The day after Ari’s birthday was Father’s Day.
This is a screenshot from a video I took of Ari talking about the card he made for A. I love how he drew his curly hair, green eyes, and beard!
Later that day, we went to the Holgate Library, and look what we found there!
I’d forgotten that the kids’ school’s art show was at that library that month! (Sorry, that was a terrible sentence.)
I love that Sam’s canvas looks like it’s coffee stained from too many late nights.
That library also has a fun play area:
After that, we went shopping for lights for the ADU and picked out a couple of things:
Entertaining two little kids while choosing light fixtures is hard on everyone involved, so afterward we needed ice cream and a trip to the park:
Around that time, we were having some struggles with Ari, and I was reading this book:
Ari was really pushing limits and trying out some ways of handling anger and frustration that he must have been learning from kids at school. When I said no to his requests, he would say things like, “Bad, stupid Mommy! I’m going to use HARSH WORDS!” or “I WON’T let you love me ANY MORE!” I’d go to pick him up from school and another kid would tell me that Ari had “put sand in his butt” or a teacher would tell me he’d peed in the sandbox or somewhere else he wasn’t supposed to. And when I had to drag him away from his class to go home (he hates to leave), he’d hit me, pull my hair, and scream. I was getting angry and yelling at him a lot, too, and having trouble figuring out how to respond to the things he was doing. I knew he needed structure and limits, and the books I read would tell me that he needed limits, but they discouraged using punishment or bribes, so I wasn’t sure how to enforce the limits. He behaved better when I was calm, but it felt like he also liked to test the limits of what he could do before I would explode. This book was really helpful to me, and now, six months later, I, um…still have it out from the library…and I’m still reading and rereading it!
I really liked these pages from the book’s chapter on “Intensity”.
I was also impressed with Ari’s strategies for resolving conflicts, though (and I gave the credit for those skills to his wonderful teachers!). And I could tell that sometimes he was just overwhelmed and not sure what to do. At a library story time one day, he took all of the books in the basket that was set out before the official story time started, and a younger girl who wanted a book started crying, so I told him to put them back. He did, but then he stood there leaning over them with his hand out to her in a “stop” gesture, shrieking, “Wait! We have to make a PLAN! Let’s make a PLAN!” I appreciated what he was trying to do, but she wasn’t old enough for that, so I went and held him to calm him down and, while she picked her book, I asked him to choose one. He was panting and so distressed by having to make a choice, that by the time he chose one, it was time to put them all back!
He was also developing some reasoning skills and showing us how incredibly social he is. When he skinned his knee badly, we convinced him to let us clean it by telling him about his grandma having to see a doctor when she fell and skinned her knee and it got infected. So he went into the bathtub, but just before we turned on the water, he said, “Wait – she DID wash her knee, or she didn’t?” We had to admit that she had cleaned her knee, but not well enough, apparently. After we put betadine on it, he stood there with his knees quivering and said, “This stings so bad, I’m going to have to tell all my friends at school about it!”
Okay, more photos!
I tried to make tuna sandwiches healthier one day and both of the kids ate them! A real victory! Ari never eats chickpeas or anything green besides broccoli, but I mashed up chickpeas, spinach, celery, and tuna with mayonnaise, made sandwiches (I think I added slices of cheddar cheese), and grilled them. Success!
I took the kids to Sellwood Park for a playdate with a friend of Ari’s and they were cute:
The ADU was progressing with electrical, plumbing, and a delivery of windows:
I was also reading this book, which was pretty light but had some good concepts presented very simply:
For example, I appreciated this section about praise:
Speaking of praise and accomplishments (and effort!), Ari surprised me by drawing these letters and numbers:
And these drawings that he made using a program on A.’s phone:
He also drew these (with the exception of the hearts that I drew so he could copy them):
I discovered that Sam likes to climb on this stool:
And he took his first selfie (that’s a milestone now, right?):
And he ATE:
Whew! Now I can finally move on to July. 🙂
One thought on “June 2017, After the Birthdays”
Such a good thing you’re doing here. I sure hope this will be available to those boys when they’re older. They will be so appreciative.