While arriving home after food shopping a little bird followed me into the garage, perhaps it grew up in one of the trees on our front lawn and had imprinted on our SUV.
As I got out of the car, I was unable to shoo the bird out of the garage, so I explained to the bird that it was not a wise decision to move into our garage because when the door was closed it would be trapped. Little did I realize that the garage was only a staging area?
When I was brining the groceries into the house the little bird that could swooped down and landed in the bag I was carrying as I crossed the threshold to the house. Once indoors the little bird sprang out of the bag and flew around the kitchen, until it landed, on the wall, in the corner, of the pantry. I just clung their like a little bat, even using it wing feathers to support itself on the wall.
After unpacking, and putting away the food, I managed to scare the bird out of the pantry, but instead of going for the open front door, or the open garage door, it instead decided to head to the wash room just off the kitchen, and hide behind the washing machine, where it fell asleep, or died, either way it stopped making noise.
Damien’s chair is right next to the washroom door. So while we are having breakfast this morning, we here a chirp from the wash room. Damien looked around for the source of the noise; I told him it was a bird. Then the bird flew into the kitchen circling the light fixture, “Hello Bird” says Damien, “Naah.” says Sergey.
The bird headed off to our great room, so I opened the patio door so it could fly out, then I cleaned up the kids and started to prep their food for the day. I was chopping up strawberries while listening to Sergey scream his displeasure at me for not being held, when I noticed some movement in the backyard. Was it the bird, no, that would be too easy, it was Damien; he was barefoot and headed to the back of the shed. Going through the great room to the patio, I notice that the little bird is still flying around the great room, it flies from one window to another, including the skylights, going to every window but for some reason completely ignoring the giant open patio door, the closest it got was to land on the curtain over the open patio door. Luckily Damien actually came back in, when called, which is not normal because normally he ignores just about everything I say, but apparently he wanted to one up the bird.
After closing the patio door behind Damien, he decided to chase the bird around the room, saying “Bird” “Tweet”, and “get out”, he even tried his best to say “stupid bird” a few times.
After loading the kids into the car, with Olya’s help, Olya managed to corner the bird next to the reopened patio door. But the bird still couldn’t figure out how to exit the building. I grabbed a large play mat off the floor and managed to coral the bird out the open door, where is flew to the nearest bush.
Bye, bye birdie.
As a parent who plays videogames I decided to look into the whole videogames are bad thing.
I don’t want my children to grow up to be mass murderess because they play video games. I have played videogames for over twenty years, and I have yet to kill anybody, maybe I am just lucky, or perhaps I have a will of steel, or just perhaps this videogame violence connection is a load O crap.
It stands to reason that if videogames really were violence inducing murder simulators, then with the millions of violent videogames sold, there should be millions of additional violent crimes, all the normal violent crimes, plus the additional violent crimes caused by videogames.
I could just reiterate what I have read but I am too lazy and will just show you where I got my information.
The Truth About Violent Youth And Video Games
Some of my favorite quotes from the above link.
“There is no epidemic of youth violence in America.”
“Violent crime is at the lowest it has been in a good thirty years.
directly from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics.”
“Recently, the offending rates for 14-17 year-olds reached the lowest levels ever recorded.”
“According to the FBI, the murder rate hit a new 40 year low in 2004. I can’t imagine a better statistic. The best selling video game of 2004? Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.”
The way the charts flow, violent crime is decreasing as videogames get more market penetration.
Perhaps videogames provide an outlet for violent behavior, or violent kids are staying home playing videogames.
Either way itâ€™s good to know that Damien and Sergey will be growing up in a less violent society than I did.
When I put Damien down for the night I like to sing songs to him after a story.
I am trying to diversify with some fun songs, and I just found the lyrics to the old TV cartoon.
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Here comes the Spiderman.
Is he strong?
He’s got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread
Take a look overhead
There goes the Spiderman.
In the chill of night
At the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light
He arrives just in time.
Friendly neighborhood Spiderman
Wealth and fame
Action is his reward.
To him, life is a great big bang up
Whenever there’s a hang up
You’ll find the Spider man.
Damien has been moved into a new room for the summer, and Damien was NOT ammused.
His first day was Monday, and he was VERY upset, and demanded that I hold him, then carry him. I walked him about the room, pointing out all of the fun toys and having him name them. Then I intorduced him to all of the kids and the teachers. after a few minutes Damien asked to go down so he could play.
While I was putting Damien’s food in the fridg, I let the teachers know that Damien is still on whole milk (because he needs all the calories I can stuff in him, especially protien).
Teacher: “You will need to bring your own milk for that, and it has to be in it’s own container.”
Me: “Ok I have that.” I pointed to the container of milk I had in my hand.
Teacher: “The container needs to be labeled.”
Me: “It is.” I pointed to the name on the bottle.
I know this is a bit petty, but it appeared she didn’t like me, as if I was trying to make her life harder by bringin in whole milk rather than use the 2% they have.
