Sunday, January 5, 2014

Please go to bed!

Late afternoon Maree was playing and singing throughout the house. It was so fun to listen to her. However, in the process of her play she began to chew on a toy that would be ruined by chewing. Angel asked her to keep the toy out of her mouth but she would not. Angel took the toy from her. About then Gabe came down stairs.
Within a few minutes he was taking toys from Maree and putting them up out of her reach. She, of course, was pitching quite a fit. I reminded Gabe that it is not his place to take toys from Maree. I told him to give them back. Once Gabe offered her the toys back she quit yelling 'mine' and started yelling 'no' and refused to take them.
Then she rushed at him and began to crawl around him hanging on his ankle and growling like a wild animal. I thought this kind of funny, but Gabe was not amused. "Get her off!" he yelled. I told Maree that Gabe didn't want to play right now. She ran to the other side of the room. For a minute or two there was peace.
I decided to check the laundry only to find that the old washing machine had broken down again. I went to get Dirk. Gabe followed him to the laundry room to help. Maree followed too. "Get away," Gabe demanded. "Somebody get her." Angel went to get Maree. Maree was mad. She wanted to 'help' too.
Angel was trying to cook supper while I was trying to knit several doll sweaters this evening. However, soon she was calling me because the food just didn't seem to be cooking. A fuse had blown making the heating elements in the stove stop working. Dirk had the washing machine torn apart and the stove was going to have to take a number and get in line.
While I helped Angel move the food from the electric stove in the kitchen to the wood burner in the living room, Maree ran back to the laundry room. "She's got the clippies," Gabe yelled. Maree had buried a huge hand full of clothes clips in the couch. Angel helped Maree get all of the clips and they headed back to the laundry room to put them back in the bucket. When they got there Gabe smacked Maree and began to scold her. This is a HUGE No No! Gabe is not to hit Maree ever!
Angel told me about it and I immediately went to get Gabe. "You do not hit Maree, ever," I said to him.
"But she had the clippies," he said.
"You do not punish Maree, ever," I said. "Her mother was correcting her appropriately. We just talked about this a little bit ago when you were taking her toys. Gabe is not to punish Maree. You will need to go face the wall for hitting." Gabe was mad. He cannot understand how we cannot see that he was only helping. No matter how many times I have told him 'breaking the rules is NEVER helping' he just doesn't get it. How can we not see that he is just as grown up as we are? Grown ups know how to follow the rules.
We do not spank Maree, but use other corrective actions like taking all of the clips back, sitting on a chair or removing certain toys if needed. Gabe has been spanked in his past and would spank Maree frequently if given half a chance. We have a zero tolerance for this!
Now that Gabe was facing the wall at his assigned spot in the kitchen, Maree would have to stay in the living room. She likes to go pester Gabe when he is in trouble. This is not allowed either. Because Angel was now cooking dinner in the living room, it seemed that having Maree stay there would not be a problem. However, Angel needed to go to the kitchen for something and Maree started to follow her. "Stay here," Angel said. Maree paused on the two steps near the doorway. Then she lost her balance and fell with a thud, raising two huge lumps on her head. I grabbed ice while Angel scooped up Maree. Needless to say, Maree very fussy the rest of the evening.
Angel took Maree up to bed. A few minutes later I heard a crash and Maree was crying again. Oh no, what now? Just that fast Angel came rushing downstairs with Maree. She was jumping on the bed and fell nose first into the crib rail. The nose was not bleeding, nor did it bruise bad. "When you take her back up, make sure she lays down." I said.
A few minutes after they went back up, Gabe was fooling around in his room and knocked something over. Thud crash, I heard from upstairs. No one was hurt, nothing was broken. Please, just go to bed. My nerves are shot.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pity Party

