So frustrated - am I ever going to be in control again, ever?

So frustrated - am I ever going to be in control again, ever?

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 13th, 2012, 8:23 pm #1

This is just a vent but if you have advice, feel free. I'm always open.

We have all been sick for a week so things are worse than usual but the "usual" is never very good either. The boys' tantrums are just at a fever pitch these days and of course, worse when they are sick. They are much better today, almost over it, but I'm still down in the dumps barely hanging on, living on Dayquil and Nyquil. God bless my DH, he took over for several hours yesterday so I could be with my sister before she goes out of town and I won't see her for many months. Love him! But I came home to a house that was an utter disaster. I didn't complain about it - wouldn't do such a thing after the favor he did me. But I've spent all day today refereeing biting matches, checking out the veracity of screeches and shrieks, in between trying to empty two sinks full of crusted on filthy f@cking dishes, doing 5 loads of laundry and 2 left to go, folding, sweeping floors, dealing with food throwing, wiping up dried on food bits all over the fridge and cabinets, etc. Aside from the laundry which, yes, takes a couple of days to build up, everything else happened in ONE DAY of me being away. That should give you an idea of how busy I am every day just to keep this place in some kind of order.

I know the boys are bored (they never get so sick that they aren't rambunctious) so DH suggested I give them their toddler crayons. These are non toxic and wipe off surfaces. I had a bad feeling about this since it's never worked before, but thought maybe they are older now . . . Okay they colored on paper briefly then proceeded to bite the crayons in half and before I could get to them (when they see me coming, they run! Even if I'm smiling and cooing, they still run!) and with an impish grin, they both immediately began coloring on the white sofa (you know about my white sofa from posts past). Cleaned that up, put it all away. Now they are miraculously playing with a toy together so I can jot this off.

I let them go outside earlier even though it's dreary and drizzly here in the PNW, bundled them up, figured the outdoors would do them good for running off some energy even if the weather sucks, and they ran straight for a pot that had just the tiniest bit of mud in it. They must have some kind of internal sensor that practically pulled them over there, and they leaned into the pot almost falling in and got covered in mud all over their coats, faces, hands AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! The whole rest of the deck is CLEAN but they wanted the pot with a thin layer of mud on the bottom.

Everything I try to do to make things better backfires and makes things worse. I just added about 45 min of cleanup to my already overbooked day!

These boys NEED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY every single day, several times a day probably, but we live in the worst possible climate for that and the wrong kind of house/land as well. Many folks take their kids to Gymboree and that's too expensive for us. I have taken them to the mall and to the park when it's not raining (heh, hardly ever) and that is great for them but can't do it every day.

Anyway . . .I was thinking, is my life EVER going to be under reasonable control again, ever, ever? I'm not a laissez faire housekeeper, sorry, not gonna happen. I can't change the fact that I get anxiety when I see clutter and dirt, particularly food encrusted kitchen surfaces. I would be a better mommy to calm little girls who like to play with dolls and tea sets (though I really wanted boys, very much, I just love little boys to death, but I'm not rough and tumble enough for them and dirt pushes my buttons).

I think if we had a regular home, LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE, with areas marked off I wouldn't be such a NUT. As it is, we live in a mouse hole and there is no way to isolate dirt and mud like if we had a NORMAL f@cking house where there was a porch or mudroom or something. Even a garage, if set up properly, they could play in during the many months when we have nonstop rain. When you come in from the rustic country outdoors here, you are stepping right into my living room. They need to go outside more but it's ALWAYS a mudfest unless we stay on the deck, where they are bored. I have to exert some control over things or we will be living like pigs in a stye. Yeah we designed this place BADLY but we didn't expect to be living here forever as it was supposed to be a garage apt. to rent out someday. There is no room inside to set up a gym area or slide or anything. This place was meant for a single person or couple and even then, it's TIGHT.

Just want to scream! I can't wait for spring and summer to get here, please. Teensy quarters in a LONG cold, rainy climate with two wild boys and a mommy with OCD is no way to live. Just want a normal life and for me that would include having a regular type of home instead of trying to make something work that isn't working. You know how they say, "the right tools for the job." I am sad to say that I doubt we will ever be able to afford a regular house and DH will not consolidate his assets or properties in order to free up the money to do that because it would mean a huge financial loss in this housing market (I understand that, but it sucks nonetheless). I envision us living in this cramped unworkable space for years to come.

Okay I need to go take a hit of Dayquil and hope the alcohol content in it will give me a buzz.

