Storytime: I learned something about myself today

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been up since 4 am so I’m exhausted (it’s half past noon) and bored (I was supposed to have breakfast with my family but it didn’t work out so I’m waiting for lunchtime). At the moment, my 6-year-old is pouting in another room and it’s killing me, even though I did nothing wrong!

Here is what happened:

I woke him up at 9 am and made him chocolate spread sandwich after he went to the bathroom. Then as soon as he finished his sandwich, he asked for screentime. I told him not now, even though he has become accustomed to get his screentime right after his meal (that’s usually when he has to eat something other than chocolate) unless he has homework. He doesn’t fuss when it’s chocolate and honestly I offer chocolate more times than I care to admit, just because I don’t feel like going into war because he refuses to eat.

I reasoned that he just woke up and didn’t play with his toys yet or do anything creative, and me having been up for hours, didn’t feel like doing anything but go on my phone.

I was coloring on HappyColor.

Anyway, he left me alone to eat my oatmeal while I colored but called me soon after but I couldn’t hear him because the washing machine was too loud. I heard one of his calls and rushed over, to find he was in the bathroom waiting for me to rinse him (he knows how to but is disgusted of his own filth and, choosing my battles, I decided to let this play on but focus more on making him brush his teeth on his own).

The moment he saw me, he started yelling at me and speaking to me disrespectfully. One thing you may not know is that my 6 years old can be an angel, but he has a problem with authority. He treats me as if I’m his little sister, not his mom, and sometimes I let it slide even when I shouldn’t because I’m either tired or in a bad mood and don’t want to snap.

Today, though, I was assertive. I told him that if he wants me to rinse him, he must ask nicely. Otherwise, he will have to rinse himself. He started screaming and trying to hit me. I kept leaving the bathroom, giving him a minute to calm down, then come back and try again. My efforts only seemed to infuriate him further and after what seemed like 20 minutes, I told him that either he asks nicely or I’m going to have to rinse him but he doesn’t get screentime all day today. That didn’t work, so I picked him up and rinsed him and now I’m trying to follow through.

This happened 3 hours ago and he is still sulking and I kept coming to him and trying to calm him down and coax him into apologizing but he refused. At the end, I said let’s make up and he said fiiiine as if he was doing me a favor. Afterward, he said, “don’t I get screentime because we made up?”. I said no. You shouldn’t be rewarded for making up with your mom, and you didn’t even apologize. I noticed that I kept getting the urge to go hug him and give him whatever he wants, just to see him smile, but I resisted that urge.

I realized I was people-pleasing my son, which is why he doesn’t respect me. He expects me to come to him and give him what he wants because I always do. Even when I don’t at 1st, I eventually crack.

Right now he is sulking. He isn’t crying or screaming or throwing a tantrum or breaking things or hurting himself and when I keep trying to make his mood better, I’m sending the message that he’s not allowed to be anything but happy, and I don’t want to do that.

I did nothing wrong. He needs to learn respect. I’m not ignoring him. I just won’t give him screentime today.

I just hope that he learns his lesson.

Throwback Thursday: 5 free games to play with your kids from the couch

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I bring back a blog post I wrote exactly a year ago and reflect on it. I’m half-asleep in bed. Thursday is almost over, but I couldn’t sleep before bringing back this gem. I wish I read this in the morning. It would have come in handy while I was passed out on the couch and my son kept waking me up because he was bored.

5 free games to play with your kids from the couch:

I don’t know how everyone else is spending their summer. Some people may be spending it outdoors. Some may have enormous backyards or a house next to the beach or next to the woods.
For me though, I don’t drive, and the nearest park is 20 minutes away on foot. The weather is also really hot. So I can’t take my only child to the park every day, and the beach is too far and not free anyway (the swimmable one, not the corniche which is crowded so I’m avoiding it anyway).

I went to the beach yesterday for the 1st time in 3 years, and I wasn’t able to swim because I was looking after my son the whole time, but it was fun, albeit exhausting. Also, I took some great pictures and videos.

So when I’m trying to read and my son is nagging out of boredom, I whip up something from Pinterest and play an easy game. So here are 5 free games you can play with your kids when they’re bored while you’re on your couch, so they require zero movements (on your part).

