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04-23-2003 @ 1:37 p.m.
The Limit

I was supposed to go to Brittany's house for lunch today but she called this morning to cancel because her new baby is sick. He has a cold and she's all beside herself because he's only just a month old and can't have any medicines to make him breathe better. Her four-year-old is sick, too. I was very disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing my friends and eating strawberries dipped in sour cream and brown sugar (because it's all about me, you know) but mostly I feel bad for my friend who got no sleep last night and who is worried about her baby. I remember Joey's first cold when she was 3 months old and it was miserable for the whole family.

Amy and Aidan came over for the afternoon/evening yesterday and she was tired from a poor night's sleep so I took care of Aidan and let her crash on my couch. It was so lovely to just hold that sweet sleeping baby on my chest while I read D-land entries and email yesterday. He's getting so big--I really can't believe what a butterball he is. We dubbed him Sir Chunkenstein yesterday. I'll bet he's gained 2 lbs. since I saw him a week ago. Amy must be producing some good mama's milk.

Joey's morning antics have left me less than thrilled to wake up each day. She'll get up nice for Ed and then when I come in to check on her progress or help her choose her clothes for the day, she starts getting all grumpy and irritable. Morning after morning, she'd harrumph her way through dressing, styling her hair, eating breakfast and then leave with a big chip on her shoulder. It has been making me crazy. Finally yesterday morning when she was having one of her more grumpy mornings, I told her that I did not appreciate her attitude and that I was not going to get up early in the morning only to get her abuse. I said that from then on, if she misbehaved in the morning, I was going back to bed and she could make her own breakfast, make her own lunch and get herself off to the bus without any help. That put the fear of Mom in her. This morning, despite being tired, she was pleasant, cordial and agreeable. I thanked her for her behavior when she left this morning--I wanted her to know I noticed and appreciated her efforts.

In general, she has been testing boundaries in most areas of family life and it has not been particularly pleasant. "Hmmmm...." she wonders, "Does mom really mean it when she says I can't stay up to watch Fe@r F@ctor? Let's see." or "I'm not sure she really means it when she says I have to do my homework before I go over to play at the neighbors--let's see if I can pester her enough so she'll let me go." or "I really don't think mom and dad mean it when they say that I need to behave in the mornings. I think they're just pulling my leg. I'm going to give them a run for their money and see just exactly what I can and can't get away with." Stuff like that. I understand that she's just checking to see if we really mean what we say and that it's not the first time in her development that she has pushed the limits to find out where they really are but doggone it, she's making me crazy. And she seems to save most of her boundary-testing for me. I've been kind enough to share it with Ed, though. I need for him to deal with it, too, so I'm not the Bad Cop while he gets to swoop in and be the Good Cop. Not that he lets her get away with things--he just doesn't jump in as readily when she's pushing as I'd like sometimes. (I think part of it is just being male--he has an amazing ability to focus on whatever he's doing/reading/watching and tune out everything else. Having grown up in a house full of women--with ADD to boot, I don't understand this native male ability.) Anyway, we've been laying down the law and having to enforce punishments and consequences which we don't really enjoy but I can see that slowly things are getting better. The last time we had a really issue with this was when she turned 4, though, so I guess we're due. I'm hoping this one will last a good long while but with adolescence right around the corner, I'm not holding my breath.

So now I have this afternoon that I wasn't expecting to have to myself and it's 2:00 and I've done nothing but fold some laundry. I can't believe I have so much capacity for doing nothing. Sheesh! I keep thinking that it's high time I finish my sewing projects but then I get all lazy and do something else, like shopping, instead. What is wrong with me? I keep wanting to do some creating--sewing or building something or even scrapbooking--but then when I get the time, I don't have the inclination. Why is it that I only want to do it when I don't have time? Arrrggh!

Joey is going to a friend's house after school today so I have even more time than usual. Perhaps I'll go get the piping and trim I need for my pillows and just make that a priority. I'll have plenty of time tomorrow after I get done with traffic court (don't mention it) because Joey is going to work with Ed. She's pretty excited about it. But that means I'm free until about 5 or 6pm tomorrow. And it's Diana's night to cook dinner so I don't even have to worry about that. I'd better make good use of it!

Gotta heed the call of nature. Ciao!


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