(in the spirit of "count your blessings," our mouse hole is paid off so we have a roof over our heads, thank you God. I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole . . .)
Last edited by biogal on February 13th, 2012, 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: August 7th, 2007, 10:01 pm

February 13th, 2012, 8:46 pm #2

I CAN SOOO understand all of this. I feel for you and your brain that probably never shuts off just thinking of the laundry or the scribble on the walls - taht is me. I am down to lil sleep later with my worries of doing it all, keeping things clean etc. The germs/colds make it 1000x worse!

I will tell you this I did get better (but I have started OCD again with teh new home) after watching crazy Kate Gosselin on tv with her fun kids always worried about the mess and not letting them be kids,have fun etc. I am glad you posted this cause it reminds me that simply put

KIDS = CHAOS. fun, loving, amazing chaos. But also germy, sticky, messy Chaos.

I would not trade the germs to not have the sticky hugs or the glitter that is on my pants today at work that I have had two parents comment that "they have been there done that with glitter!" haha

I dont remember how old your kids are but all my friends tell me that between 4-5 the chaos is less, the house is cleaner but the drama/parenting skills go up. I can tell as my kids turned 3 in Oct things are a bit better as far as the messiness and wanting to run/move all the time. They can finally sit through a whole 30min cartoon or sit and read books with someone or even by themselves for more than 2 minutes. I am lucky we do live in CA so I dont ahve the weather issues most have and for our town we have a good sized yard that is envied by many. I cannot help your there but can you do playdates at friends who have bigger space, do you have a garage/barn anything indoors that you dont care gets messy. We did a paint valentine project in the garage yesterday with an old sheets on the ground and the kids wear my old tshirts to cover them up (ok I am 4'9" so that doesnt work for every mom). I think having random ideas and an arsenal of a "EMERGECNY BOX" for when you needs some new things...toys that havent seen in a while, $1 coloring books, there are books where the pens ONLY work in the certain books pages, etc.".

Hope I helped somewhat but most of all - I GET IT!
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 13th, 2012, 8:56 pm #3

This is just a vent but if you have advice, feel free. I'm always open.

We have all been sick for a week so things are worse than usual but the "usual" is never very good either. The boys' tantrums are just at a fever pitch these days and of course, worse when they are sick. They are much better today, almost over it, but I'm still down in the dumps barely hanging on, living on Dayquil and Nyquil. God bless my DH, he took over for several hours yesterday so I could be with my sister before she goes out of town and I won't see her for many months. Love him! But I came home to a house that was an utter disaster. I didn't complain about it - wouldn't do such a thing after the favor he did me. But I've spent all day today refereeing biting matches, checking out the veracity of screeches and shrieks, in between trying to empty two sinks full of crusted on filthy f@cking dishes, doing 5 loads of laundry and 2 left to go, folding, sweeping floors, dealing with food throwing, wiping up dried on food bits all over the fridge and cabinets, etc. Aside from the laundry which, yes, takes a couple of days to build up, everything else happened in ONE DAY of me being away. That should give you an idea of how busy I am every day just to keep this place in some kind of order.

I know the boys are bored (they never get so sick that they aren't rambunctious) so DH suggested I give them their toddler crayons. These are non toxic and wipe off surfaces. I had a bad feeling about this since it's never worked before, but thought maybe they are older now . . . Okay they colored on paper briefly then proceeded to bite the crayons in half and before I could get to them (when they see me coming, they run! Even if I'm smiling and cooing, they still run!) and with an impish grin, they both immediately began coloring on the white sofa (you know about my white sofa from posts past). Cleaned that up, put it all away. Now they are miraculously playing with a toy together so I can jot this off.

I let them go outside earlier even though it's dreary and drizzly here in the PNW, bundled them up, figured the outdoors would do them good for running off some energy even if the weather sucks, and they ran straight for a pot that had just the tiniest bit of mud in it. They must have some kind of internal sensor that practically pulled them over there, and they leaned into the pot almost falling in and got covered in mud all over their coats, faces, hands AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! The whole rest of the deck is CLEAN but they wanted the pot with a thin layer of mud on the bottom.

Everything I try to do to make things better backfires and makes things worse. I just added about 45 min of cleanup to my already overbooked day!

These boys NEED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY every single day, several times a day probably, but we live in the worst possible climate for that and the wrong kind of house/land as well. Many folks take their kids to Gymboree and that's too expensive for us. I have taken them to the mall and to the park when it's not raining (heh, hardly ever) and that is great for them but can't do it every day.

