Friday, January 9, 2009

Kids behaving badly

Max and Sabrina, before sibling rivalry struck.

I'm still feeling all warm and fuzzy from putting up yesterday's post, and getting such nice feedback. Thank you. Especially because this week the kids have not exactly been making me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Sabrina is turning 4 this month, we figured we'd lucked out and skipped the terrible twos and terrible threes. But is it possible to have the terrible fours?! Because she has become master of the meltdowns. Tonight, after she kicked Max as we were in bed reading books and I reprimanded her, she sprawled out on the floor and writhed and shouted like she was straight out of The Exorcist. She eventually calmed down and came back into bed. At which point Max decided it would be fun to kick her.

Sometimes they feed off of each other's badness. Even though in my heart I am a little glad that Max is smart enough to know just how to press his sister's buttons. As a toddler, Sabrina was obsessed with her pacifier. "My habifier," she called it. Max, who has so much trouble using his hands, developed a knack for swatting the thing right out of her mouth when she got on his nerves. Sabrina would wail, but Dave and I got a kick out of seeing him do it.

Once, when Max was about 2, we went out to dinner. In the middle of our meal, Max was getting antsy and he grabbed a chunk of bread, threw it, and it landed on another family's table. "WOOO HOOO!!! GREAT THROW, MAX!" I screeched without thinking, so excited that he had managed to grasp a chunk of bread. Back then, he really wasn't grasping much of anything. Then I realized that the family of four at the other table was glaring at me.

What "bad" behavior doesn't really get you mad? What behavior does? Discuss!


  1. I swear Ellen, their behavior can only get worse as they get older! She will get better in some ways, but watch out for evil Sabrina to be showing her true colors! They also really start getting mean to others...or so I have seen anyway!

    I had the talk about disabilities with Jonathan at about the age of 4...not his, he still has no clue that anything ever happened to him, we are going to keep it that way for quite some time...but it was the day we saw a person in a wheelchair and Jonathan said rather loudly: "Why are they in 'THAT'?" I was embarrassed, but most of all I felt sad. Sad because I came to the realization that no one chooses to be disabled (okay, my brother in law does, but that is for Jerry Springer to sort out). So anyway, we had a discussion how some people are just born that way, or they got into an accident and got hurt. I also made sure that he knew that people will make fun of a person like that, but it isn't nice, and he should never laugh at another person who is disabled, but help them if they need it, and to always stick up for them, even when it is hard.

    Sorry...totally off topic, but the behavior thing got Jonathan doesn't do much that drives me nuts or angers me (besides the general not listening) but Jacob. Whoa lordy! I find that I have to have great restraint when it comes to him. He makes me totally mental. And he knows it. And he loves it. I swear the kid screws with everyones minds on a regular basis. He does it in our house anyway. He doesn't get physical so much like Jonathan (Jonathan has a tendency to grab and squeeze really hard when frustrated) but instead plays total mindgames. And he will throw himself on the floor and wail. He is a drama king. He will be famous someday. I just know it!

    The thing that really kills me...when they are all screaming at the same time. I go from sane to insane in a millisecond.

  2. I LOVE the picture of the kids....don't they just grow too fast?

    Why is it kids feed off of not-so-good behavior but not on really sweet behavior?

    I guess you just have to look at it as it too will pass.....but it's probably a long, long process.....

    Thanks for visiting my Blog!
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    Have a Great Weekend!

  3. I completely and totally agree with the "terrible fours". Darsie has always been an angel, perfect in just about every way until, duh duhn duhnnnnnn, FOUR.

    I also love when my girls feed off of their badness. I can't help but laugh when Elise is screaming her head off because Darsie wants to lay on top of her.

    I love bad behavior that while bad requires something out of my kids, just like your story about Max throwing the bread - Elise climbing on furniture or cruising along about to do something she shouldn't while shaking her head and saying "no, no, no" or Darsie doing something she knows better but with this grin that eats my heart everytime.

