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Everything posted by Reya

  1. Okay, this is expensive, but I love these, too: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=griffith's+milk+glass&qpvt=griffith%27s+milk+glass&FORM=IGRE I can leave spices on the counter without them getting damaged by sunlight. Also, I use some $3 baskets I got at Target hung on the pantry wall to store small things. I was originally going to use it for onions, etc., but that ended up not working, so now they have cookie cutters and other small things in them.
  2. My next-door neighbor's kid is like that. He had to be taught all the social clues that most kids just pick up. He just rubs people the wrong way, accidentally, but is getting much, much, MUCH better now, with tons of training. I wish adults would analyze their reactions a bit more closely. Why do they see a kid as THAT kid? What's he really done? And why do they think this other kid can do no wrong? Thank G-D my children aren't bullies. I honestly don't know what I'd do, because I've seen teacher's favorites who are bullies get away with all kinds of things. Especially if they are targeting THAT kid. :/ Fortunately, even at their worst, they don't seem inclined that way. Growing up, I was the child who couldn't care less what anyone thought of me. That upset a few people, children and adults, and made them dislike me. Others, it just puzzled. I wasn't at all manipulative--I would not have stooped so low in my childish dignity!--so my own kids are definitely outside my personal experience! But like them, I wasn't motivated by shame or envy or peer pressure or rewards or any of those sorts of things most kids were. I had a deep sense of intellectual justice, though, but I had an enormous indifference to most of the things that drove those around me! I try to instill the same in my kids. It works..........slowly.........
  3. She's inconsistently awful. And removing her doesn't help because she doesn't care. She'd be perfectly happy staying at home. The problem is that her behaviors will become more ingrained if they aren't stopped at this age--and they become ingrained when she isn't actively CORRECTED, which means that they get worse when she's not in structured situations when she's supposed to behave. By the time she's 6 or 8, it'll be too late. She's not going to school, so she doesn't get other forms of adult authority other than dance, AWANAs, church, swimming, and gymnastics. So that's what I have to work with. She's doing great in AWANAs now 95% of the time, great at church all except one day ever, when she screamed at a child for taking a toy (not really sure if the child actually TOOK it from her or took a toy she was thinking about taking herself), good in swimming all except one single day (but most kids have a swimming meltdown day), good in one dance class 80% of the time....but in gymnastics and the other dance class only 60-70%. Which is WAY up from 30% of the time last year, because of the cooperation of the teachers, but it's just frustrating getting them to see that the REASON that she's improved is because they DID hold her accountable, and they shouldn't stop because she's made the progress but should keep on doing the things that got the progress in the first place. If I absolutely couldn't get the teachers to work with me, I'd pull her. Right now, I'm just whining because they'll do it but I have to push them, and I hate pushing them and being the big bad meanie. We're making progress, but it's painfully slow.
  4. Yes, my kids have sociopathic urges. It takes my friends aback how sweet yet utterly conniving they can be. THREE have brought it up independently with me--all pretty much saying something like, "Wow, you know, your kids could cure cancer or make some great discovery that banishes poverty, but they could also be serial killers or Bernie Madoff, if someone else were raising them." And they mean it, and they're right. I half-joke that there's a continuum--serial killer, con man, dishonest used car salesman, Bernie Madoff, politician, aggressive CEO, great philanthropist. My kids, by nature, could land at any one of those. By nurture, my son's been nudged into the high-Madoff, low-politician range now, and I'm trying to get him over more toward CEO. My daughter's at con man right now. Anyhow, I tried the removal technique with BOTH kids at various times, and it didn't work. They froze in the same state toward outsiders--if anything, they got worse. Slowly getting other adults on board is really the ONLY thing that works, but it's frustrating that they make it twice as hard. The sociopathic urges are ALREADY there, but they don't actually get any stronger than they start out. The goal is to weaken them systematically. The only way to do that is to get her teachers to pull with me. Otherwise, she doesn't really regress, but she stands still. But that's only the "easy" part. Most children are shaped fairly easily by the rules around them, which they then internalize. Mine, for various reasons, must internalize the rules first and then decide that treating people like that is bad. Getting people to call them on it addresses some of the outer conformational behavior, but it actually does very little for the inner motivation. The inner motivation is something we work on intensely for years. I really do believe that sociopaths are both born AND made, and they can be unmade, too. Just takes a great deal of patience. :) Oh, and I could tell you all this, and you could be absolutely horrified by it, but then you would meet my daughter and have an 85% chance of being overwhelmed by her charm within a few minutes. Unless you observed her VERY closely and clinically, you'd conclude that I must, indeed, just be a "mean mom" who doesn't give her child enough allowances for mistakes.