Anyway . . .I was thinking, is my life EVER going to be under reasonable control again, ever, ever? I'm not a laissez faire housekeeper, sorry, not gonna happen. I can't change the fact that I get anxiety when I see clutter and dirt, particularly food encrusted kitchen surfaces. I would be a better mommy to calm little girls who like to play with dolls and tea sets (though I really wanted boys, very much, I just love little boys to death, but I'm not rough and tumble enough for them and dirt pushes my buttons).

I think if we had a regular home, LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE, with areas marked off I wouldn't be such a NUT. As it is, we live in a mouse hole and there is no way to isolate dirt and mud like if we had a NORMAL f@cking house where there was a porch or mudroom or something. Even a garage, if set up properly, they could play in during the many months when we have nonstop rain. When you come in from the rustic country outdoors here, you are stepping right into my living room. They need to go outside more but it's ALWAYS a mudfest unless we stay on the deck, where they are bored. I have to exert some control over things or we will be living like pigs in a stye. Yeah we designed this place BADLY but we didn't expect to be living here forever as it was supposed to be a garage apt. to rent out someday. There is no room inside to set up a gym area or slide or anything. This place was meant for a single person or couple and even then, it's TIGHT.

Just want to scream! I can't wait for spring and summer to get here, please. Teensy quarters in a LONG cold, rainy climate with two wild boys and a mommy with OCD is no way to live. Just want a normal life and for me that would include having a regular type of home instead of trying to make something work that isn't working. You know how they say, "the right tools for the job." I am sad to say that I doubt we will ever be able to afford a regular house and DH will not consolidate his assets or properties in order to free up the money to do that because it would mean a huge financial loss in this housing market (I understand that, but it sucks nonetheless). I envision us living in this cramped unworkable space for years to come.

Okay I need to go take a hit of Dayquil and hope the alcohol content in it will give me a buzz.

(in the spirit of "count your blessings," our mouse hole is paid off so we have a roof over our heads, thank you God. I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole . . .)
But I so hear you, and I'll respond more later. Take care, Maggie (in VA)
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 20th, 2006, 6:03 pm

February 13th, 2012, 8:57 pm #4

This is just a vent but if you have advice, feel free. I'm always open.

We have all been sick for a week so things are worse than usual but the "usual" is never very good either. The boys' tantrums are just at a fever pitch these days and of course, worse when they are sick. They are much better today, almost over it, but I'm still down in the dumps barely hanging on, living on Dayquil and Nyquil. God bless my DH, he took over for several hours yesterday so I could be with my sister before she goes out of town and I won't see her for many months. Love him! But I came home to a house that was an utter disaster. I didn't complain about it - wouldn't do such a thing after the favor he did me. But I've spent all day today refereeing biting matches, checking out the veracity of screeches and shrieks, in between trying to empty two sinks full of crusted on filthy f@cking dishes, doing 5 loads of laundry and 2 left to go, folding, sweeping floors, dealing with food throwing, wiping up dried on food bits all over the fridge and cabinets, etc. Aside from the laundry which, yes, takes a couple of days to build up, everything else happened in ONE DAY of me being away. That should give you an idea of how busy I am every day just to keep this place in some kind of order.

I know the boys are bored (they never get so sick that they aren't rambunctious) so DH suggested I give them their toddler crayons. These are non toxic and wipe off surfaces. I had a bad feeling about this since it's never worked before, but thought maybe they are older now . . . Okay they colored on paper briefly then proceeded to bite the crayons in half and before I could get to them (when they see me coming, they run! Even if I'm smiling and cooing, they still run!) and with an impish grin, they both immediately began coloring on the white sofa (you know about my white sofa from posts past). Cleaned that up, put it all away. Now they are miraculously playing with a toy together so I can jot this off.

I let them go outside earlier even though it's dreary and drizzly here in the PNW, bundled them up, figured the outdoors would do them good for running off some energy even if the weather sucks, and they ran straight for a pot that had just the tiniest bit of mud in it. They must have some kind of internal sensor that practically pulled them over there, and they leaned into the pot almost falling in and got covered in mud all over their coats, faces, hands AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! The whole rest of the deck is CLEAN but they wanted the pot with a thin layer of mud on the bottom.

Everything I try to do to make things better backfires and makes things worse. I just added about 45 min of cleanup to my already overbooked day!

These boys NEED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY every single day, several times a day probably, but we live in the worst possible climate for that and the wrong kind of house/land as well. Many folks take their kids to Gymboree and that's too expensive for us. I have taken them to the mall and to the park when it's not raining (heh, hardly ever) and that is great for them but can't do it every day.