Well, after so much trouble and nonsense in June and early July we have had relative calm  here lately. So glad for that.
However, this evening I was in Gabe's room putting away clothes. He does not like me to come into HIS room. I have reminded him on other occasions that the room is in a house that belongs to Dad and I and either one of us can come in if we need to. We do respect privacy when dressing but maintain the right to come in as needed. As I turn from putting clothing away I see that he has brought home some staff items from VBS last week. Because Gabe sometimes takes thing (steals) I ask him about the items. He closes his eyes and sticks his face up at me. "It's mine" he says.
"This is staff stuff. How did you get it?" I'm thinking that it is possible that someone did give it to him and I'm asking gently.
This time he turns his head away from where Dirk and I are standing, closes his eyes and says in a very calm measured tone, "it's mine."
"That is not what I asked. Did you just take this from church?"
Gabe closes his eyes and just sits there on the bed. Then I see that there is also stuff there that belonged to other kids. Dirk begins to talk to him about stealing. We have had so many conversations with him about stealing. Still items show up that we have no idea where they came from, or that we do know where they came from and he should not have them.
I tell Gabe that I am going to go through his room this week and clean out. He usually keeps his room fairly clean but it is getting a mess. Gabe protests. Dirk tells him, "it is going to happen and you will co operate and be nice. If we could trust you and believe what you say this wouldn't have to happen. It is time to go downstairs now." Dirk heads down the stairs.
Just then Gabe goes into panic mode. He is sure that his ambulance, a new toy 2 days ago, has gone missing. He cannot go downstairs. I tell him that he has to go now because Dad said and he can look for the ambulance later. Gabe then accuses me of taking his ambulance and messing up his room. He knows I did not mess up his room. I also did not take the ambulance. We have talked many times about not accusing when you do not know. I tell him that I will not put up with him making up lies about me. Gabe goes downstairs and immediately begins to cry to Dirk. He is blaming me for making him come down and not letting him have the ambulance and ....  Dirk tells him to stop the crying. He will get the ambulance later. It is late and we are going to read quickly and then go to bed.
After reading and prayers I give Gabe permission to quietly look for his ambulance and to spend a little time cleaning his room. The baby is already asleep. A few minutes later I hear a disturbance upstairs  and go up. Gabe is in his bed crying.Yes he has found his ambulance but he was making too much noise and Dirk has sent him to bed. Now he is mad. "You were told to be quiet. That didn't happen. You can clean tomorrow." Gabe turns up the intensity on the crying. "Stop the pity party," I say and walk out of the room.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


After the nonsense Sunday morning  there has been peace. There have been no angry outbursts or threats that I know of. Gabe has been mostly sweet and polite, that is, until this afternoon. Dirk often takes the kids to a meeting at church on Wednesday evening. They were planning to go until Fred called to make sure we knew that there was no meeting because the church is sponsoring a booth at the county fair and people would be at the booth.
"I'm going with Dad. He promised!" Gabe announced loudly as he listened to my end of the conversation on the phone. He continued to make demanding statements as I tried to talk to Fred. I asked him to please stop interrupting. "I can go with him if I want to," he demanded. "I will ask him. Dad can say if I can go!"
"That's fine, Dad will say when he gets here. I'm on the phone now so you must stop talking."
Gabe stomped into the living room and plopped down on the couch. Dirk arrived home a short time later. I told him that there was no meeting because of the fair. "I can go with you," Gabe said.
"There is no meeting," Dirk said.
"But I can go," Gabe was calm and steady.
"I don't think you heard me," Dirk said. "There is no meeting tonight."
"But I called the pastor and he said I can go to the meeting." Gabe was clearly lying now.
"You are not allowed to use the phone so I know you did not call," Dirk said. Gabe then turned to me and lied again saying that Dad was going to take him because the pastor called. I sent him to face the wall for lying.
About 15 minutes later I called him back into the room. Did lying work out for you? No, he answered. Did you get what you wanted? No. Did you get into trouble? Yes. Dirk then talked to him about other consequences for lying. You look smarter when you tell the truth. You look dumb when you lie because people know you are lying. God tells us not to lie. It hurts us and it hurts others.
Angel had come into the room while this discussion was going on. I decided that we needed to address another situation together. I will go back to Saturday night to give the background for this.
We had gone to a dinner and bonfire at some friends house. Several families were there. Towards the end of the evening I saw Gabe go up to a young woman (20's) who was sitting talking with friends. He just walked right between her and the person who was talking to her and put his arm around her. She sat there like a statue. I called to Gabe. He walked the other way. We were planning to leave. In the van on the way home I asked Gabe if he had asked Mrs. "A" if he could hug her.  "She is my friend!" he answered.
"That is not what I asked," I said. "You are not to hug people without their permission. Did she give you permission to hug her?"
"I can hug her if I want! She is my friend!" was Gabe's answer.
"You are not to go up to people and just hug them. She was talking to someone  else and you just walked between them. That was rude and wrong." I said.
"I can if I want!" Gabe shouted.
Dirk said, "You are not listening. Mrs. "A" was not talking to you. She wasn't talking to anyone. She was listening to her friends..."
"But I'm her friend!" Gabe cut in.
"Be quiet and listen. You did not have permission and you were wrong." There was more discussion but all Gabe did was defend his position as friend and so he could do whatever he wanted. It was obvious that we were not getting through and this would need to be addressed again.
On Sunday afternoon Angel and I went to a shower. Mrs. "A" was there and sat beside me. I asked her about the hug. She said that he hugs her all of the time and that she has asked him several times not to hug her. She was not sure what to do about it. She knew he was a teenager with a little kid brain. I apologized and told her that I would tell him to stop. I asked her to let me know if he doesn't. I told her that we were working on setting up personal boundaries with him. When it comes to this hugging stuff he is going to have to have teenage boy boundaries.
Back to Wednesday evening -- I told Gabe that I had talked to Mrs. A and she does not want to be hugged. "You are not to hug her. If I find out that you are trying to hug her you will be in trouble. I am saying this with everyone here. Do not hug the ladies at church or anywhere. Just because they are nice people does not mean that you can hug them. I consider many of the men at church to be my friends. But they are not my close friends and I do NOT hug them and they do not hug me. They do not touch me."
Dirk then told Gabe that men do not touch women without permission. Do not touch women. Most of them are not going to give you permission so just don't touch. When you get 18 you can be in big trouble and maybe even go to jail if you touch a woman who does not want you to touch her. Just don't touch or hug a woman.
This is by no means the first time that we have addressed the hugging issue with Gabe. You just don't go around in public hugging everybody over and over again. You can have several hugs from Mom and Dad at home as long as you are not trying to make us drop what we are doing right this second. Angel has limited him to 2 hugs per day. That is fine, she can set that boundary.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What now?

