Birthday for the other day :) . I hope you had a good day. I am so impressed with your clearing out! well done, I wish we could do something similar must be so wonderful to be starting the new year on a new slate, everything organised :D

With E and the taking things. I have found in the past in the school system that peer pressure can be a wonderful thing. From what you have said on here about E he is a very caring and social little man. Being that way inclined I am guessing he wont take it well if his peers begin to look down on him for taking things. The careful wording that the teacher used to deter the behaviour and your own dealings with it maybe enough for him to see that he will need to stop doing it, if not for his own needs but for the sake of pleasing others that he has as friends.

I hope that makes sense. What I mean is that if he starts to see in the classroom that his taking things effects others in the room, and hurts their feelings, then perhaps that will be enough insentive to curb the behaviour.

As for you saying that your children are not like others, well mine aren't either ;). I see it as a great gift to have children that are outgoing and always on the move, always thinking and moving and challanging their environment, rather than simply consistantly towing the line.

I think you are doing a great job with your boys :) .
Anonymous said…
Wow look at all the stuff you have cleared out! Man you have done some amazingthings in 2006 - can't wait to see what you manage in 2007!

As for the 'taking things' issue... sort of between a rock and a hard place. I read the part where you said you suspect he won't stop until he decides he needs to stp and that really resonated for some reason.

I am a big one for trying to find the motivation behind a behaviour and using that to guide everyone in how to deal with it.. but it seems like you have looked under every rock and still not come up with the answer - which perhaps does indicate that this is some kind of internal motivation and that you are right.. nothing much anyone else does is going to help.

Have you talked with his teacher about it at all? I am curious to know how they'd handle this continuing - I guess so that you are aware of what might be coming your way from the school side of things?

Really I have no damn idea since my kids are 'different' in a way I would never have dreamed of and they are half your kids age... but I love reading your thought process and the fact that you put time, knowlegde and expereince into sorting this through for all of you is very impressive.
Anonymous said…
Wow that is some major decluttering:D

Hugs on the whole E and taking things that aren't his. I don't have any ideas but Jen's comments about his peers seems very spot on to me as E is very into the whole fitting in thing and while this doesn't get to the root of the issue at all it might help to tame it by him thinking that his peers find it unacceptable, them not wanting to play with him or him not fitting in due to his actions. no idea how you would discuss this with him without him feeling victimised but you sound as though you are at your wits end and maybe him hearing this from his teacher or those he did steal from in a sort of mediation might help? Even just a bit of a discussion around the class although that too could be disrespectful to E even if they don't mention his name but just have a general talk about it and how people feel if there stuff gets 'lost'

Again I am talking out of my arse so feel free to ignore lol

As for that discussion you had I am so sorry by how much you have been affected by those thoughts and I really hope you are able to see you are a wonderful parent who has a great relationship with her kids but like everybody else around you have some faults too we are merely human trying to do our best with the tools that we have.

Hugs
Sif said…
Thanks for all your comments :). I talked to my counsellor about the situation with E taking things, and she also said to work with his motivation of wanting to be liked by his peers, but she said to focus on the positive side of it by sitting down with him and listing all his great qualities and how much the kids would like those, and how he could build on those, like, if he saw a pencil lying on the ground that didn't belong to him, he could ask around to see who had lost their pencil. Then he could be someone the other kids look up to and want to be friends with. He could be a leader! Thus not focusing on how the kids wouldn't like him if he stole their stuff, but rather how much they would like him if he was someone they could trust and go to for help... Will definitely give that a go... (and if anyone is reading this and going, "uh, DUH!" GOOD for you that you already got this - this is why I'm seeing a counsellor, because I can get stuck in the negative side of issues, I recognise that :)...
Anonymous said…
That is some great advice I think it is difficult sometimes when clouded with anger to actually see how to deal with it using positive reinforcement:D
Sif said…
Yes, that is definitely a problem for me. I get very stuck in my feelings of anger, resentment, betrayal, embarrassment etc. and I actually DON'T want to think about how my child is great and positively motivated. I'm going to guress that this is how my parents felt too, and so I picked up on their negative focus on me, and now I pass that feeling onto my own kids. Of course, this is something to be conscious of and work on turning around...
Anonymous said…
I think the counsellor you're going to sounds like a good one! :o) I also think you sound like a great mother and I hope that it's nothing I've said that you're upset about. If so, please PM me, because I think the sun shine sout of your butt and would hate to think we're at odds.

And man...WOH on the clean out! See when you've been forced to move as many times as we have, that sort of decluttering just happens naturally as part of hte moving process. I am seriously scraed of what would happen once we've stayed in one place for more than three years. ;o)

Cheers, Cas
Sif said…
Oh no, Cass, definitely wasn't you. This was a mum I know locally, and a few of the others reading this would know what irl situation I was referring to (from about a month back now)... Thanks for thinking I'm a great mum, the feeling is mutual, hehehe... I have my stuff to work on, like most other people, I guess, I LOVE my counsellor, she's helping me see I do a pretty good job really, but she is also helping me work out the things I KNOW need improving (like my short fuse)...

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