  5. Or salicylic acid wart remover. Twice a day, works like a charm.
  6. I don't think that's what's happening. I really don't. When she acts out, most adults try to jolly her along or charm her, and it totally doesn't work with DD. She sees it as an open door for negotiation, at best, and as a sign of weakness to be exploited, at worst. It starts the game of, "How much of my teacher's time and attention can I continue to hog by acting out?" And then they try harder, and it goes downhill from there. I have only had one teacher who would actually TELL ME voluntarily when DD was bad. The others, I have to ask, even if I've been sitting where I can see her acting out horribly the entire time. They give her extra consideration that other kids don't get, too, so that when she occasionally doesn't get it, she's outraged. She had a HUGE sense of entitlement, but it's other adults who have created it in her, not me. I honestly think most of her teachers think I'm just mean as a mommy! I adore DD. I really do. But that's why her acting like a prima donna everywhere is not okay. At least I know her future piano teacher won't take any guff.
  7. My daughter actually GLOATS when she's been bad and gets a sticker anyway. GLOATS. And they give stickers at the end no matter what, unfortunately, but she sees it as a reward. The teacher does know. I'm going to have to remind her again that she has to be good the WHOLE TIME to get a sticker. It totally isn't a maturity thing with her--it's a decision that she's making. If she was actually struggling with controlling herself, I'd give her way more grace. (I used to teach preschool, and I could tell when kids just couldn't quite have a handle on themselves, and I supported them rather than set standards too high.) She's just taking every inch of rope they give her and RUNNING with it.
  8. I'd believe that was it....except that I have to actually pin down this teacher and one other to get them to EVER tell me that she's been a pill. I don't expect her to say, "She's been a real brat!" but I do expect, "DD was having listening problems in class today," or "DD had a hard time keeping her hands to herself" or "waiting her turn" or whatever. I shouldn't have to force these things out of her. I thought the teacher would have a heart attack when I calmly ripped up her sticker one day after she'd gotten it after throwing such a screaming fit that I could hear it in the hall! That particular teacher tells me all the time how sweet she is and how I shouldn't be "hard" on her. I'm not "hard" on her. She digs her own hole when she's being awful. No one makes her do it but her.
  9. My children are...difficult. They are incredibly aware of how others perceive them, especially adults, and are very, very skilled manipulators, in both good and bad ways. They have charisma. LOTS of charisma. They OOZE charisma. My son, for example, was always the second or third worst kid in the class in preschool activities. ALWAYS. In a carefully calculated manner, so that the other kids would be the ones to get in trouble, not him. He managed to convince a Kindergarten teacher that he couldn't write his name AFTER he'd been writing it in class for several months--it wasn't until I pointed out that he'd done this fine for her before that she realized she'd been snowed--along with a ton of similar things. We'd be given gifts from strangers for him all the time, just because he was so adorable. He would systematically work a crown in a restaurant by the age of 14 months, focusing on groups of people in turn to get them to fawn over him. At the age of three, he managed to convince a friend of mine that he was nonverbal despite the fact that I told her he was faking, and he kept up the charade for six months while playing with her kid and talking to him freely any time they were in another room--until one day I wasn't there, and he wanted something and had to actually talk to get it. Then he acted like he'd been talking in front of her fine all along. He's actually very well behaved ALMOST all of the time now, which is the best that can be hoped for in a kid. But man, it was difficult getting there! So my daughter's behaviors are worse in a more direct way, because she has NO problem with being far and away the worst kid in a class. She is perfectly capable of behaving whenever it suits her (I got stuck at a city council meeting with her for 2 hours, and she was PERFECT and silent the whole time--not many kids her age could be), but if she doesn't see the point, she just...doesn't. I have NEVER seen her hit a child, not EVER, because she'd never do it when I was looking. But when she's being watched by other people, yup, she will. It all depends on the personality of her teacher/supervisor. Thankfully, this has never been a problem in church, where she is one of the oldest kids in her class and regards the others as "babies" to be protected or, at worst, bossed. But in activities where she's the youngest or shortest...watch out. The worst part is that all her teachers adore her. Absolutely LOVE her. Think she is the sweetest, most adorable thing in the world. And she is quite small and, yes, adorable and is frankly gorgeous, and she has taught herself every cute mannerism imaginable. I mean, she folds her hands under her chin and tilts her head. She tosses her hair. She actually pouts by sticking out her lower lip in an almost cartoonish way. If it's cute, she does it. More than does it--she studies it. Perfects it. BUT this means that some of her teachers would let her get away with bloody murder. It drives me crazy. I don't care how cute she is! She still has to BEHAVE! She actually KICKED a girl in dance class today. KICKED HER!!!!! Out of sheer pique. And the teacher wasn't going to tell me until I asked how she was (because she wanted an extra treat). WHY???? Her teachers make up excuses for her--"She seemed tired today," or "She wasn't herself." Um, sure, she doesn't kick or hit kids most days, but this isn't something out of the blue. She's just not behaved well in this class dependably, despite the