Anyway . . .I was thinking, is my life EVER going to be under reasonable control again, ever, ever? I'm not a laissez faire housekeeper, sorry, not gonna happen. I can't change the fact that I get anxiety when I see clutter and dirt, particularly food encrusted kitchen surfaces. I would be a better mommy to calm little girls who like to play with dolls and tea sets (though I really wanted boys, very much, I just love little boys to death, but I'm not rough and tumble enough for them and dirt pushes my buttons).

I think if we had a regular home, LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE, with areas marked off I wouldn't be such a NUT. As it is, we live in a mouse hole and there is no way to isolate dirt and mud like if we had a NORMAL f@cking house where there was a porch or mudroom or something. Even a garage, if set up properly, they could play in during the many months when we have nonstop rain. When you come in from the rustic country outdoors here, you are stepping right into my living room. They need to go outside more but it's ALWAYS a mudfest unless we stay on the deck, where they are bored. I have to exert some control over things or we will be living like pigs in a stye. Yeah we designed this place BADLY but we didn't expect to be living here forever as it was supposed to be a garage apt. to rent out someday. There is no room inside to set up a gym area or slide or anything. This place was meant for a single person or couple and even then, it's TIGHT.

Just want to scream! I can't wait for spring and summer to get here, please. Teensy quarters in a LONG cold, rainy climate with two wild boys and a mommy with OCD is no way to live. Just want a normal life and for me that would include having a regular type of home instead of trying to make something work that isn't working. You know how they say, "the right tools for the job." I am sad to say that I doubt we will ever be able to afford a regular house and DH will not consolidate his assets or properties in order to free up the money to do that because it would mean a huge financial loss in this housing market (I understand that, but it sucks nonetheless). I envision us living in this cramped unworkable space for years to come.

Okay I need to go take a hit of Dayquil and hope the alcohol content in it will give me a buzz.

(in the spirit of "count your blessings," our mouse hole is paid off so we have a roof over our heads, thank you God. I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole . . .)
I can tell you the tantrums are just now lessening at 4yo, but the desire to make messes is NOT. And the laundry, well, that part just gets worse too . It's just irresistible to kids, I think. Mine, too, would have been drawn to the only dirty thing on the whole patio (and they are every time I open the back door.... nice patch of grass, though small, but they go right for the tiny flower bed at the edge and start throwing dirt, uprooting plants to look at the roots, etc. I'm trying not to squash their spirit with too many "no's" but it's hard as I hate cleaning up mud everywhere, too. We have no mudroom or anything, our door opens right into the family room (with rug) so it's hard to control the daily damage. I finally decided though, to let them get as dirty as they want, then deal later - i.e., if it entertains them to play in the mud, fine, but then I peel their wet/ filthy clothes off right outside the family room door, wipe off their feet so they can get to the bathroom without leaving dinosaur tracks as we call them, throw them in the shower and hose them down with the shower head when done. THey even enjoy that part as it makes them squeal when I "shoot" them with water. I only let them play in clothes I don't care about (2-3 very cheap outfits I've let them ruin playing in the dirt) and then I shrug instead of cry when they come to the glass door with a big grin, covered in dirt, grass, etc. Oh and if it's over 50 degrees, and I turn my back for 3 seconds, I kid you not both will be buck-naked in less than that time, no matter how difficult I try to make their clothes to get off when I send them out! We live in a condo and my backyard is TINY TINY TINY and mostly made up of a patio, you would laugh at it, but, I kid you not, they manage to make the most of every square foot of dirt out there! Can you get those leashes and take them for a walk? Honestly, it doesn't matter the terrain, the rougher the better with toddlers, get yourself some good hiking boots if you don't have them, and they'll love falling down and getting back up, exploring whatever and wherever you'll let them. If there are no parks near you, they're going to have to get used to the area around your house no matter what that is, b/c you are right: they will never be able to sit still, and they need to run around. I'd do whatever it takes to get them out and about regardless of weather - even to a mall (not the play area, I hate those, but just to run around), a Target if you have one. Just SOMETHING to let them walk/run around and look at stuff. Each outing we do helps them stay a bit more calm for, maybe, half a day. So usually half the day is a park/picnic (weather dependent) and half the day is errands, so they usually get out 1-2x/day. Except when sick and that's bad bad baaaad as you've already noted .

You can try tub crayons if they can't control themselves with the regular LOL - they can't do any long-term damage in a tub and you just wipe off with a rag when they're done. Sometimes in bad weather I let mine sit in the tub for a LONG time drawing (warming water occasionally), and just wipe it down every now and then to give them a new, blank canvas. Also foam tub letters/ animals/shapes/etc - they like to sit and play with those.