1. I spy

You can play according to colors or shapes. It’s entertaining and educational. And you can take turns. Like right now, he is nagging because I’m on my phone, so as I lie in bed with a migraine, we are playing this game.

2. Simon says

This can be a great funny game and bonus points, exercise for your kid/s.

3. Scavenger hunt

You can write a list of items or just take a page out of Pinterest as I did. Have your child/ren find the items and tick when they find them.

4. Guess the sound

Have your child/ren gather items that make noise and then close their eyes while you shake it or move it near them and they must guess the sound.

5. Play sick

If all fails, pretend you’re sick and have your child be the doctor. You will be able to close your eyes for 5 minutes, or 1 minute, but it’s worth it.

Good luck.

Good night.

Parenting hacks: How to spend one on one time with your child at home

I downloaded an app called spin the wheel, and I use it every once in a while when my son and I get bored. You can put anything on it. We made different wheels. One for drawing (when he wants to draw but doesn’t know what), and for many other things, like funny truth or dare, which color are you, which job or which superpower do you have, what should you eat, and afternoon activities. We used it today to pick an activity.

1st spin we got arts and crafts, which is something my son does every day. 2nd spin we got a matching game, which is a game his friend’s mom gave us, so we played it, and I let him win. The point is, there are many activities you can do with your kids, and the spin the wheel is an activity in itself.

Another activity is taking selfies with fun filters. You can also dance together, sing, or just act silly together.

Something else I do with my son is reading him stories. There are even apps where you can create personalized stories with your kid together, using pictures of them.

You can also play this or that, Simon says, or I spy. There are also numerous board games you can play with your kids, one on one or together if you have multiple kids, but my favorite board games are ludo, uno, snakes and ladders, and monopoly. I have even found board games on Pinterest similar to snakes and ladders with a different spin on it and we printed them out and play them from time to time.

Sometimes my son wants to play something active, so I play basketball or soccer with him. It helps that he has a playroom with a trampoline, a slide, and a basketball hoop. We need something to make up for not being able to go outside much. Recently, we have started going out on the balcony a few times a week so he can play in the sunlight and I get to sit and soak in some vitamin D. I also play ball with him occasionally but I don’t last more than 10 minutes. Marriage life has made me sedentary.

I rarely play pretend with him, even though it’s his favorite type of play, but the child inside me is an old lady that likes to read and watch tv shows.

When I bake something, I rarely ask if he wants to help because I’m very neurotic and don’t have much patience. I may once in a big while let him help me a bit with baking cookies but I don’t enjoy it at all. However, I’m mentioning it in case that is something you’d like to do with your child.

The whole idea of spending one on one time with your child is to bond with them. We spend so much time disciplining our children and getting them to eat, brush their teeth, and go to bed, we forget to bond with them, as least I do. So the idea is to spend at least 10 to 30 minutes a day with them, without telling them what to do or judging them or shaming them or yelling at them (you shouldn’t judge, shame or yell at all anyway but I know I’m guilty of all these).

To raise children properly, you need to bond with them and discipline them. Bonding alone without discipline creates spoiled children. Disciplining alone without bonding creates a very bad relationship, especially when they become adults, so there must be some sort of balance.

I’m working on this balance. I hug and kiss my son a lot. I try to answer all his questions and listen to him when he talks, but I noticed that it’s really difficult for me to stop disciplining him during bonding time and to just have fun. I do compliment him whenever he does anything good, like display good behavior or do anything kind or helpful, or even if he draws something well.

A superhero with a lightning bolt that my son drew on his own. I was impressed.

Throwback Thursday: How to minimize screen time for kids this summer

Hello, and welcome to my blog! Today is the 1st day of summer here because my son just finished school (today was supposed to be his last day but because there are protests due to the bad living conditions in Lebanon, school is out). I have been giving my son up to 1 hour of screen time a day, in total, but now that school is out, I’m worried his boredom will have him asking for more.

I plan on teaching him the rest of the curriculum so he can go to 1st grade more prepared (they gave him half the curriculum due to covid this year) and I also plan on enrolling him in karate classes, and then there are family visits in the weekend, but I’m a bit worried about how I’m going to fill his time otherwise. I have a lot of reading and writing to do, and I don’t know how I’m going to get my work done with him around. The whole time I’m blogging, he has been nagging for the phone (he sees me on the phone or laptop and suddenly he needs screen time).