Perhaps milk is much harder to maniplate than I had thought, none of the other teachers complained.
As I put the food and milk away, Damien had climbed up to a little loft play area, it is fensed in and only about two feet off the ground. I thought this would be a good time to explain that Damien is an expert climber, and that they should watch him, incase he tries to do anything he shouldn’t.
Me: “Watch out for Damien climing things he is very good at it and that loft and fence are not very high, he may try to jump off.”
Teacher: “Jump off?”
Me: “For example the tables you have here are only 18 inches high, at home Damien is allowed to play on card tables that are 3 feet high, and sometimes he jumps off.”
Teacher: “Allowed, he is allowed to play on tables.”
Me: “Well he has shown that he can handle himself” -cut off-
Teacher: “Well he is NOT ALLOWED to climb tables here.”
Me: “That’s why I brought it up” -cut off-
Teacher: “We have rules here and and climing and jumping off tables is not allowed.”
I am sure she doesn’t like me now.
The problem isn’t that Damien can climb, it’s more that other kids will try to climb like he does, only they aren’t half monkey, and they tend to not do so well especially on the landing part, if you know what I mean.
Damein has some good skills, he can do a head stand on a rocking chair while rocking it.
He climbs into his booster seat at the table, but he lowers himself in a modified Iron Cross, by placing one hand on the table and the other hand on the chair, then supporting all of his weight on his hands, he slowly pushes the chir away fromthe table until his dangling feet touch the floor.
I still think I did the right thing warning them about Damien. He understands that different places have different rules, such as “shoes stay on” at Daycare, and “shoes off” at Home.
I just didn’t want them freaking out if he jumped on the table, and started dancing, which is what he does on the card tables, but he is never allowed on the kitchen table, or the counter.
Eric asked me how do I handle the kids, when they are constant screaming, how do I not let it bother me.
I would love to say that it is through years of martial arts training that allow me to enter into a Zen like state, where I merely focus on my breathing to achieve an inner calm. But that is NOT the way I do it.
The truth is much simpler.
When one or both of my children are yelling, screaming, thrashing about, throwing things and generally freaking out, I choose not to participate in the freaking out. Instead I choose to be the calm adult, and be an audience to the freaking out, instead of part of it.
This is the part where I beat the dead horse to death (die horse die).
As Super nanny said, when children get loud, physical, and emotional, there is a tendency to also get loud and emotional, to try and out do the child. Of course you can get louder and more emotional than a child, but it doesnâ€™t do either of you any good, even though you win the shouting match, you will appear weak to your child, because they will know they can break you (children are both clever and evil so donâ€™t give them this opportunity). The way to win and be a strong parent is to remain calm, and firm.
This doesnâ€™t stop my children from having a tantrum, but it makes it easier to deal with, and shorter. Easier because I donâ€™t have to do any shouting on my part, I let Damien do all of the work, I just make helpful comments such as â€œuse your wordsâ€. Shorter because Damien knows that when Daddy says â€œNo toys at the table during dinnerâ€, then there will be no dinner until the toys are removed; and I have Damien remove the toys (does that make me mean?)
Now tantrum often after he does what he is told instead of before. Damien will put the toy away as he was told, then he will back away from the toy yelling â€œNo, no, noâ€! After which he will have a full meltdown, 30 seconds later he will calm down and eat dinner as if nothing happened. My guess is that he obeys because he knows it is inevitable, but he has the tantrum anyway because he has to rebel.
Remember: to remain calm, choose not to participate in the tantrum.
PS here is the Super Nanny site:
I donâ€™t want it to look like I am slamming Damien for being too aggressive. I donâ€™t think he is too aggressive. He is a two year old boy; he seems to act like most of the other boys his age.
Does he hit his brother, of course he does, and donâ€™t we all hit our siblings? I have lost track of the number of times that my brother and I hit each other while growing up.
My brother (who shall remain nameless), had an almost magical ability to give me a bloody nose, or hit me exactly in the nuts the worst way. My voice is still high to this day, and my nose has an extra layer of padding (for defense).
Even if my brother started the fight I would usually get the blame, because I was older apparently.
My brother throws a block at me, hits me in the face, and gives me a bloody nose.
I chase after him threatening to beat him up.
Brother runs to Mom.
Mom yells at me for fighting with my brother.
I am the one with the bloody nose, look there is still blood dripping from my nose, how do you think that happened, and my brother doesnâ€™t have a mark on him. Who was attacking who?
It was just so unfair, so unjust, I was attacked AND I was punished.
Years later my friend Rob who has two kids of his own explained it to me.
â€œParents donâ€™t want justice, they want quite. When these parents hear a commotion, they run over, hit the oldest and yell at the youngest.â€
I donâ€™t want to be one of those parents. So my plan is to yell at both of them.
Actually Damien is protective of Sergey.