fact that the teacher treats each occurrence as some freak event. And then the teacher gave the kid a sticker at the end of class! Seriously! Don't give my kid a sticker if she's been horrid. She knows it's a reward, and if she gets it after she perfectly well knows how awful she's been, she's half-giddy with glee about getting away with something awful and is twice as bad the next time. It isn't a self-control issue. DD had NO problems controlling herself whenever she feels that it's worth it. It's just that she likes to be exactly as bad as she can get away with right now. And with some teachers, that is really quite terrible! After telling me whatever horrible thing she did (only because I ask...), the teacher will then stumble over herself to say how sweet and wonderful she really is, and how smart and pretty and.... Yeah, I know she's smart. That's why she has your number. So, anyway, punishment was visited upon her little brown head tonight, and she'll have her lip out for several days about not getting away with this, but I wish there were a way that I could get all people to hold her as accountable as they would the average child. Other kids don't get away with this. I've seen other kids start to misbehave in these classes, and the teachers have no problem redirecting and correcting them. It's just DD. She gets a free pass. It's like rather than me having a "special snowflake" complex, about half the adults she meets do. Being charming is a wonderful skill, but boy, it makes the whole socializing-into-a-decent-human-being thing really, really hard with my kids. *headdesk*
  10. After the closet goes in, it will end up being 11'x7', with an extra bump out for the W/D. HUGE!!!! Not like now, where the room is big but it's laid out so badly with well equipment everywhere that there is no functional space. I'm putting a china cab with a hutch top in front of the closet on sliders, so I can have real cabinet space, and on the opposite wall, in front of the W/D, there will be a sink--smaller than a typical laundry sink, but I don't really need one of those--and a secretary I've set up as a sewing center. So I can actually do those small jobs somewhere other than the kitchen table. I'm hanging the ironing board on the wall or the back of the door. I'm demoing all the drywall this weekend. (Did I mention that the walls are moldy and the electricity for the dryer runs in a conduit on the surface of the wall?)
  11. I'm not keeping track fo taxes, but last year, it was about $500, if I don't include gymnastics.
  12. I'd start out with DH driving until he couldn't, then me. I'd go straight through if DH could handle it.
  13. Celiac tests are sometimes inaccurate, I believe, depending on the lab that does them. If he is celiac, then the intestinal damage can make sensitivities occur with other things that wouldn't normally cause a problem. If the gut heals, often the other sensitivities disappear, as they may have really been triggered by the damage.
  14. I do have a washer and dryer. The washer just sort of, um, drains out the window. And you can't put anything on the floor or fold anything in there or iron or sort clothes.....
  15. They ARE processed. They are home-processed rather than pre-processed. Processing doesn't always make things bad for you! After all, every cooked meal you put on the table is processed. But a lot of times, the processing that they do before food hits shelves does make it worse for you because it's meant to improve the saleability/taste with no or little regard to the health, and given the way things have to be stored, freshness alone takes a big hit in the taste department, so it's usually made up for with lots of fats (and salt, but salt isn't bad for 95% of people).
  16. I am so absurdly excited by this. Right now, we have an 11x9.5' room that is supposed to be our laundry room. Except it's also the well room and the water heater room and, BTW, the original owners never made proper plumbing connections, so everything drains into the laundry room sink...except when it overflows onto the floor instead, which is awesome, made even more awesome by the fact that the drain in the center of the floor is actually the highest point in the floor, so water flows neatly around it and out into the hall. Oh, and did I mention that once the potassium permaganate spilled, and it can't be cleaned, so that means that any time it's really humid, anything you drop on the floor is stained forever? BUT NO MORE! Beginning next week, the water heater is moving next to the boiler in its closet (whoop!), and the pressure tank, water softener, and water purification system are going to get their own closet and be properly plumbed so that they backwash correctly. So the rest of the room will be a REAL LAUNDRY ROOM. I'm browsing Houzz and fantasizing over the luxury of being able to iron in the room that is meant for ironing.
  17. We used to sleep on a double. The kind of pain my back would be in now if we did that.... *shudders* When not pregnant or with a newborn, we MOSTLY sleep together, but if I'm not sleeping well or am in pain, I bail. So I picked "other."
  18. Benadryl only at night, or my kid will be comatose! Claritin for day, if needed. He needs Flonase every day, the others way less often.
  19. Drawer dividers put vertically organize my cookie sheets and cutting boards.
  20. Maybelline or Cover Girl. Honestly, I tried a sample of 8 super-expensive minis....and the drug store brands are just as good.
  21. My kids got the flu. They weren't vax'd. I was, and so was DH. We were fine.
  22. Social justice POV says that any adult consensual TeA is A-ok. So I don't see social workers as a group being ok with married TeA in front of kids and not ok with boyfriend TeA. And there is no hint that there is ANYTHING involving the children or that money was in any way involved. I won't have a TeA party with an INFANT in the room, not because a newborn know what's going on, but because it's the world's biggest moodkiller for me. But I'm just sayin'!
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