Thursday, August 9, 2007

Losing my shit

Today the kids at the day care and I started the day over. Twice. Because I nearly lost my shit a few times. One kid kept breaking my shit and coloring on all sorts of crap, another one kept pretending to be stupid, and yet another kept pissing and shitting herself all over my goddamn house. And I can't even swear when this shit happens, so instead I turn sort of red, I pull out my hair, and I make everyone SIT DOWN NOW. Except the kid who's pissing on my carpet. She goes to the bathroom, where I scrub her down and sanitize everything within 50 feet.

I finally, after having what I think was a small aneurysm, made a deal with each child old enough to get the idea of a "deal." I'm never going to yell again, and if I do, I have to sit in the corner. That's my end. Their end is that they 1) have to tell me BEFORE they crap on my floor that they need to use the potty, 2) are never allowed to pretend to be stupid again, or be difficult because they don't want to answer a question, and 3) will not fight with their sister unless it about not doing something dangerous. Despite the fact that I know these expectations are unrealistic, I made these deals. I will keep my end, because I want this day care to be one where I NEVER yell. I don't like getting to that point, and the kids don't like it, either. I expect more potty accidents from this girl, I expect the other girl to keep being stubborn, and fighting? Fuck that, I'll never stop sisters from sparring. It's good for 'em, anyway. But now I can say "Remember our deal?" It might help them try a little harder, which is all I really want.

Every day I try to think of new ways to make this place a little calmer and a little more peaceful. This is difficult since I'm pretty sure the sisters (there are 3 in one family) not only rev each other up, but are made of something close to speed. I've never seen another human being literally dive as an option for picking something up before. I'm going to start doing games with the 4 year old that require her to be careful-things like walking with an egg on a spoon, etc. Because two days ago she broke my toe right after she pulled my kid down some steps and skinned her legs up a bit. That afternoon she managed to kick her sister IN THE HEAD while sitting down on the couch. The FUCK, kid? Short of a straight jacket, it's going to take some work to calm her the hell down. Her older sister is like a rubber band given life. She would belly-flop onto the sprinkler if I let her. The youngest just does what ever the hell she wants, no matter what you say. I don't know if she doesn't hear well, if she's stupid, or if she's just really stubborn. My guess is the last one. She's also the one who won't tell me if she has to pee, and I'm on a much more intimate level with her bodily functions than I'm comfortable with right now. Sheesh.

But all said and done, I don't want to change what makes these girls fundamentally what they are. I love their personalities, and I love their spunk. Even the one who breaks shit. But I need them to control themselves a little more-the older ones in particular. I don't expect perfection, just don't kick someone else in the damn head while sitting down. This is an easy thing to do. In fact, I sit down SEVERAL times a day without doing bodily damage to anyone within 20 feet of myself. Perhaps I am a miracle worker in this regard, but I really doubt it, since everyone else I know has these same skills. I think it's more of a lack of stability in home life. These girls are wonderful, and their mom is trying hard. But as resilient as kids are, they can't control very much in their world. Thus the acting out. SO! I get to read and take some classes on child development and psychology. The alternative is medicating myself so that I won't care, but I do care. I want so much for these kids, and I want to be a positive influence and a good and stable part of their lives. What to do, what to do....

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