Learning about 5

February 21, 2009 · 6 comments

Matthew is 5 years old and by all accounts, a typical 5 year old.  He screams loud enough to break glass with excitement, he jumps, runs and races about 88% of the time that he is awake (and at home).  He is apparently an absolute angel at school (and yes, I have requested that his teacher send that boy home from time to time). He is smart (reading at well above a 1st grade level already) and inquisitive and pretty damn cute.

But lately, I don’t feel as connected to him as I used to. He’s my first born; my baby. But lately I seem to be yelling at him, insisting he move faster, get dressed, hurry up and eat, do this, do that, stop this, stop that. And I don’t like it.

He is very independent and grown up for his age, and I like that about him (I have always been very independent, since probably right around or right before his age and I think it’s a good thing). I probably see him as bigger than he is sometimes, and I’m certain that it’s easy to forget that he’s only FIVE.  The way he carries himself, some of the things he says or does have somewhere along the line made me feel like he’s big…and he’s really not.  I always lament the fact that kids grow up way too fast these days, but it seems that I am pushing my own boy to be big before his time. Why?

I think a lot of it is that he’s at school ALL day.  The mornings of craziness and evenings of madness are completely dissected by the fact that he is so busy being good for his teachers that he truly needs to comfort of home to release and be himself. Which I totally get.  But I’m not crazy about.

The mornings are crazy because he dawdles. He hims and haws and is as slow as molasses. He can’t make decisions without thinking them through for much longer than I want, and heaven forbid I try to simply make the choice for him – meltdown city!! I find myself yelling for about 20 minutes straight in the morning and I do. not. like. it. So I’ve tried getting him up earlier…he gets dressed and eats earlier, and therefore is ready to go, but then I still can’t get him out the door! I understand that he wants to play before school, but why can’t he understand that he needs to be ready earlier and get out the door on time to be able to do so?!

This last week he was home from school due to mid-winter break (totally not a vacation I had growing up!). I had forgotten what it was like to be home with both kids all day. Hello, chaos!  Mike was home sick Mon-Wed as well, so that made the week even stranger.  But they were good, just crazy together.  And the couple of trips we made to stores? Holy crap, it’s easier to shop with one kid!! Hard to believe how quickly I forgot that!

There were a few times when Matt had to be talked to about being mean to his brother, told to STOP doing whatever he was doing (to his brother), but for the most part, the three of us hung out and did well together.  Even bedtime wasn’t too bad. Of course, by Thursday night, Matt was on my last nerve with the bedtime ritual, but it worked out fine (because Mike was feeling better!).

You single moms out there? My utmost respect and admiration. Seriously.

And so I’ve determined, that in order to get him to be the best he can be, I need to be the best I can be. So starting Monday morning, I’m going to do my damndest to prod and push him out the door on time without yelling.  I’m going to sit him down and talk to him more and I’m going to spend more one on one time with him. And when it comes to reading books, I’ll take the time to chat with him instead of yelling at him to just be quiet and let me read. It’ll take longer, but it just might make it easier on both of us.

And maybe, just maybe, we can get through our days with less yelling and more laughing. With less reprimands and more praise.  Because really?  He’s awesome and I hate that in the midst of daily life I sometimes forget that.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather February 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm

I feel much the same way about my 6-year-old daughter.

Heathers last blog post..At Least I Knew How She Felt


Michelle February 22, 2009 at 9:13 am

I. FEEL. YOUR. PAIN! Seriously. My first born is much the same way. She’s not good transitioning to do anything. Getting dressed, struggle, getting out the door, struggle. Once we’re out, she’s so enthusiastic, and fun to be around, but time to go home? Look out. And girl, I know you’re right. Part of it is us slowing down and spending more time, starting the process earlier, giving them choices, even setting a timer to go from one small step (playing in a.m. to getting shoes on) then another timer for next small step. I’ve actually taken to putting the other kids in the car and feigned like I’m about to leave my first born home alone. She comes flying out the door, but then…you guessed it…another struggle waiting for her to get buckled up. sigh… for me, the only thing that helps even a little is being fully rested. If I don’t get enough sleep I’m a total bear and a mom that I can’t stand. Just know this: you are not alone.

Michelles last blog post..My Day at the DuDa Spa


Shine February 23, 2009 at 11:25 am

You just wrote my story about what my mornings are like as well!! Both boys can throw a wrench into our plans for getting out the door on time. I think part of it is dressing for the weather…boots and coats and all that add so much time!!

Anyhoo, I felt like I was screaming a lot too, too much and picked up “Scream Free parenting” and from what I remember had some decent, kind of common sense tips in it…can borrow if you’d like…even just to peruse.

Some weeks though, I think it’s just unavoidable and there will be screaming. Just get through it the best you can and know that no permanent damage is occurring!


Above Average Joe February 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm

With The Champ I have learned that they can do so much. Trouble is when they can’t do something without us I tend to forget that he’s only 7.

Patience, I tell myself to have patience.

Above Average Joes last blog post..Good Thing Beer Doesn’t Freeze


Auds at Barking Mad February 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I can remember days like this when the twins were that age. Having to get TWO ready to do things simultaneously, at the time, I thought would kill me. Mornings were always loud.

This time around though, I’m TRYING harder to be a bit quitter with the Little Imp. She’s my last and it’s already going too fast. Thanks for the reminder…I think this post was something I needed to read today, especially as today was one of “those” mornings around here.


Maureen Francis March 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

My nerves were pushed to their limits tonight by my 5 year old daughter. I find it comforting in an odd way to see you have the exact same struggles with your son. I don’t know how my daughter turns brushing her teeth into a 30 minute event, but some mornings she does. We are doing as much as we can to reduce the amount of things she has to do in the morning, and have it pretty much down to dressing, eating, brushing teeth and getting out the door. But it still seems that every morning is a battle starting from the moment her eyes pop open.

May tomorrow be a better morning!

Maureen Franciss last blog post..First Time Buyers’ Tax Credit: Details for the Southeast Michigan Buyer


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