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Your attention please-

April 8, 2010

While watching me cut hard-boiled eggs in half, D said, “Wow! You’re really good at that!”

What I haven’t been really good at lately is making time for D.  Everyone asks me if he’s been jealous at all of the new baby and he really hasn’t been.  He adores E and gives that child more hugs and kisses in a day than I can count.  But I’ve been noticing that he’s acting out in other ways.  He argues with his brothers.  He fights over toys and I mean fights–he can take C down to the ground.  He doesn’t want to help out around the house.  He’s been whiny and irritable.  I’ve been feeling like all of our interactions are negative lately. 

Even negative attention is attention, right?

I’ve been feeling prompted to work on not only his behavior, but also our relationship lately and I finally realized that D just needs more Mom time in the morning.  In an effort to make school a little easier this winter, I’ve tried to pare it down to essentials.  Which essentially meant that A and C have been getting most of my attention as theirs is the schoolwork that really “counts.”  D’s just a preschooler so I haven’t been concerned that he hasn’t done much academically the past few months.  But every day he watches me go from helping A with writing to helping C with his math to a nursing baby, and back to A again for something else, and he has really been feeling neglected and I’ve missed it!  Apparently I haven’t done as good a job juggling four children as I thought.

We had a talk over the weekend and I mentioned that we were going to take it easy this week and only do history, science, and grammar.  “But what about me?” he asked.  He doesn’t do grammar and doesn’t consider the other two subjects his, even though he’s always welcome to listen in.  I asked him if he’d like to do some Five in a Row book units again.  His face lit up and he got so excited.  So we went to the library together on Monday and checked out books for the next three weeks. 

I’ve made it a priority to work with him one on one first thing after scriptures and we’ve had a delightful time with The Story about Ping this week and I’ve gotten my happy boy back.  He’s been cheerful and willing to do his jobs and fold his laundry and most everything we’ve asked of him.   He still hates washing his dishes, so he tells me.  I told him that I do too. (Washing his dishes, that is.  I don’t mind doing my own.)

I’ve also heard, “I love you” quite a lot more this week.

Not to say that life is now perfect, but this was such a simple thing, why didn’t I clue in sooner?

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