They show no sign of growing weary of this getting dirty business; every time we go to the park (yup 1-2x/day) and every time they play outside, they get filthy. And you have two boys, so I can only imagine! Hang in there, things haven't gotten any better but I can tell you that **I** have adjusted quite a bit to the situation in the last year, and have become so much more relaxed about it all (so there is hope for you yet ). GL! Best,
Kenny

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: September 26th, 2008, 9:06 pm

February 13th, 2012, 8:59 pm #5

This is just a vent but if you have advice, feel free. I'm always open.

We have all been sick for a week so things are worse than usual but the "usual" is never very good either. The boys' tantrums are just at a fever pitch these days and of course, worse when they are sick. They are much better today, almost over it, but I'm still down in the dumps barely hanging on, living on Dayquil and Nyquil. God bless my DH, he took over for several hours yesterday so I could be with my sister before she goes out of town and I won't see her for many months. Love him! But I came home to a house that was an utter disaster. I didn't complain about it - wouldn't do such a thing after the favor he did me. But I've spent all day today refereeing biting matches, checking out the veracity of screeches and shrieks, in between trying to empty two sinks full of crusted on filthy f@cking dishes, doing 5 loads of laundry and 2 left to go, folding, sweeping floors, dealing with food throwing, wiping up dried on food bits all over the fridge and cabinets, etc. Aside from the laundry which, yes, takes a couple of days to build up, everything else happened in ONE DAY of me being away. That should give you an idea of how busy I am every day just to keep this place in some kind of order.

I know the boys are bored (they never get so sick that they aren't rambunctious) so DH suggested I give them their toddler crayons. These are non toxic and wipe off surfaces. I had a bad feeling about this since it's never worked before, but thought maybe they are older now . . . Okay they colored on paper briefly then proceeded to bite the crayons in half and before I could get to them (when they see me coming, they run! Even if I'm smiling and cooing, they still run!) and with an impish grin, they both immediately began coloring on the white sofa (you know about my white sofa from posts past). Cleaned that up, put it all away. Now they are miraculously playing with a toy together so I can jot this off.

I let them go outside earlier even though it's dreary and drizzly here in the PNW, bundled them up, figured the outdoors would do them good for running off some energy even if the weather sucks, and they ran straight for a pot that had just the tiniest bit of mud in it. They must have some kind of internal sensor that practically pulled them over there, and they leaned into the pot almost falling in and got covered in mud all over their coats, faces, hands AAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! The whole rest of the deck is CLEAN but they wanted the pot with a thin layer of mud on the bottom.

Everything I try to do to make things better backfires and makes things worse. I just added about 45 min of cleanup to my already overbooked day!

These boys NEED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY every single day, several times a day probably, but we live in the worst possible climate for that and the wrong kind of house/land as well. Many folks take their kids to Gymboree and that's too expensive for us. I have taken them to the mall and to the park when it's not raining (heh, hardly ever) and that is great for them but can't do it every day.

Anyway . . .I was thinking, is my life EVER going to be under reasonable control again, ever, ever? I'm not a laissez faire housekeeper, sorry, not gonna happen. I can't change the fact that I get anxiety when I see clutter and dirt, particularly food encrusted kitchen surfaces. I would be a better mommy to calm little girls who like to play with dolls and tea sets (though I really wanted boys, very much, I just love little boys to death, but I'm not rough and tumble enough for them and dirt pushes my buttons).

I think if we had a regular home, LIKE NORMAL PEOPLE, with areas marked off I wouldn't be such a NUT. As it is, we live in a mouse hole and there is no way to isolate dirt and mud like if we had a NORMAL f@cking house where there was a porch or mudroom or something. Even a garage, if set up properly, they could play in during the many months when we have nonstop rain. When you come in from the rustic country outdoors here, you are stepping right into my living room. They need to go outside more but it's ALWAYS a mudfest unless we stay on the deck, where they are bored. I have to exert some control over things or we will be living like pigs in a stye. Yeah we designed this place BADLY but we didn't expect to be living here forever as it was supposed to be a garage apt. to rent out someday. There is no room inside to set up a gym area or slide or anything. This place was meant for a single person or couple and even then, it's TIGHT.

Just want to scream! I can't wait for spring and summer to get here, please. Teensy quarters in a LONG cold, rainy climate with two wild boys and a mommy with OCD is no way to live. Just want a normal life and for me that would include having a regular type of home instead of trying to make something work that isn't working. You know how they say, "the right tools for the job." I am sad to say that I doubt we will ever be able to afford a regular house and DH will not consolidate his assets or properties in order to free up the money to do that because it would mean a huge financial loss in this housing market (I understand that, but it sucks nonetheless). I envision us living in this cramped unworkable space for years to come.

