Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm learning...Kinda

One of the things that I'm (slowly) learning as a parent is that not all kids are created equal. Because we have recently gotten custody of my 5 year old stepdaughter, we are learning some things about having multiple children.

Now, I am an only child. The rumors you have heard about us? We are all hopelessly spoiled, attention is lavished upon us, and life is generally golden in all ways? Ok, I just threw up a little. Someone forgot to send my mother that memo. However, since I was the only kid in the house, I did not learn any of those neat multi-kid dynamics that are apparently normal sibling behaviors (Seriously, must arguing be constant???).

Also, we are adding a 5-year-old to the mix. Not the same as starting off with one, getting preggo, & adding a new baby. You get a little warm-up time for that. The sibling dynamic develops over time as the baby gets older.

The thing that really burns me though, is that the kids have the nerve to be different from one another. What works with my stepdaughter? Totally useless with my son. I am constantly fumbling the discipline ball. Constantly. A firm voice works with my stepdaughter. She fears getting in trouble, complete with trembling lip. Evil Stepmother, right here.

My son? Not so much. If I full on yell? That might slow him down, but then what do I do when he gets too used to me yelling? My babysitter had 2 volumes, on the phone bitching about her mother and/or sister and yelling. He just learned to block it out. For him? I have to take something away. I also have to explain the whole logic behind it. In detail.

They have completely different personalities and backgrounds. And having two? Is way different than just one. Especially when you have other people complicating things. Grandparents with no rules or boundaries. Mothers who emotionally torment out of selfishness - I mean, really, who tells a 5-year-old girl that her siblings are living with the devil when they are living with their father? What is this going to accomplish?? How do you explain to a 5-year-old that her mommy lies to hurt and manipulate people? That apparently, her daughter's emotional well-being rates below mommy's selfish need to emotionally torment the people who have pissed her off? These are things you just can't tell a kid about her mother - the mother that she loves with that wholehearted 5-year-old love regardless.

But I digress....

Sometimes, I feel like I've got this mommy gig down. And other times? I feel like I've just been smacked with the idiot stick. Kids should come with instructions, with chapters like "Odd Questions I Might Ask," "Challenging Bodily Functions," "Approximate Number of Times I Will Break Your Heart," "Illnesses & How Much They Will Stress You Out," and "How to Discipline Me." Seriously, is parenting really one of those things that we should be fumbling about all clueless and unprepared? Who's idea was that, anyway?

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  1. I clicked through from your link on Twitter before I knew you were part of WordUpYO! What a pleasant surprise!

    It is amazing how different 2 kids can be, even if they both come from your loins.

    Good luck with all that!

  2. I totally agree with your statement about sometimes having a pretty good handle on things and then the little buggers go and change the rules on me and I feel more lost than ever.

    I only have one kid so far (a 13 month old), so I can only imagine how different they can be from one another.

    My sister and I are complete opposites. Funny, huh?

  3. Your humor and honesty are going to be a huge
    help in the long road ahead...and, it is a long
    road but, you are thoughtful and intelligent and
    you and your little family will do just great.
    Simply, let them know you love them, laugh with
    them and BE CONSISTENT!

  4. I have two girls who could not be turning out more differently if one of them was being raised by polar bears. Polar opposites.

    It's challenging, but SO much fun!

    You'll be fine. Smart and funny is half the battle. And you've got that 1/2 down.

  5. It seems that all kids are different. Mine are night and day. I agree with you...whose crazy idea was that?

  6. Hello from your newest follower! Your honesty will help get you through this new journey. I don't have multiple children but having a sister almost 4 years younger, I can tell you it will be rocky---but so worth it.