Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Bars Hold!

Today was one of those days that are a benchmark in childhood. Natty surprised us all this morning by managing to clamber out of his playpen (the old fashioned square wooden-bar sort) - three times! Admittedly he was aided by a slightly tall toy (which I have now removed) and a table the other side, but all the same there was no stopping him once he sussed he could do it. This, however, seemed to give him ideas beyond his station. Having mastered his pen he then mastered his cot! When I heard him grizzling after his nap this afternoon and asked A to bring him down, she was greeted by him at his bedroom door. The really weird thing is, the day he first fell out of his cot (age about 9 months) I had that morning mentioned to P that we needed to lower the base. Then, last night as we were dozing off I pondered out loud how soon we would need to put N in a bed. We agreed before Christmas, but no rush (all the others went into beds around 18months-ish and N is now 16). Then today you know about … So tonight he has gone to bed in a big-boys bed (well his cot minus one side). We always figure it is safer, once they can climb out (and he the first one of ours who has actually bothered trying), to remover the sides and train them about staying in. Yes, tonight he did push it a little, but I just waited 'til he was really asking to go to bed and then he went down with very little fuss J. So in the space of a month my baby has learnt to walk and transitioned to a 'big-bed' - he's not so much a baby anymore L The next stage is pants and understandable speech and that seems to be approaching rapidly. He is already quite aware of his anatomy (it's definitely a boy thing!) and his babble seems to be developing nicely into speech-like intonations. He has a sound that sounds distinctly like "there you go" and one like "eyeee" (Ellie). It's this beautiful stage that makes me broody.. J !

On the other hand - I have to remind myself that I really have issues with 9yo boys. JA was very difficult between 8-10 and JI is a positive nightmare! I worry about depression with him (there is a strong family history on my side) as he really seems to struggle to be happy some days. He says he can't see the point in life it is this miserable and everyone hates him so he may as well not be alive … and other such stuff! It's quite distressing, but I do play it cool with him. Not too cool, so that he doesn't think I care, but cool enough to not increase the amount of attention he can draw to himself this way. It all stems from me having 'rules' and today's outbreak of misery was triggered when he bunny-hopped off the kerb into the line of an on-coming car on a bend, such that the car couldn't see him until it was almost on him. I had spoken strongly to JI about the self same thing yesterday and warned him that should he do it again he would no longer be able to bring his bike on the playgroup run for a while, but today he disregarded that warning & nearly got himself killed! So I sent him home to wait for us in the garden with a note that he was not going to ride his bike in the street again for some time. By the time I got home he was hiding. I knew where, but he didn't realise that and I knew he was in ear shot when I told the others we were not going looking for him as that would achieve his aim of getting lots of attention! So, when he came in again he was in a real rage and declaring that no-one cares about him and how he was almost 10 and why couldn't I let him do what he likes and have more responsibility (hmmm - I wonder why!!) and he didn't care if he got knocked over anyway because he's going to heaven and it will be much better than this miserable life! "rrrrr" - 9/10yos!! I have to keep telling myself that he will mature out of it and it is just a phase. I just hope we are right on this one. He then of course decided not to come back to school when the others did and I didn't go and get him, but I think the 'calling his bluff' thing might actually work, because although he tells me so often how he doesn't want to learn anything, he did voluntarily come back and collect his maths book, he did voluntarily join in with the Geography lesson about half way through, although he refused to do his note-booking on what we studied today, and he voluntarily joined in whole-heartedly with Spanish lesson numero tres. So, I don't quite believe him on that one!! I think I will carry on playing it this way and I have explained it to the other kids so they are on board. We'll see how it goes.