Here is what I wrote about screen time for kids a year ago:

My son doesn’t have chores but we do play board games occasionally and he likes to draw, color, paint, and do arts and crafts. Legos, not so much.

Well, I’m not an expert, and I don’t give my son the same amount of screentime every day. There are days when he gets a few minutes of screentime and days when he gets a few hours. It all depends on my mood, my energy levels, his mood, his energy levels, and whether we leave the house that day or not. However, I have picked up a few observations and a few tips and tricks to help not let my son get addicted to screen time, and I thought I’d share them with you.

I don’t give my son screen time until he cleans up his messes.

5 don’ts and dos of screentime

1. Don’t give them screentime when they 1st wake up. I do it sometimes, I admit, when I’m too tired and need a few extra minutes of sleep, or when I’ve been up since dawn and need a nap and he just woke up at 10 am (sometimes I even have to wake him up because of lazy summer mode). However, I realized when I do that, he tends to throw a tantrum when I turn it off an hour later and is usually lethargic all day when he gets screentime 1st thing in the morning. The morning is the time when creativity is at its peak. It should be used for creative work. Writing, drawing, arts and crafts. It’s hard to implement daily, but do give them screentime only after they have done something creative.

2. Don’t let them watch videos on the phone. The phone is smaller and closer to their face. If they must have screentime, do give it to them from a distance, like on tv or a laptop.

3. This advice is something I don’t implement often because my son is a picky eater and he eats more while watching a screen, but I am a strong advocate of mindful eating, and although I don’t do it myself when I eat by myself but don’t feed your child while they watch on a screen. I was successful at this while he was going to school, but half the time I give him a game to play on the phone or YouTube on the tv because I desperately need my time and I gather it every chance I get. Do try to eat together as a family and open up a conversation with your child while you eat.

4. Don’t give them unlimited time. Do let them know beforehand how much screen time they’re getting and remind them every once in a while how much is left. If you’re going to give them an hour, remind them every 15 minutes. I sometimes get busy and tell my son he gets 30 minutes and end up giving him an hour. However, after his screentime session is up, I let him know how long he had been watching. This teaches your child to have a sense of time. You’ve watched movies before. You know how time is irrelevant when you’re absorbed in a movie or binge-watching a tv show.

5. Don’t leave your child to do free pay all day. While it’s important for a child to get bored, play independently, play imaginative play, it’s also important to have structured activities as well. Do balance between free play and adult structured activities where you do the activities with them (I’m guilty of not following this advice lately as I’m binge-watching The Vampire Diaries) and keep in mind to include at least 10 minutes of 1 on 1 time with your child where you simply bond with them and express your love for them.

That’s all I have for now, as my son is getting frustrated from me being on my phone for the past 30 minutes writing this. Remember, limiting screentime is not a punishment for you or your child. I’m not saying any screentime at all, but having healthy regulations around screentime is good for your child’s mental health and physical health in the long run.

Too much screen time can impair brain structure and function; it can cause obesity, insomnia, mood swings, and even problems at school. Because children’s brains undergo so much change during their formative years, this excess screen time can be even more damaging.

I’m proud to say I don’t give him screentime until after he eats breakfast and goes to the bathroom, not during meals and not for more than 30 minutes at a time. I also no longer binge-watch tv shows (not more than 2 episodes a day) and I also spend more one-on-one time with him than I used to. I also never finished past season 4 of vampire diaries and I’ve watched so many shows since, but currently, I’m watching “Superman and Lois”.

What are your rules for screen time?

Parenting hacks: When out in public

Hello and welcome to my blog! So yesterday I went to that picnic I was freaking out about, and it went fine. There were positive and negative aspects to the outing. I will list them below.

On the plus side,

The weather was awesome. It was warm with a cool breeze.

The food was great. Everyone brought something with them and there was cake and so many sweets!

I got to watch the sun set and it was so zen

I got to socialize a lot and the people I socialized with we’re so sweet.

I was able to keep my cool for 9 hours, which is a record for me, especially since by 4 pm my son was driving me crazy. I did quietly threaten him several times and I ended up deleting 4 of his games on my phone, but on the outside, I didn’t yell and scream, to the extent that they started telling me “wow you’re so calm and peaceful”.