Okay I need to go take a hit of Dayquil and hope the alcohol content in it will give me a buzz.

(in the spirit of "count your blessings," our mouse hole is paid off so we have a roof over our heads, thank you God. I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole, I love my mouse hole . . .)
I feel for you, BBG. My DD is just one child and she's a bit older than your boys, and I have trouble when she doesn't get the chance to work off her energy, so I can only imagine how tough it is for you at this time of year.

I have friends in Sweden who claim there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. They insist kids should be outside every day, no matter what. (And they live on the coast in a windy little village.) And here in Germany I was looking into some 'forest kindergartens' where there is no classroom at all. The kids are bundled up in top-quality snowsuits and spend 5 or so hours a day in the woods. (We have since decided not to send Babyboat to this, but mostly because it was across town and 3 other kindergartens are closer, but I was tempted.) I will admit this cold spell has kind of made me glad about not choosing it, but people whose kids go there say they are happy and sleep through the nights.

It would mean more washing, but do you think you could invest in clothes that would let them get out and get really active (and dirty) every day? You wrote about the deck. Does that mean they aren't really exploring when they're outside, but are mostly confined to the deck?

I am very lucky to live in a large enough city to be able to go to a lot of affordable activities when the weather isn't optimal. I know it must be so much harder where you live, but I think they have to get out.

I promise I'm not trying to make more work for you, but really, with my DD, if she's not running around for at least 2 hours a day, she won't go to sleep on time. Maybe your boys need that. Raincoats, rain hats, snowsuits, warm, waterproof gloves.

And balls. Honestly, anything round just sets her off. She can amuse herself alone for 15-20 minutes with a balloon inside, though it's always best if Mama plays, too. I would think 2 boys could chase 3-4 muddy balls of varying sizes (we have one that's 80 cm in diameter that we keep outside) for hours at a time. Jumpy balls --- the ones with handles, no idea what they're called, anything that gets them tired and dirty.

I hope you find a solution to wear them out.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 13th, 2012, 9:00 pm #6

I CAN SOOO understand all of this. I feel for you and your brain that probably never shuts off just thinking of the laundry or the scribble on the walls - taht is me. I am down to lil sleep later with my worries of doing it all, keeping things clean etc. The germs/colds make it 1000x worse!

I will tell you this I did get better (but I have started OCD again with teh new home) after watching crazy Kate Gosselin on tv with her fun kids always worried about the mess and not letting them be kids,have fun etc. I am glad you posted this cause it reminds me that simply put

KIDS = CHAOS. fun, loving, amazing chaos. But also germy, sticky, messy Chaos.

I would not trade the germs to not have the sticky hugs or the glitter that is on my pants today at work that I have had two parents comment that "they have been there done that with glitter!" haha

I dont remember how old your kids are but all my friends tell me that between 4-5 the chaos is less, the house is cleaner but the drama/parenting skills go up. I can tell as my kids turned 3 in Oct things are a bit better as far as the messiness and wanting to run/move all the time. They can finally sit through a whole 30min cartoon or sit and read books with someone or even by themselves for more than 2 minutes. I am lucky we do live in CA so I dont ahve the weather issues most have and for our town we have a good sized yard that is envied by many. I cannot help your there but can you do playdates at friends who have bigger space, do you have a garage/barn anything indoors that you dont care gets messy. We did a paint valentine project in the garage yesterday with an old sheets on the ground and the kids wear my old tshirts to cover them up (ok I am 4'9" so that doesnt work for every mom). I think having random ideas and an arsenal of a "EMERGECNY BOX" for when you needs some new things...toys that havent seen in a while, $1 coloring books, there are books where the pens ONLY work in the certain books pages, etc.".

Hope I helped somewhat but most of all - I GET IT!
What I need to do, what I MUST do, is set aside some quiet time (haha) maybe after they go to bed and sit down at the table and really think on this, because DH and I both agree the boys are not getting enough physical activity or social stimulation. It's a problem that needs to be solved. I'm sure there's a solution and it's probably not even that difficult, but I'm so tired every day just running laps on my hamster wheel that there's no time or energy left over to devote to anything that requires brain energy.

