Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life With Two Kids, Day Three

Much better! We had a few challenging moments yesterday, but for the most part I think we're used to each other now and can have fun without wondering how the other person is going to react. My genius of a husband came up with a system to encourage Anthony to listen. It's very simple. He taped a piece of paper to the wall and drew a line down the middle of the paper. On the left side, we make a tick mark every time Anthony does not listen the first time we tell him something. On the right side, we make a tick mark every time he does listen the first time. As a bit of extra positive incentive, we have decided that every time he gets two good marks, we will erase one bad mark. We did not integrate any sort of reward into this system. We just told Anthony that we would be giving the paper to his parents at the end of the week. They've already told him that his allowance this week will be determined by how he behaves while he is here, just as it is at home. Anyway, our little tick mark system seems to be working so far. As soon as Andy explained it, Anthony got all excited. He said, "Umm, Aunt Holly, do you think you could give me some instruction or something?" I was confused at first, but then I got it. He wanted me to tell him to do something so that he could listen the first time, thus getting a positive mark. I had to laugh, then I told him to take off his sports camp tshirt (something he hadn't wanted to do all day) so I could wash it. The shirt was immediately thrown onto the laundry pile, and Anthony got a mark on the right side of his paper.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. We went to the park where Anthony promptly befriended some kids a little bit older than himself. This was great as it left me free to watch Elise closely. Both kids had a good time. Anthony even got a kid's email address. This kid beat Anthony at a game of Yu-Gi-Oh (I have absolutely no idea how one plays Yu-Gi-Oh, but these boys loved it. So much for running off energy at the park!), and Anthony promptly salvaged his pride by telling the boy that he (Anthony) was the best Yu-Gi-Oh player in the state of Oregon. Since we are in Washington, he could say that while still admitting defeat to his new friend. Then after the park we went to the grocery store. Not a fun trip, as both kids were tired and...well, so was I. But we got back on track once we got home, put Elise to bed, and gave Anthony some lunch. The boy ate five slices of pizza, an apple, and a cup of blueberries. It was amazing.

I'm hoping to take the kids back to the park today, since it was such a hit yesterday. We also have to make one more trip to the doctor's office...wish me luck! Monday's visit came right at Elise's naptime, and that made for a most unpleasant time. I'll plan the timing better today.

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