Friday, March 13, 2009

Testing Her Limits

Oldest is my, well, oldest. She is 6 going on 16. No, really. Her behavior lately has been putting my patience to the test and I have moments where I just might explode with frustration.

How can a girl with such lovely blue eyes and the sweetest smile make me want to pull my hair out? She is kind and helpful one moment, then defiant and mean the next.

I hope it is just a phase, and she is testing her boundaries and limits, poking and prodding to see how much I can take before I snap. Like a dog testing the invisible fencing, crossing the line and getting shocked back onto the right side of the line.

Maybe she is checking to see if I am being consistent in my rules and what I allow them to get away with.

With 4 children, I sometimes have to pick my battles and I let some stuff slide, choosing to deal with the more serious offenses, which, really, aren't that many. But now and then, it seems like they feed off each other and they all go crazy at the same time and Oldest is the ring leader. Middle and Youngest see her do something, and they follow.

sigh.. Monkey see, monkey do.

My biggest issue these past few days are the older two girls telling me "No" when I tell them to go and do something. And they say it in such an irritating tone! The body language is strong, too.

"Pick that cup up and put it in the kitchen, please." No.

"Give me the bag and I'll put it away." No.

"It's almost bedtime, go and put your jammies on." No.

Or, I ask them to do something and they completely ignore me! Hello! I actually start wondering if I need to get their ears checked and see if any of them have a hearing loss (they could, since it's hereditary for me).

Thank goodness Spring is just around the corner and we will all soon be busy in the garden, tilling, planting, weeding. I'm planning to keep the kids busy all day long and by bedtime, they'll be too pooped to say "No."

We also have a surprise in the works... I can't tell you now, but they'll be here in a week! Yay!


barefoot gardener said...

Oh, no fun! I think I remember Big Sprout going through a phase like that when she was about the same age. I blamed it on the Step-Evils at the time, but maybe you are right that it is just a phase in growing up.

Good luck keeping your sanity until spring!

Lisa said...

When I was about 5, I suffered temporary hearing loss due to trying to become a fish in the ocean. Major water behind the eardrum. In my case, Mom said she could sneak up on me, talk and I wouldn't respond. Much different than saying No to a request!! Of course, I couldn't figure out why I was in such trouble all the time.

Got the ears fixed, stopped getting in trouble.

This is probably a phase, although a difficult one. Guess you are going to have to step up your game on cooperation until they decide it isn't worth testing that boundary!