I walked 12,311 steps! This was just me chasing after my son, but I clocked it in as a workout.

My son met another kid there (one of the teachers kids) and they synced within 5 minutes. They were playing like best friends the whole time. It was adorable. I was worried he would stay glued to me the whole time. I’m glad he found someone his age to play with.

On the down side,

As I already mentioned, my son drove me crazy and I had to chase after him the whole time. I tried not to be a helicopter parent but I needed him at least within eye range and he kept disappearing around the corners. I was afraid he would get kidnapped. He also kept climbing rocks and I was afraid he would fall and hurt himself. He actually fell and skinned his knee and also slipped and bruised his back between the shoulder blades and also something stung him right under his eye.

The socializing was a bit overwhelming, not in the sense that the people were overwhelming, but because it was hard for me to keep a cheery appearance when my son was making me want to scream.

I was so physically exhausted by the end of the day, I couldn’t deal with my son’s tantrums when we got home, and I also woke up today with a migraine.

Having as much fun as I did yesterday, it was a bummer to have my level of dopamine drop today. I had fun at my mom’s but it’s no picnic in nature. It’s a different kind of fun. I played scrabble with mom and we had ice cream and one of my favorite meals (lubya) for lunch.

In conclusion,

The parenting hack I used is I agreed upon the punishment of him giving me a hard time (deleting games) and the reward for good behavior (gummy candies) before we left and I kept reminding him of it while we were there.

The key is to deliver. I ended up deleting 4 games. I re-downloaded them today and I also gave him gummy candies last night right after we got home. However, the moment his dad came home, he started acting out because he didn’t want to go to bed.

I’m trying to get over this punishment vs reward method but it’s not working. I’m going to be real with you. Parenting is hard and practice is harder than theory. I’m trying my best and it’s exhausting. I don’t yet have the patience to wait for him to brush his teeth for more than an hour (I usually ask nicely for an hour before I start yelling or threatening). Maybe I should read about techniques to deal with teeth brushing and going to bed issues.

Parenting hacks: Punishment vs. Consequences

Hello and welcome to my blog! I have been writing about parenting less and less lately because I haven’t been very happy with my parenting, and when I was, when I had those wins, I was too afraid to jinx them. Basically, within the same day, I experience wins and fails as a parent. I handle one situation with grace while falling short in another.

However, since my blog is about parenting with anxiety, it’s only fair to include parenting posts in my schedule. I know I don’t have a catchy name for it like Motivational Monday or Transformation Tuesday or Wednesday Wisdom (which I discontinued until further notice) or Throwback Thursday or Poetry Friday or Self-reflection Sunday, but Parenting Hacks will be a Saturday post and hopefully I’ll be able to post regularly there. The thing is, I’m unable to post on Saturday because that’s the day I spend with my family so I’m least on my phone that day, but I’ll schedule any parenting stories and hacks for Saturday, no matter which day I write them. I’m writing this on Friday but will schedule for tomorrow.

I know all the parenting tips and tricks, more or less. It’s not that hard in theory. Unconditional love, discipline without shame, healthy boundaries, quality time, etc. So why am I still flopping around like a fish out of water, after being a mom for 6 years?

1st of all, each phase of parenting is different, and the hardest phase of parenting is the one you’re going through right now, whether you have an infant, toddler, kindergartener, young child, tween, or teenager, it’s hard.

Being responsible for another human beings physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing is really overwhelming. But I have a suggestion. Put the parenting books aside for a minute (I have so many parenting books on my reading list, along with other books) and let me sum this into one point:

Punishment vs. Consequences

I already knew that bribing and punishing would lead to a dead end, but I needed to hear it. Today I listened to a podcast episode by Janet Lansbury and she was explaining why bribing and punishments don’t work, and I was wondering why my son had little intrinsic motivation to do anything. Due to my low patience, the moment he says no, or maybe half an hour later, to anything, whether it’s brushing his teeth or eating a meal or going to bed or going to the bathroom, I begin to offer rewards. He waits to see how many rewards I’m willing to throw in there. Maybe he can land a good bargain. If he doesn’t seem interested in any of my offers, I proceed to threaten. He has come to expect that, so he waits. Am I bluffing? I usually am at 1st, then suddenly I delete one of his games, and he starts crying. I wonder why he doesn’t listen when I ask nicely. Why does he only listen after we have had a fight and I’m yelling and threatening?