To answer your question about barn space - here's the thing. We built a big barn with an apt on top where we live. There is also a deck that is quite nice and spacious and could definitely have a small slide or gym type thing, but, it rains here constantly, which makes it not the best solution for fall/winter/spring. The barn below, we had expected to keep horses or goats there but my DH's farm equipment and tools ended up taking up a lot of space plus we need to be able to keep one car in there (the other car lives outside). DH is a beekeeper and also has about 1/6 of the barn devoted to bee equipment. It is a dangerous area, but obviously we would need to fence off a place but there is NO room for that. In fact, DH's new business, which I don't want to disclose much in the way of specific details, involves a "product" and now we need to be able to do something with this product as well as store temporarily, and we already have no room for even that - but that takes priority over boy play areas. So the "barn/garage" is out as a solution. We ended up building a smaller barn for our goats and there will also be a chicken house if we ever get to that, but all that only because the big barn turned out to not be big enough to house everything we needed and intended.

Okay sorry for that long explanation. I mean, I guess it was just poor planning on our parts but we didn't realize how much space we needed, both for farm equip and for our living space.

We have a lot of land which will be great for when they are older and can be independent but that will be many years from now, and again, only in the summers. For summertime while they are small, I think I can make the deck a more fun place to play. But for the other 3/4 of the year, I need to figure something out. I just heard about an indoor public play area "coop" near us and I need to go check that out. It costs some amount of money per month but is more like a token fee, nothing like Gymboree's costs, for example. Plus parents have to agree to set up beforehand or clean up afterward. Might be tricky with two in tow but I have to see how that works out. This sounds promising but I haven't had time to investigate.

Thanks for conspiring and yeah, of course I'd never choose tidiness over not having my boys! But dang. I'm exhausted.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: November 20th, 2006, 6:03 pm

February 13th, 2012, 9:05 pm #7

Can you just bundle them up and let them have at it? Rain slickers and boots on top of warm stuff? Mine LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside when it's cold and wet. I used to not allow it to try to avoid illness, but since they started preschool they're sick all the time regardless, and containing them inside when it's icky just makes them harder for ME to deal with . I mean, what would happen if they got wet and dirty for a couple of hours a day? Can't you just peel off their stuff when they're done and hose them down? I know it's extra work, but it makes them so much more docile that it's totally worth it (says the mom who avoided this as much as possible when they were younger, and regrets it!) Just a thought. Hang in there, when they can communicate more easily life does become so much more fun. Best,
Kenny

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 13th, 2012, 9:09 pm #8

I can tell you the tantrums are just now lessening at 4yo, but the desire to make messes is NOT. And the laundry, well, that part just gets worse too . It's just irresistible to kids, I think. Mine, too, would have been drawn to the only dirty thing on the whole patio (and they are every time I open the back door.... nice patch of grass, though small, but they go right for the tiny flower bed at the edge and start throwing dirt, uprooting plants to look at the roots, etc. I'm trying not to squash their spirit with too many "no's" but it's hard as I hate cleaning up mud everywhere, too. We have no mudroom or anything, our door opens right into the family room (with rug) so it's hard to control the daily damage. I finally decided though, to let them get as dirty as they want, then deal later - i.e., if it entertains them to play in the mud, fine, but then I peel their wet/ filthy clothes off right outside the family room door, wipe off their feet so they can get to the bathroom without leaving dinosaur tracks as we call them, throw them in the shower and hose them down with the shower head when done. THey even enjoy that part as it makes them squeal when I "shoot" them with water. I only let them play in clothes I don't care about (2-3 very cheap outfits I've let them ruin playing in the dirt) and then I shrug instead of cry when they come to the glass door with a big grin, covered in dirt, grass, etc. Oh and if it's over 50 degrees, and I turn my back for 3 seconds, I kid you not both will be buck-naked in less than that time, no matter how difficult I try to make their clothes to get off when I send them out! We live in a condo and my backyard is TINY TINY TINY and mostly made up of a patio, you would laugh at it, but, I kid you not, they manage to make the most of every square foot of dirt out there! Can you get those leashes and take them for a walk? Honestly, it doesn't matter the terrain, the rougher the better with toddlers, get yourself some good hiking boots if you don't have them, and they'll love falling down and getting back up, exploring whatever and wherever you'll let them. If there are no parks near you, they're going to have to get used to the area around your house no matter what that is, b/c you are right: they will never be able to sit still, and they need to run around. I'd do whatever it takes to get them out and about regardless of weather - even to a mall (not the play area, I hate those, but just to run around), a Target if you have one. Just SOMETHING to let them walk/run around and look at stuff. Each outing we do helps them stay a bit more calm for, maybe, half a day. So usually half the day is a park/picnic (weather dependent) and half the day is errands, so they usually get out 1-2x/day. Except when sick and that's bad bad baaaad as you've already noted .

You can try tub crayons if they can't control themselves with the regular LOL - they can't do any long-term damage in a tub and you just wipe off with a rag when they're done. Sometimes in bad weather I let mine sit in the tub for a LONG time drawing (warming water occasionally), and just wipe it down every now and then to give them a new, blank canvas. Also foam tub letters/ animals/shapes/etc - they like to sit and play with those.