  4. I think it's great that you have such good perspective on sibling rivalry. I think a lot of our issues are that, but heightened.

    The one that gets me is how Violet knows to try to push her older brother into being completely annoyed with her and lashing out at she can get him into trouble. As much as she loves and takes care of him, we need to watch this little one!

  5. Hello All, I just found this blog and want to say thanks for yesterday's post as well, it was wonderful.

    Well, behavior generally what gets me about my daughter is when she says "I can't do it" when she absolutely can. She is 6, with CP and isn't able to walk or stand independently. And that's that. She can do just about anything else, then of course she crys (she is the "baby" of 3) so that is sort of typical youngest behavior.

    But I have something that I was thinking about(after I read Sarah H's response it made me think of this) does she think that she is "different" from the other kids she plays with in school etc. She is pretty smart so I asked her. Her response really surprised me. She said "Yeah Mom, I'm blind". Now I am not exactly sure what she was getting at, yes I can't walk but that's ok there are things out there that are a lot worse than that. That is how I am taking it. And I almost peed myself laughing. Hope this can make someone else laugh today too.

  6. Hi Ellen,
    I just had to laugh about you praising Max for throwing the bread on another family's table. I can totally relate! I have praised Elijah for things I never imagined I would, things like banging on my laptop or having a temper tantrum (although I have now stopped praising those behaviors!). Elijah has limited use of his hands, so we're pretty happy whenever he uses his hands in a purposeful manner. He's about 17 months now and I remind myself that I can't praise him for bad behavior or I'm going to be regretting it!

  7. Hahahaha, this post made me laugh so hard! Only a special set of parents would understand why throwing something at a table (and landing it, I assume) would be so exciting!

  8. Addison gets away with a lot of things that Noah wouldn't have, simply because I know it's "normal" for her to go into the cabinets 5000 times and laugh when I tell her no.
    Noah is turning 4 next week and the sassiness! And the attitude! It's so frustrating!

  9. I totally loved it when Elizabeth could climb on our coffee table. She spent a week in Conductive Education and learned how to pull up on things. Our neighbour was horrified that we encourage this behaviour. We were just so excited she could climb. We don't encourage it now but at the time loved. It is those little moments that make all the extra work so rewarding.

  10. I have since stopped cheering Max on for tossing food in public places, y'all might be interested to hear. But even if I say "Max, no hitting!" when he fights back with Sabrina these days, I am secretly still so heartened that he has the pluck and the wherewithal to do it!!! We all spend so much time hoping that our kids do stuff that even when they're doing the "bad" versions of it, you've gotta love it.

    And Sarah H, yeah, you've nailed Sabrina. I don't think she is mean, per se, but I think she has diva tendencies. We're in for it!

  11. Jackson had the terrible THREE'S! That was the hardest age. But gosh he still has temper tantrums at seven. Different, but they really are still tantrums!

    Tonight Jackson had his first sleepover, and I didn't mind that he had trouble calming down and going to sleep. I remembered being a kid and how exciting it all was. I just LOVED that he was so happy.

    I find it brings me so much more patience to just stop and remember being a kid myself. My husband seems to have a hard time remembering sometimes. LOL I just keep reminding him - you were a little boy once too!!!

  12. Oh yes, we secretly celebrate many of the bad behaviors as well! I also think you're right about the late Terrible Two's. I think they really started for Daniel after he started preschool.
    I also celebrate some of the bad behaviors. I remember a time at play group when Daniel was about 2 1/2, and he threw a toy car with his left (involved) hand. While I know I should have reprimanded him, I was so happy that he could actually USE his hand to get into trouble that I couldn't help cheering.
    I also secretly celebrate whenever he runs away from me like the little wise guy he is, although I'm better about reprimanding him now. Still, I remind myself that his steps weren't guaranteed when he was a baby, and to be grateful that he's able to draft me in a game of tag in the middle of the mall.


Thanks for sharing!

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