So naturally, after listening to this podcast episode, I decided I will go through today without threats or bribes. The problem is screentime is tied to eating and my husband and I disagree on how much screentime he gets. I want to give him 90 minutes a day. My husband wants to give him 20 minutes a day. We finally agreed upon 45 minutes but I end up giving him 30 minutes, which is even less. It’s unfair but it is what it is. Also, I’m pressured by my husband to feed my son his entire meal. Forget my husband for a second. He isn’t helping. This is between me and my son. So I wait until my son wakes up.

Then I tell him my idea, and all he cares about is when he will get screentime. I tell him I will randomly give it to him but not for more than 45 minutes a day, because dad’s rules. He ate his breakfast just fine, but then again it was crêpes, which he loves, and he even asked me to make it into shapes, which I did (I rarely do).

Ever since, he kept nagging for screentime because his mind links screentime as a reward for eating. My goal is to get him to eat on his own. There are many things he does on his own, like getting dressed and putting his plate in the sink. Other things, not so much.

So I hope the day goes well with my whole new policy of no bribes or punishments. I explained to my son about consequences and I gave the example of me doing the dishes. I don’t get rewarded if I do them or punished if I don’t. My reward is a clean sink and the feeling of accomplishment.

Update: My son refuses to wear his slippers. We are playing snakes and ladders and I usually have to threaten him to wear his slippers but since I’m trying not to threaten today, he won’t listen. I tried explaining the consequences of not wearing his slippers, like his feet will get cold and dirty and he will get sick but he still refused to wear them. Then I told him I’ll wait for him to wear his slippers so I can finish playing with him. When that didn’t work, I told him I won’t play with him unless he wore his slippers. End result, I left the room and he still didn’t wear his slippers. It’s been an hour and I’m already failing. I know I should just let him deal with the consequences of walking barefoot but I can’t. In my shoes, would you have continued playing with him despite him being barefoot, or would you have insisted on him wearing slippers like I did? I feel like I’m punishing him by not playing with him, but if I continue playing with him, doesn’t that send a message that I don’t care whether or not he wears his slippers? On the flip side, isn’t this counterintuitive to my goal of getting him to wear his slippers because he wants to wear his slippers? That’s it. I’m going back in. I’m going to play with him and ignore that he isn’t wearing slippers.

Final update (I promise): I came back in to finish the snakes and ladders game, only to find that he was wearing his slippers. I told him that I didn’t know he was wearing his slippers when I decided to finish the game with him. He didn’t say anything but I feel better since when he wore the slippers, he didn’t call me to let me know that he wore them, meaning he didn’t wear them so that I would play snakes and ladders with him. In conclusion, there is hope after all.

Obviously, I’m not going to state every single parenting story that pans out during the day (there will be a lot) but I will spend the day trying to avoid bribing and punishing. It’ll be hard because I’m used to it and he has come to expect it. I already explained the situation to my husband and he got angry because I said it in front of my son. Plus my husband is a firm believer of punishment and making kids obedient but is against bribes because to him good behavior is the norm and anything but should be punished. He is also against yelling and spanking so his idea of punishment is to take things away. Anyway, I asked him to be on board of my little experiment so I hope it goes well. It’ll probably take months to see tangible results.

Throwback Thursday: Decisions, decisions

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome back to throwback Thursday where I bring back a blog post from exactly a year ago, if possible, and reflect on it. I wrote this post on May 12th 2020 (I didn’t write on May 13th).

Hello reader,

How are you doing today?

Moms specifically, how are you coping with this never ending quarantine?

Today, I will talk about the top 5 hard decisions a mother must make:

1. Should I sleep early and get my beauty sleep? Or stay up late and get my me-time?

2. Should I sleep in when my child sleeps in? Or wake up early to get things done and wake them when I’m done? Or wake up early and wake them up so they sleep early at night?

3. They’re playing independantly but I’m in the mood to do a certain activity with them. Should I let them play independantly and go do housework or read a book or take a shower or practice writing? Or should I play with them and bond instead of waiting until they throw tantrums and demand attention? But what if I sit to play with them for 10 minutes and they cling to me for an hour or two?