They show no sign of growing weary of this getting dirty business; every time we go to the park (yup 1-2x/day) and every time they play outside, they get filthy. And you have two boys, so I can only imagine! Hang in there, things haven't gotten any better but I can tell you that **I** have adjusted quite a bit to the situation in the last year, and have become so much more relaxed about it all (so there is hope for you yet ). GL! Best,
Kenny

ROFL!!! Okay, I understand. I need to deal with this because it won't get better. I just gave a long explanation to AngMc above about our living situ. If you are in a condo then you DO understand. We at least have the promise of more running around space in the future because the land is here - they just need to be a bit older to take advantage of it. Again, the rain . . .

I guess I don't really care about their clothes. None of their playclothes are that precious to me. It's more the coats and shoes that are a pain in the butt to clean constantly.

I also hate the mall play area because it's crowded and germ infested. I have taken them to Target and let them run around (love that store!)

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 13th, 2012, 9:11 pm #9

Can you just bundle them up and let them have at it? Rain slickers and boots on top of warm stuff? Mine LOVE LOVE LOVE being outside when it's cold and wet. I used to not allow it to try to avoid illness, but since they started preschool they're sick all the time regardless, and containing them inside when it's icky just makes them harder for ME to deal with . I mean, what would happen if they got wet and dirty for a couple of hours a day? Can't you just peel off their stuff when they're done and hose them down? I know it's extra work, but it makes them so much more docile that it's totally worth it (says the mom who avoided this as much as possible when they were younger, and regrets it!) Just a thought. Hang in there, when they can communicate more easily life does become so much more fun. Best,
Kenny

I guess because I personally HATE rain so much (I don't mind cold, but really hate being wet - I guess I'm a reincarnated cat) I haven't wanted them to be outside in the rain. They don't have rain slickers but they do have boots. They might be a little bit woosie though (thanks to me) because when it starts to drizzle, they stand at the door and fuss to get in.

Quote
Like
Share

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

February 13th, 2012, 9:15 pm #10

I feel for you, BBG. My DD is just one child and she's a bit older than your boys, and I have trouble when she doesn't get the chance to work off her energy, so I can only imagine how tough it is for you at this time of year.

I have friends in Sweden who claim there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. They insist kids should be outside every day, no matter what. (And they live on the coast in a windy little village.) And here in Germany I was looking into some 'forest kindergartens' where there is no classroom at all. The kids are bundled up in top-quality snowsuits and spend 5 or so hours a day in the woods. (We have since decided not to send Babyboat to this, but mostly because it was across town and 3 other kindergartens are closer, but I was tempted.) I will admit this cold spell has kind of made me glad about not choosing it, but people whose kids go there say they are happy and sleep through the nights.

It would mean more washing, but do you think you could invest in clothes that would let them get out and get really active (and dirty) every day? You wrote about the deck. Does that mean they aren't really exploring when they're outside, but are mostly confined to the deck?

I am very lucky to live in a large enough city to be able to go to a lot of affordable activities when the weather isn't optimal. I know it must be so much harder where you live, but I think they have to get out.

I promise I'm not trying to make more work for you, but really, with my DD, if she's not running around for at least 2 hours a day, she won't go to sleep on time. Maybe your boys need that. Raincoats, rain hats, snowsuits, warm, waterproof gloves.

And balls. Honestly, anything round just sets her off. She can amuse herself alone for 15-20 minutes with a balloon inside, though it's always best if Mama plays, too. I would think 2 boys could chase 3-4 muddy balls of varying sizes (we have one that's 80 cm in diameter that we keep outside) for hours at a time. Jumpy balls --- the ones with handles, no idea what they're called, anything that gets them tired and dirty.

I hope you find a solution to wear them out.
I just explained to Kenny above, I so hate rain, but I guess if we are going to live in this climate, I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with it. I've been here for 25 years and I've avoided it this long. I hate rain. Hate it. We've even talked about moving to another state but that's a topic for a whole other thread.

Yes, they are confined to the deck where there's not much going on. I have had to move all the plants because they will destroy them, pull them up, scatter the mud all over the deck, etc. We have taken them down to walk around the fields, etc, and yes it's always a mudfest when we do that. The thing is, I can see the deck from my kitchen/living room so it is so much nicer if they can play out there because then I can continue to do my MANY ENDLESS chores. If we go downstairs to the fields, it does mean a big tadoo. A big, muddy, cold, wet tadoo.

Quote
Like
Share