When Sergey was sick, and had to take his medicine, that he hated. Olya and I would have to double team Sergey, one of us pinning him down while the other held his mouth steady long enough to get the medicine into it. The entire time Sergey would scream like crazy. Damien actually came over a few times and tried to stop us, because he though we were hurting Sergey. I am actually very proud of him for that, it takes a lot of courage to confront your parents when you are less than two years old. It is good to know that when the chips are down, that Damien will be there for Sergey. Just like my brother and me.
Ok letâ€™s finish this story before it becomes ancient history.
We pick up our story a few days after Damien Hits, part C.
I am reading on the couch watching Sergey play in his bouncy seat.
There is some commotion in the kitchen involving Damien and some inanimate objects that did not agree on his world view.
Damien runs straight up to Sergey who smiles and gurgles at him.
Apparently irritated by this greeting, Damien says “No, no” as he raises his hand in anger (this should be its own post) and prepares to wallop Sergey about the head. At this time I let Damien know I am in the room, with a very clever “Daaamieeeeen?” Note how I stretched out his name to add extra meaning to his name, such as the heavily implied remember what happened last time you did this, type subtlety.
Damien appears to notice me for the first time. He looks at me, looks at Sergey, looks back at me, looks at the wooden armrest of the love seat, looks back at me (see that, that’s tension building that is), at this point Damien add a new dimension by smacking his own head against the wooden armrest, with a Thunk! Then one more time just for good measure, you know just to show the armrest who is the boss.
Damien flops down and begins crying. Well he just hit his head into a piece of wood, I am sure it’s pine and it has smooth rounded edges, but it’s still wood, of course it’s going to hurt. As any good parent, I comfort Damien and give him some good advice “Don’t fight inanimate objects.”
My theory is that Damien did NOT want another Daddy in rage, yelling at him because he hit his brother, but on the other hand Damien came into this room to hit somebody and if Sergey was off limits because of Daddy, and Daddy by default is off limits, that only leaves Damien to be hit in the head, and since he can’t just hit himself, he has the wooden armrest hit him.
This scenario has played out several times, where Damien gets mad wants to hit somebody, sees Daddy, and decides to bang his head into something: the wall, a chair, the wall, the banister, the wall (we have lots of walls in our house, at least one in every room, I think it is more a target of opportunity rather than a preference.)
And I always give him the same advice.
Donâ€™t fight inanimate objects.
Damien is much better and usually does not take his anger out on others.
Looks like this is a phase, brought on by lack of communication skills, so he could grow out of it by the time he is 18 or so, and if he doesn’t I can kick him out of the house. Well only 16 more years to go.
Actually I hear from daycare that Damien is very well behaved, and does NOT hit kids back when they hit him, he just tells them no.
The moral of the story is that yelling at your kids really works, just not always in the way you wanted it to. Example: Damien was trained NOT to hit Sergey or myself, but he still hit himself.
Everyone should be able to sing at least one song to their kids.
Singing is important in mental development, for listening and speaking skills.
If you think you don’t know any songs your children would be interested in, then I’ll remind you of one of the top ten songs ever that I am sure you know the words to.
This is one of Damien’s most requested at night as I sing him to sleep.
It is also a song which teaches a great lesson that will help your child for the rest of his life.
Just in case you have forgotten the words I will include them below, but I am sure they will come back you after you sing the first three.
It’s the alphabet song.
A B C D
E F G
H I J K
L M N O P
Q R S
T U V
Y and Z
Now you know your ABC’s
Next time wonâ€™t you
Sing with me?
If you ever forget the words just ask the person standing next you, they probably know it by heart.
I have heard that police will ask suspected drunks to sing this song.
Because if you can’t remember this song there is probably something wrong with you or you are an alien (either kind)
Damien has been known to request this song over and over again, three to five times in a row is common.
Sorry if this is a repost, but I am having problems with my auto email feature.
Damien has been doing things accidental on purpose.
Such as but not limited to:
Stepping on Sergey accidentally on purpose.
Running into Sergey accidentally on purpose.
Bumping into Sergey accidentally on purpose.
Falling on Sergey accidentally on purpose.
Once I watched Damien fall accidentally on purpose, three times in a row before he finally landed on Sergey. Now Sergey usually take it in stride, and often laughs and smiles, because he likes the attention. At least Damien is not even making a move to hit Sergey, which reminds me, I need to finish up the “Damien Hits” story line, I sorta left it hanging in a bad place.
Yesterday when Sergey was playing at the activity table, which he loves and is great for teaching him balance, how to stand, how to fall, how to stand after you fall. Anyway, Sergey was playing all nice and cute and innocent and self absorbed, and more importantly independently and most importantly quietly. Damien came by and accidentally on purpose tried to bump Sergey off the table. Sergey didn’t lose his balance but took one step back, while keeping one hand on the table, with the other hand he waved it at Damien while making a “kah, kah, kah.” noises. Looks like Damien’s accidentally on purpose activity may need some rethinking if Sergey is going to defend himself and his table.