4. They offered to do something “all by themself”. Do I sit and watch and let them figure it out while they make mistakes? Or do I guide them calmly by voice but don’t touch? Or do I help them do it by hand (their hands but I’m doing it)?

Story: This one actually happened this morning. Cutting his toast into shapes and then putting peanut butter on top has become a thing here (my son is the type to obsess over a certain food for a week and then won’t eat it for a month or year). So I had been letting him push the shapes onto the toast but i take them out so they don’t crumble. Today he asked to take them out and I let him do some but said no to other shapes that I knew he would crumble. The problem was not here. It was with the spreading of the peanut butter. He demanded he get the jar (I carried him and let him get it down) and open it (he rarely shows independance because long story short I’m very impatient and I end up doing a lot for him because it’s faster, which I know is wrong but I’m working on it) and put the peanut butter on the spoon (easy part) and then spread peanut butter on the small toast shapes (it took a great deal of patience and I yelled a bit and then he gave up and didn’t want to do it anymore because I tried voice guiding, didn’t work, then guiding with my hand, it frustrated him, then I ended up doing it for him). I had an aha moment then and was mindful of what just happened so I coaxed him into spreading the last 2 shapes, with my help, in a calm voice and it worked. Then I thanked him for his help and told him how proud I was that he wanted to do it by himself. I told him “When you turn 6, before you know it, you’ll be cutting the shapes and spreading the peanut butter all by yourself!” and he liked the sound of that. 30 minutes later, as I’m writing this post, he came to tell me that he got one of his animals stuck in the heater (for the billionth time) and asked for that hanger I have shaped in a way to get it out (he’s been doing this for years and I never let him try to get it out by himself so he doesn’t hurt himself with the metal hanger or scratch the wall). Anyway, today, feeling guilty as I was for the peanut butter incident and sensing he wanted to feel independant today, and also because I was writing this post, I gave it to him and told him that if he hurts himself, I won’t give it to him again. So he took the animal out and didn’t hurt himself. He came back to me feeling so proud and I encouraged him and said “I’m so proud of you. You’re such a big boy. So independant” and he said “From now and on, I’m going to take out the animals on my own when I get them stuck. For those freelance parents, please realize that this is really difficult for me. I’m a recovering helicopter parent and I’m trying to undo the damage my helicopter parenting has done in the past.

5. The most difficult decision a parent has to make is when their child is experiencing negative emotions because of someone or somethinh else. When your child is being bullied or has experienced failure or someone said something mean to them or they failed a subject or lost a friend or a pet. How do you help them cope with the loss? Seeing your child in distress is overwhelming, and your motherly instinct is to protect them, but you can’t protect your child all the time. You can raise them to be resilient and love them in the process.

My son is now 6 years old, and I still don’t let him do much by himself because I get too frustrated if he doesn’t do it from the 1st time or if he is too slow or too messy. He dresses himself now completely, unless I’m in a hurry, I still dress him. I still bathe him, even though he knows how to bathe himself, but because he makes a big mess and I’ll have to clean it up. He eats by himself but makes a big mess everytime. He plays independently but also tells me frankly that he wants to spend time with me when he is bored. I know he should be doing a lot more on his own and I think he wants to but I don’t have the patience for it, sadly.

Do you do things for your kids or let them do it by themselves?

Throwback Thursday: Face painting

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I had a meltdown today. It was awful. I barely spent time with my son today because I felt depressed all day.

My heart hurts. My thoughts are running wild and I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired of trying to have a normal conversation which almost always turns into an argument. I’m tired of sounding needy and naggy when I shouldn’t be begging for attention like this. I’m tired of my mood switching every 5 minutes. I’m tired of being me, here, like this. So a trip down memory lane to exactly a year aho the 1st time I painted my son’s face was a good memory to come back to.