School-wise we had a bit of a rough day yesterday and I'm not sure whether it was mostly my fault, mostly theirs, or a good mix of both, but JA was in tears on and off about a couple of things and mostly through tiredness I think, not really anything I did or didn't do (thankfully). JI was kicking off (done that story enough for one night) and E was just not wanting to anything I asked her - school related or otherwise - which set me in a snipey mood, not helped by the fact that I stayed up too late on Sunday night). Thankfully today was the total opposite of yesterday and life was generally smooth, happy, full and finished by the end of the day. They are all loving the Spanish (using GP) and can all count to 12, and greet each other nicely by week 3. I forgot to test their spelling of the numbers 1-12 today although I suspect the boys would have been fine. JA seems to have a knack for languages (he did French at school and was pretty good at it from what I can see, but he didn't want to carry on with it, preferring to do Spanish and, as I did Spanish and know I can speak it better, I was quite happy with that) and JI looks like he might have too. He remembers the vocab' really easily - pronunciation is more of an issue, but he'll get there I'm sure J.

JA chatted to his 'school' friend last night on the phone and afterwards was all begging me to let him go to High-School with his friends. It was a really difficult conversation. If Jake wasn't the crowd-follower that he is I would have less of an issue, if he was more sure of his faith such that he wasn't going to get knocked sideways again at the first sign of someone not liking him because of it, if he wasn't so worried about being 'different,' for whatever reason, that he would do anything to fit in and be liked - if he wasn't who he presently is (essentially) - then I would consider it, BUT the way I see it right now is that it is way too big a risk to take with him. He doesn't think I 'get' him, but that's because in all honesty, I don't think he has quite figured himself out yet and he also has no real idea what high-school is like. He knows they get LOTS of homework (like 1-2 hours a night), but other that that he sees it as a means of social networking! Of course there is that element to it, but that can be done by other means. He doesn't really understand (or doesn't want to understand - not sure which) that some of that social-networking is the exact reason I don't want him there! I do feel for him on the sociability issue and we need to find more for him to do outside of home, but he gave up tennis, swimming and football which were his non-churchy activities, of his own accord. Any of them he is free to go back to if he wishes. I keep encouraging him to keep in contact with his school mates, but he doesn't make much of an effort tbh, so what more can I do? I get that at home he feels a bit too old to join in with the others now, but I think that will change in a not very long time as JI also begins to mature and grow out of playing with the girls so much, At the mo' JI is struggling to adjust to sharing his days and his sisters with his brother again, but I'm sure it will settle down soon enough - at least I hope so! Meanwhile JA is left feeling a bit 'bored' when he is on a break, because I don't allow any SASS time during school hours (9-ish), however I have allowed him to go on Funbrain Maths a little to while away the time. Can't see any immediate solution to that one - just wish he liked reading more than he does, because that would help a little.

Life -otherwise has been happy and busy with a fair bit of out-and-abouting with the lovely sunshine we've been having this last week or so. We have done walks on Wybunbury Moss, Sutton Park (when we went to my s-i-l's a couple of weekends ago) and this last Sunday - Queens Park (in Crewe). This last afternoon out was a bit of a flop as about 90% of the park is closed off for a £3.2M revamp. But the kids played in the very nasty play area (so old and unsafe) and when I had had enough of being scared witless, we went and found a tree to climb and a fountain to clamber on (it was ok to do that). It kept the kids out of the house anyway and they seemed to have a nice enough time. E's best friend AG was with us but Jake was at his mate S's. S lives across the road from the park so Jake & S met us there for a bit, which got them away from the PS2 which they regularly glue themselves firmly to on Sunday afternoons at S's!

I just wish this sunshine would last a lot longer. It makes us all feel so much brighter, but sadly I think we have seen our snippit of summer and autumn is fast approaching. It was good while it lasted, and now I guess we have to enjoy the colours of autumn :)

just for fun;


Philippa said...

I have a soon to be 9 year old suffering with the grumps. It's a tough one. I am trying the same tack with him, just trying to let him know he is loved without encouraging the moaning too much. I can't remember if my older one did the same - should have started my blog earlier!
We had a bad day yesterday as well. Much better today though!
Have a good week!

Michelle said...

Don't know how to turn blog music off to hear video sound! Way to go Nat :-)

Michelle said...

do boys get a hormone surge at that age?