One of the things we struggle with, a lot, is how the girls talk to us and how they ask for things. They are spoiled. I do realize that. Jason and I are leaving for Argentina tomorrow and I was making a list of odds and ends for my parents who are taking a week off of work to keep my energy suckers. Anytime people keep my kids for an extended period of time, I try to make a list... actually lots of lists. I make a list of our flights, our "normal" day and what the kids like to eat, how bedtime usually goes... etc. I never expect others to keep that schedule. But I like for them to know what usually happens. My mom says she likes it (I hope she does and she's not just shaking her head at my micromanaging tendencies). When I was making these food lists I realized just how demanding our kids are. I know some of it is just because they're kids. They do get what they want a lot, but some of that is what I've taught them. Not intentionally. They like frozen blueberry pancakes... but they like them plain. No syrup... no butter... nothing at all. And Adelaide likes her's stacked while Lucy likes her's cut up. Julianne goes back and forth between stacked and cut. It's weird. I know... but that is real. Julianne and Adelaide like oatmeal. With just a little bit of water... like a really gooey cookie. They don't like it runny. Adelaide doesn't like crusts on her sandwich... Lucy doesn't like cheese. Well, she likes cheese, just not on her sandwich. She likes it on the side. Adelaide can't have regular milk... only soy. She can, however, have dairy in small doses.... as long as she has a full stomach. No yogurt first thing in the morning. Julianne likes apple juice... but it makes her poop, so you have to mix it with half a cup of water . Lucy likes to pick out her own clothes, but sometimes you have to guide her to change her choices. "No, honey, you can't wear that to church..." or "it's warm outside, let's leave the jacket at home."
Julianne sleeps with a lovey and an old blanket she found at my in-laws' house that belonged to Jason's sister. It has the alphabet on it. She likes the letters to be right side up... and if you put it on her upside down, she will let you know. Have no fears. She likes certain songs at bedtime.... in a certain order.
These things don't seem like a big deal when I do them every day. I know what everyone likes and what they want. So, that's just what I do.... but it seems so ridiculous when I'm writing it for someone else.
As crazy as the above posts sound, I do fix one thing for dinner. If you don't like it, that's fine... but that's what's for dinner. This is a new concept for me. My mom always went around to everyone in our family (my dad, brother and me) and asked what we wanted for dinner every day. I didn't think anything about it before, but now it seems crazy! Sometimes we all picked something different, and she would fix 3 different dinners. How in the world did she manage that!? A lot of times, she would fix one main dish and all the sides we liked. At any rate, I don't have the sanity for that... nor the patience. So, it's one entree and a couple of sides for us at dinner. I try to make something everyone will like. If there's a veggie on the table that Lucy doesn't like (which is very likely), I try to have fruit or meat that she likes... she's the hardest one to please when it comes to food, so she's the example. Anyway, the motto at our dinner table (and I think I'm going to put this on a sign in my dining room) "You have two choices for dinner: 1. Take it 2. Leave it."
The phrase "you get what you get and you don't pitch a fit" is also said at our house numerous times a day. I am a firm believer in the children asking appropriately for what they want. There will be no "i want a drink!!" Actually, there will be a lot of that, but following every demand, we respond with, "How do you ask for it?"
We have entered a stage with Adelaide (6), where she will argue with anything and everything we say. Unfortunately, her sisters are very observant and they often follow her lead... so lately there's been a lot of talking back and such. It's not usually defiant or ugly... they just want to plead their case. So, I say a lot of "yes, ma'am is all I need to hear." I ask them to make their beds and pick up the barbies. "But, mommy, we want you to paint our nails." Me: "yes ma'am will be fine." I hope they learn... one day. Before they're 20.
They are really good kids. They are very respectful to other adults... at least that's the report we get. They always get lots of complements from their Bible class teachers, mother's day out teachers, babysitters etc. I guess they save their sassiness for their mama... and daddy. I'm sure that's for the best. I would hate for them to be angels at home and rude at school... or in Bible class. For now, we will do our best to teach and model good behavior. Perhaps one day there will be a reward/consequence system for good manners. We'll see... for now, that's just what is expected of them.