Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mad Mari Minds Her Manners...

Friday my friends' came over and I watched their daughter for a few hours.  As they dropped her off the kids went nuts from the attention and excitement of having people over.  We have people over all the time, so you would think they would be used to guests?  The ten minute drop off then  became one of those moments that felt like hours and where I honestly felt  I had  no control of my kids.  Mari was jumping on the couch, Hank was starting to throw a huge bouncy ball at my friend, and they just wouldn't stop.   Hank  then starts crying because he, "wants to go to their house", and not have them over ours.  I was so embarrassed and pretty much felt like they were wondering if it was even safe for them to leave their child with me. As soon as they left, the kids go back into "functioning mode" and all of them play great for the next couple of hours. 

 So as pick up time arrives, I am thinking that by time they get back, the kids would be tired out and the earlier excitement has faded?  Sadly, I was wrong.   By this time, Dylan was down stairs playing and when our friends walked into the house and asked Dylan how she was, Dylan starts  to get "shy".  You know where your kid starts to cling to your leg and then they  get all whiny and won't even look at the other person, and you the parent are internally pleading for them to snap out of it and start talking?  Mari  at the same time is smothering my friends baby, and Hank is crying about something, again.   I am now for the second time with them, embarrassed and frustrated about feeling so out of control and trying to reassure them that they all played great and none of this chaos happened the entire time. 

So the moment they leave I gather the kids, give a "lecture" ( and yes, by lecture I mean  FULL blown yell, to my friends who think I don't yell, I yelled!)  about how they need to treat people better and have some "manners."  I come up with this brilliant idea of "acting out" how we need to use our manners.  

We start role playing and the kids love it.  I pretend to be my friend and  repeatedly for the next hour, knock on the door over and over  and then come into the house and ask them the same questions that they had been asked  during our friends visit, and the kids respond very politely, correctly and so adorable...for a moment I can't believe they are the same kids....They even take turns and we even do "stranger danger" of what to do if someone comes to the door and you don't know who they are.  For a day I am a hero, we have fun and the kids learned a "lesson." And I continue to hope that they are really "taking in" this long exhausting game of playing "knock knock". 

 Sunday, we got to practice our "game" of  role playing with our friends again and the kids did awesome. ....So for the rest of the summer we will continue to "role play" with some of our MANNERS and continue to hope and pray that my kids grow up as "polite individuals".  Every parents hope and dream to have your kid  be used by some other family as an "example" of how you should act in public right?

As I am trying to edit this,  I have to add that Tuesday I learned that this is going to be a LONG process after  I  took Mari by herself to a funeral with me ( I dropped off  the other two kids and my 4 year old niece with my sister  and her two kids, ages 3 and 2. She  is  also 7 months pregnant with her third. So leaving Mari with her was like entering dangerous waters, and out of fear, I took her with me).

 Mari sat awesome during the service and for the most part did really well except for right after we ate. I was sitting with my friend who's mother had passed away and her friend, and  Mari just comes running  up, and out of now where, burps in their faces..Sigh....that may need a whole other book title and new "creative game" to come up with...As usual, I am just exhausted typing this as living it out!  

Mari Minds Her Manners...
(a rough draft)

Hi my name is Marilyn Jane but you can call me Mari (Ma R ee)....

Today my mom said I need to mind my manners.

"What's manners?" I asked her.

She told me it is using  words like,  "Please and Thank you", "Talking quietly", "Being Nice and not Mean",  "Chewing with my mouth closed", "Saying May I ", "Being patient and not interrupting and if interrupting saying 'Excuse me'", "Sharing toys (even with babies she tells me!!)" ....things like that....

"Hmmm" I said.  "You mean using my manners at the library and how we need to talk in our  small voices?"

"Yes, just like that," She said....

"And like  when the lady at the bank gives me a sucker and I have to say,  'Thank You?'''

"Yes, just like that," She said

"Oh, Oh! Like when you are talking to someone and I need to interrupt and have to say, "Excuse me?"

"Yes,  Mari, just like that!" My mom smiles.

I can be good at this I  start to think.

"Mom? What do I do when I forget to use my manners?"  I ask with my mouth all smushed.

'''Good question Mari!" she tells me.

( I smile, I like asking good questions.)

Mom then tells me  what I have to do.

 "You stop  what you are doing and  use your  manners  by saying , 'Oh, excuse me! I forgot my manners!' and start using them ALL over again!''  she says as she winks at me...

I wink back and using my MANNERS, I say, "Why thank you mom for teaching me how to use my manners!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mari survives DAY 1 of Summer Vacation...

So Friday  we went to Dylan's last day of school and they finished the day off with a parade.  Mari got swept into the parade with the students and in a second I lost her.  Thanks to 3 of my friends we found her.  I am going to end up with an ulcer because of her.  We then finished the day at the pool with my friend and her 4 kids.

Mari needs a NO FEAR t-shirt.  Maybe we will bring that part of the 80s/90s back and with her face on the back of it.  At the pool, she swam into the deep 5 ft part of the pool, following her sister.  I chased her down and brought her back.  I also had her 3 year old brother in my arms.  The moment we got back to the shallow part, she climb out of the pool and immediately jumped back into the deep end.  Just like that, JUMPED, like it was nothing.  My friend (emphasis...who also has 4 kids of her own) then chases after her and jumps in to grab her.  Ironically, Mari can actually swim on her own my friend found out, but at 4, I  am not going to let her swim in the deep end alone ( I am a responsible parent...or try to play the part).

My friend and I decided that day that Mari has the ability to move at the speed of light. She can teleport herself  like she is a  super hero or a Xman!

So, DAY ONE of summer, Mari was saved from an Amber Alert and from many more to go?

"Oh Mar"  is just a phrase we sigh....and she then looks at us and says, "What?" with her hands out and shoulders shrugged....I am smiling just typing this...that kid....

"Day 1 at the pool, resting after her JUMP"

Video of some Mad Mari  Faces....

Some different faces of Mari...

"I am determined"

Offical Face of Mad Mari