October 6th, 2005



Jet had a much better time, last night, getting to bed than he's had for nearly a week. He seems to really be feeling his four-year-old oats, and is not just pushing boundaries but attacking them with feet and teeth and as much screaming as he can bring in.

The two nights before last night both John and I got treated to crying, screaming, and all kinds of things when it was bed time. The pediatrics book sez it's all normal for a four-year-old and we just have to respond firmly but patiently and not get emotional about any of it. It's not about us, it's about him, really. He really is intentionally disobeying and intensionally stomping over long-set rules and intentionally trying to get us to crack, and, yes, indeed, he's doing his best to make us as mad as possible and, indeed, he's calling me names and swearing at me to get responses. And, no, he doesn't have a clue why he's doing it.

But we'll all feel better if we set down the law and abide by it and, by all means, make those judgment calls on his actions. But, please, don't judge HIM, that leads to therapy later on (as some of us well know).

His worth is not at question. It's just the worth of his actions.

And, man, it's hard to remember that when I have a squealing, crying, screaming, swearing little toddler kicking me in the shins and telling me I'm NOT special and NOT nice!! Uhm. Hm. I guess I have been pretty good about stopping my habitual swearing when around my child when the worst he can say when he's really upset with me is that I'm not special and he is. Hm. I guess it also tells me something that he's couching all his name calling in NOT [some positive thing], too, as if he can't think of a negative word to use in a pinch. Hm. Hadn't thought of it that way until I wrote this down. Interesting.

Anyway... time outs were called. The timer was reset numerous times until he just collapsed, sobbing, into a little heap in the timeout corner, and finally stayed there for the requisite time. And since then life has been much quieter, calmer, and happier. He figured out that, yes, indeed, both Mom and Dad are going to call timeout on such behavior and he may as well not do that. It's no fun.

I'm still amazed at what a simple requirement that one be still in a spot, any spot, can accomplish, and just how MUCH Jet hates something that is the exact opposite of corporeal punishment. Though the whole, sit there and we'll ignore you for a bit might be the trigger. Who knows?

Last night was good, though, and he didn't fight going to bed or any of the usual routine with John. We'll get to see, tonight, if that'll stick with me.

Anyway... I expect more of this in the future. But so it is. I'm just glad that it's taken him most of his fourth year to finally figure out how to act like a typical four-year-old. They say five will be better if we get through this with boundaries intact and keep encouraging his abilities.

Hard Freeze

For the last couple of evenings, the weather man has been predicting that this morning would bring a hard freeze. 29° F. So it would be good and hard and all the succulent leaves might get damaged. Good for fall colors, really bad for herbs.

So, last night, I scrambled to get everything settled. And when I say "everything" I mean everything.

I pulled all the green onions. I cut all my parsley, mint, garlic chives, and basil. I cut some of the thyme oregano and rosemary as the mother bushes are so huge even if I lost all the leaves that are out, what I cut would suffice for a good long time. All the cut herbs went into the garage fridge. The green onions and parsley went into the regular fridge as we'd use 'em faster. I'll likely do pesto with the basil.

I dug out the sage and put it into its own pot. I dug out a quarter of my garlic chives and put them into a pot, as that was all that would fit. They'd originally all fit into the same pot, but with a summer's growth they've gotten HUGE root systems and are big and fat and happy. John covered the rest of them with six inches of pine mulch, so they should be fine for the winter, even. I threw out the lettuce pot and put the potting soil into my compost.

I took all the herb pots I'd started over the course of the late summer, and put them on trays in the south-facing bedroom. There was rain yesterday, so they were all good and wet, and they've been in their pots long enough a little change of location shouldn't hurt them. The two potted tomatoes came inside. One of them should probably go into the compost, the other, smaller one, is still producing nice, big, red fruit.

John picked all the ripe cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes. The zucchini plants were mostly dead, already, so they ended up in the compost. The carrots, which are now HUGE we thought would tide over okay, as we didn't care about their greens.

The evening got colder and darker and windier, but we persisted. Jet came out to help us for a little bit and then he danced around, "I'm COOooooooold." he said and we urged him back in, but he did a great job opening and closing the door for us as we went in and out with things.

After school Jet and I had gone to the grocery store to get food and then to his train store and then to Target and gotten him a Hot Wheels station. I had started Jet's rice soaking before I did the spate of gardening stuff. So when it was good and dark and we'd put blankets over the healthy tomato plants, I started the rice cooker and John helped Jet put his station together while I cooked Coho salmon. John helped grill asparagus and made a salad. We had dinner around 8. Jet ended up wanting a pancake instead of rice, which is fine by me. So he got whole wheat pancakes with apple slices and half a bottle of Odwalla strawberry banana smoothie before he ate his "treat" of a single box of Halloween Dots.

Jet played with his Hot Wheels while we cleaned up, and I knit for a bit and watched Good Eats, which was running a spate of cheese shows, the macaroni and cheese one and the fondue and "grilled" cheese sandwich episode. I liked 'em enough to see them all. Jet likes the shows a lot, too. I'm not sure why, as he normally asks for cartoons whenever we put on a Big People show, but there's enough funkiness to AB that Jet seems to like him a lot.

Of course, it only got down to 37°. Feh. Well, they're calling for 32° tonight, so we'll probably throw the blankets back on for this night, too. It was that time of the year, anyway, and I don't resent the early call to get this all taken care of. Next thing will be clearing out all the watering lines.
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D is for Dinosaur

When I dropped Jet off for Pre-K he wore his Dinosaur hat in. He got it in Vermont. We were nearly thirty minutes late so I didn't know if they would still be in Circle and doing Show and Tell. But we tried, anyway, and Jet went into his classroom while I put away his lunch. He came running back to me, "They're STILL doing Show and Tell!!" And then he tried to stuff his hat into his cubby.

"But, Jet, you need to have it to show it to people!"

"I have to put it in my cubby!!"

"Jet. To do show and tell you have to SHOW this to them."


He ran back. The teachers and I were giggling. When I left he was bouncing happily along the edges of Circle with his hat in his hands.

The Show and Tells at Jet's school have to relate to the "subject of the week", and they're going through the alphabet, a letter a week. This week's letter is D. :-) Reminds me, intensely, of Sesame Street.
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Setting the Table

Just so *I* remember this happened:

Last night, when we scrambled to get dinner together I asked Jet, "Could you please set the table?"

Jet got up, went to the silverware drawer, and carefully bundled together one knife, one fork, and one spoon, and placed the bundle, horizontally, in the midst of John's place, then my place, and finally one for his place.

Wow. A whole set and he understood the concept of having a whole one for each person. I was pretty impressed.