Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa is Kinda Pissed Right Now

Sack of coal soap - Yummy Suds

Gracie and Annelie must not truly care about getting presents from Santa, because they have been at their all-time bad this week. Like, the worst. Aren't they frightened by the idea of being on the naughty list? Doesn't the threat of not getting any presents from Santa and his elves mean anything to them? I'm beginning to think they might actually want coal this year.

Kids fight. That I know. After working in childcare for years, I have seen my fair share of 4-year-old cat fights... but Gracie and Annelie are taking things waaaay too far. I've had it up to my eyeballs with self-help books that haven't worked one bit. The naughty step, a la The Super Nanny, works great... for the four minutes they sit on it. Then they're back to their usual fighting, screaming, kicking, biting, destructive little selves.

The other day I snapped. Gracie and Annelie were sweetly playing in the backyard and I was watching from my studio window while I worked on a custom order. I could see them over by the slide. They love to cover it with dirt and rocks and then take turns sliding through it. Little did I know, Annelie and Gracie were actually a step behind the slide, taking a brick to the canvas bottom of my garden swing. After punching a hole through it, Annelie used her super-human strength to rip out the entire bottom of one side. It took her 2.5 seconds to do the damage while I scrambled outside in my pajamas, working hard to contain my temper lest the neighbors think I'm psycho, while hissing through my teeth that they better GET. INSIDE. RIGHT. NOW.

Can I just tell ya... Santa was PISSED. He was veeeery close to packing up all of their Christmas presents and donating them to the local children's home. But I didn't really want to do that. I'd actually like my kids to have fond childhood Christmas memories, rather than holiday trauma from not getting a single present. So I packed up their dress-up (devastating) and ALL of their Barbie stuff (again, devastating) and put them on the top of the closet, not to get back for four entire days. THEN I put them to work with a soapy wash cloth and they spent an entire hour washing my wood floors in silence.

Mad Santa Pin Back Button - Susan Urban Designs

Did they learn their lesson? Uh, no. Not a chance. It only took a minute before they were cat fighting and scratching and hitting and knocking each other off the swing set. When Santa sent them a video email (seriously, if you have kids and you haven't yet made them a video from this website... what are you waiting for??!) and informed Annelie that she has been working very hard at being nice to her sister, Annelie just shook her head and informed him back that she just pushed Gracie off the swings and pulled her hair and made her cry. She was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. Like, "Listen Santa, if you actually think I've behaved myself for even a second this year, then you don't know jack, cuz I've been a wretched beast."

We're three days from the night when Santa and his reindeer fly over our house with his big bag of toys... and at the moment, my kids are getting coal, a letter from Santa himself, letting them know just exactly why they are getting diddly-squat... and maybe just maybe, he'll leave a couple of presents in my care, so that I can pass them to the kids if they are truly being good.

Moms, here's your chance to unload your years of wisdom upon me. I know I'm not the only mom out there with high-energy preschoolers with behavioral problems... so any advice is appreciated. We've cut almost all sweets and sugars from their diet, they don't eat things with red food dye and they only watch a little educational TV in the morning... so what gives? When they are good, they are very, very good... but when they are bad, they are horrid. Help!



Talking with Tami said...

Uh Uh they better be nice!

S said...

I don't have any words of wisdom for you, but I can offer some far-in-the-future hope! I have two sisters. We fought and argued all the way throughout our childhood. Horrible, aggressive fights. We couldn't wait to grow up so we'd never have to see each other EVER again!
Guess who my best friends are now? Yup, you guessed it... my sisters.

Winklepots said...

Just call me, I'm full of punishment ideas. :oP I'm the Grinch Who Stole the Hopkins Christmas.
Honestly, I think for Ryah and Annelie the punishments that will really be effective will be the loss of cell phones, driving rights, etc. Someday we'll get them back. :oP

jean said...

Call Super Nanny! Of course, there's no way they can be as awful as the kids on that show...

Waterrose said...

All I can say is that I'm glad my kids are 26 and 28....

Alyssa S. said...

I can't say that I have any super wise wisdom...but what worked for my sister...when my niece and nephew were going at each other, she'd call me and I'd pretend to be "Santa". She'd tell me (as Santa) that they were being naughty and that I should give their presents to other kids. It worked every time.

Alternative...I've just begun separating the two kids when they are really annoying each other and make them play alone until they can be nice to one another.

Steph said...

Your post is so cute it made me smile. I have no words of wisdom since I do not have kids, but my brother and I fought like psychos as kids and are now the best of friends. I think fighting siblings is the best sign that your kids are normal!!!!

Tia Colleen said...

Thats pretty rad that you made them clean the floors. When will Eleanore be old enough to make her do that?

Good luck Mama. I've got nothin'.

Kelly Warren said...

Trying to think of words of wisdom here...hmmmmm...taking the Barbies and dress-up and packing them up for a few days was a stellar idea. My girls are 6. Separating them at times works, as does our version of the naughty chair, which is in the corner of Daddy's workshop (um, near the cat litter pan, don't turn us in...) With Sarah, taking Bunny does wonders. Do your girls have a lovey they are attached to? If so, try taking that away. Good luck girl!

Unknown said...

LOL! I can laugh, but only because I know exactly what you're going through. :-)

My three are 10, 8, and 4. They are rarely all together happy or nicely playing at the same time. My 8 yr old is ADHD and has sensory processing. He is VERY high-energy and takes a low-dose Adderall for impulse control. When he's not on it - watch out!

I'm certainly not suggesting meds for your two; I think they're too young anyway. Jacob, even on his meds right now, is a handful, and I truly think it's the holiday excitement. Kids are off their normal routines and somewhat out of their element.

Give it time. Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays are done, you might see a change in their behavior.

Of course . . . I know that doesn't help you now. ;-)

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