Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Monday, July 15, 2013

5-12-13 RMB Behaving

5-12-13 RMB Behaving  

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Today my car reported the outside temperature to be 102 degrees. I chatted with the boys’ mom on the phone as I walked. She was concerned about me walking in the heat. I was concerned too, but more so about losing weight than the heat. 

I have lost 50 pounds, only 56 more to go. I should be thrilled, but the knowledge that I had that extra 50 to lose and still carry an additional 56 is mind boggling. I am walking during lunch and every night, as well as exercising daily, when I get a chance (light weights, aerobics, pushups, squats and sit ups - why is pushups one word but sit ups two?...Something to ponder for another day). I cut way back on carbs and am avoiding sweets. Peanut M&M’s are my vice. There should be AA type meetings for M&M’s, I find them that addictive. M&MA? Looks like a way to curse one’s mom. 

The reason for the call, before she knew to be concerned that I was walking, was because our middle boy was being contrary. I am the disciplinarian in the family. Instead of “wait till your father gets home” the boys hear “I’m going to call your Aunt”, or sometimes, when they are scolded, they attempt pre-emptive negotiations “okay, I’ll (insert: behave, pick up my room, etc.) just don’t call Auntie”. 

My method of discipline is to get into their heads and see what might have the most lasting effect. Facing me is harder work than behaving in the first place and they know that. Once when they were all going through an immature stage, the “punishment” was to hold my hand wherever we went. The eldest particularly did not like this, as that meant the younger brothers got to do things that he would normally do, but couldn’t do while he was tethered to me. 

“If you want to act two,” I told him “I will treat you like a two year old.” He matured quickly. Although secretly I felt we both enjoyed the closeness, playing the role of a different age and the mental adjustment. He came in to the family at three and has had demons of his own to contend with since that traumatic time in his life. Holding hands, paying extra attention to him, since he was attached to me, eased the pain of something missing from his two year old self within. 

I sought books on child rearing when I saw what a handful these boys were. I also babysat them as their moms went to those how-to-parent-your-adopted-child classes that were a part of the adoption process. When they came home, I reviewed their class material and tried to learn as much as I would have if I attended the course. 

Children often behave better for someone outside of the household than those they see at home constantly. That gives me a slight advantage and I will gladly take any advantage I can. What bothers them most about facing me, is that a part of the penance they must do is to look inside themselves, seek answers for the wrong doing, seek reasons and ways to be a better individual. 

I feel that is similar to the effect you have on others, where you encourage awareness and the potential to be better, to be clearer about who we are and what we stand for. If one wants to behave like an ass, eh-hm excuse me, like a two year old, it is best that they at least know they are doing so. 


Loraine on a slightly cantankerous night

No comments:

Post a Comment