On March 18th 2020:

Here’s what happened. I was typing on my laptop and my 5 year old son was coloring with highlighters on paper. Then he came to me, his face all scribbled with highlighter and told me he was drawing whiskers. I kept yelling at him to stop drawing on himself with a highlighter and he kept saying that he didn’t want to be peach anymore. He wanted his skin to be all the colors. I tried to take the highlighters away from him but he kept running away and jumping on the bed.
So i told him: You know what? If you wash your face and it goes away, you can scribble all you want on your face.
So he washed his face with soap and water, and it went away, so i let him scribble on his face.
He is bored and we are being quarantined so i understand.
Anyway, after a while (1 minute) he said:
Mommy, can you draw a tiger on my face.
So since i barely played with him today, i said:
You know what? If you let me finish typing these few pages, I’ll paint a tiger on your face.
By paint i meant draw.
So he drew on papers with highlighter until i was done typing, and i told him to get his new placemat (shaped like a tiger) and i drew with a washable black marker and orange highlighter on his face. It made him happy and it made me feel like i bonded with him.
P. S. He drew me in rainbow colors with a butterfly next to me. So cute.
Moral of the story: spend time with your kids. Stop yelling (I’ve been yelling a lot lately).

After that time, I remember I painted my son’s face different animals until one day he refused to wash it off, we had a fight and I said I’d never do it again. I think I’ll surprise my son with a face paint offer tomorrow. He’s been asking for one for months. Plus I yelled a lot today so I need to make up for it.

Throwback Thursday: Sleep training my son

Hello and welcome to my blog! Oh boy. I reread this from March 11th 2020 and I laughed. I remember struggling to sleep train my son on and off for years. I don’t remember how I finally managed to sleep train him (or maybe I didn’t because I still sleep in the same room as him sometimes) but at least now he falls asleep without me lying down next to him until he does. He doesn’t sleep until 10:30pm so did I really sleep train him? I have no idea.

Here is what I wrote on day 1 of sleep training my then 5 year old

March 11th 2020
6pm: I decided my 5 year old will start sleeping in his room. I told him he is a big boy now and this is my 100th attempt to get him to sleep in his room. He has been kicking me in the face and in the back while he sleeps. I have slept in his room on many occasions because i was uncomfortable with him next to me.
I explained to him that i need a good night’s sleep to be a happy mommy that doesn’t yell or spank. He agreed.
8pm: Now that bedtime approaches, he refuses to go into his room until i get him a baby brother. This isn’t possible. It’s not magic. So what should i do to get him to sleep in his room tonight?
I told him i will lie down next to him until he falls asleep, and will read him a story as well. I also said that if he gets scared at night, he can come and lie down next to us, but only if he gets scared.
I don’t want to force him, but i will if i have to. So what should i do?
He is currently crying and has hid himself in the living room. Everytime i try to get him to sleep in his bed, he cries and i give in. But i made my mind up today. I will try it for 3 days and let’s see what happens.
8:30pm: I suggested he sleeps with his favorite stuffed animal and he agreed. He climbed into bed and then i remembered he still needs to go to the bathroom and brush his teeth so i told him to get up. I hope he doesn’t change his mind after brushing his teeth.
8:45pm: He is in his bed now, with me next to him. He told me he will only sleep here tonight and only if i leave the hallway light on.
9:10pm: Two stories and 1 drink of water later, he is still in bed but occassionally breaks into song. So still going strong, but now i need to try not to fall asleep.
9:30pm: I’ve already yelled 3 times. Once for his continuous singing, once because he keeps uncovering because he wants to “air his feet” and once because he got out of bed and when i asked him why he replied “because what am i supposed to be doing here?” to which i said “you’re supposed to sleep” and i threatened i would turn the hallway light off if he didn’t close his eyes and sleep, to which he replied by calling me a bad mommy and i replied by calling him a bad boy. I feel guilty enough. You don’t need to tell me i shouldn’t have said that. Anyway, he is back in bed. Awake.
9:35pm: I apologized for calling him a bad boy. He apologized for calling me a bad mommy. I told him “i know it’s hard sleeping in your bed after not sleeping in it for a year (he slept in his bed from age 2 until age 4,when he developed a fear of ghosts, wolves, the dark, demons, toys coming to life at night, and started getting nightmares) but I’m here with you so don’t be afraid”. He nodded his head and smiled. We held hands for a minute.
9:40pm: Hallelujah 🙌 he is asleep!
Disclaimer: On school nights, i begin putting him to bed at 7 but due to the corona virus outbreak, i am announcing bedtime between 8 and 9, depending on what time he woke up. Today he woke up 9am.

School nights 😂 this really made me laugh. We’ve been in this pandemic a year people. Longest decade ever.