It has been a while since I've taken time to post here. Life has gotten so busy. I want to start keeping a log of some of the problems that we have been encountering as Gabe is hitting adolescence. I don't know if these problems are related to adolescence or not.
One of the issues that we have been having with Gabe is his inability to deal with frustration. He now threatens to kill or punch those whom he feels have stopped him. Indeed I have stopped him from doing many things. He was very angry with me last night. He came downstairs at 11:30 p.m. and wanted to play a certain CD. He had been sent to bed a little more than an hour before. I reminded him that he had been sent to bed. He argued that I had promised him the CD. I never promise a CD or movie for later. We occasionally use a particular TV show as an earned reward, but I will not promise a CD for later. He would have me in over my head in promises if I did that. He would like to have a line up that goes until some time next year! After a few rounds of arguing he stomped up to bed stating that he was very angry. He was louder than should be as others were sleeping already. I was glad that he did not wake the baby.
The statement of being very angry was much tamer than many statements that he makes. He is allowed to say that he is angry. However, his anger is not justifiable. I am not going to allow music at that time of night when others are sleeping and he should be in bed.
This morning I was in the bathroom when Gabe came downstairs. Within a minute he and Angel  "were having words". Gabe was shouting loudly at her as they came into the kitchen. I called out for Gabe to sit and I would be out in a minute. When I came out Gabe was sitting there on the step stool. I asked him what was going on.
"Well Angel she, she, um, well I was just coming downstairs and being a good boy and Angel she..." Gabe kept looking away. It seems as if he was trying to make something up fast. I have seen this many time before. I wanted to see what he was really going to say so asked, "What did she do?" He continued with his "Well Angel she...I was being good and she... well she...cause I was being good and she..." He was looking over at the cupboard beside him and not wanting to look at me. He seemed to be looking for something good to say.
I called Angel into the kitchen. "What happened?"I asked.
I didn't do anything to him. He just came downstairs and then stuck his fist in my face and told me to leave him alone. I didn't do anything except tell him to leave me alone after he did that. Then he started saying all kinds of things to me and you told him to sit.
I looked at Gabe. "Did you shake your fist in Angels face."  "No"  ''Are you sure?" "No" After a few minutes of talking he finally said that he did it because she.... Never a real reason stated. I sent him to face the wall. He tried to apologize his way out of it. I told him that he had to take the consequences for shaking his fist at Angel and then apologize after that.
I wish I really knew what happened. Sometimes Angel nit picks at Gabe so much and yet still does not see that she is causing some of the problem with all of the nit picking/nagging. I have tried to help her see but she just defends her position and does not see the effect. However, Gabe does come right of the blue with some of his threats. Angels says that he threatens to kill her at least once a day. This is NOT acceptable. I do not hear most of it. I am trying to figure out if there are triggers for this behavior. Regardless, Ï'm going to kill you" is not an appropriate response to anything. We are seeking help at this time.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thoughts on Sharing

I've been encouraging Gabe to share some of his little kid toys with Maree. He still owns just a few toddler toys. Most of them disappeared during one or more of the moves that he has made. Most of them were gone before he moved in with us. But Gabe still does not like anyone to touch his toys. There are good days where he does let people touch something and not so good days where he whines and complains if anyone even comes close to his stuff.

I got to thinking about sharing. At first I was thinking I really 't share my stuff either. The kids aren't allowed in my sewing room. But then I realized that I really do share, a lot! So the next time Gabe started whining because I touched something of his I was ready. "I share with you all of the time. See the groceries that I just brought in? They are mine. I bought them with my money that I earned at my job

Gabe quickly pointed to the gluten free bread, "but that is mine and I can have it!"

"It's mine, I bought it." Gabe scowled at me. "However, I bought it to share with you," I said. "I like to share with you. In fact, when I make a sandwich for you I am sharing my time, my peanut butter and jelly, and I put it on one of my plates that I also share with you. Then you sit on a chair that belongs to both Dad and I and eat at our table that we share with you. We got this table and chair because people shared their money with us when we got married and we bought it. You are standing on the flooring that I bought in the house that Dad and I own. You walk on my carpet and sit on my couch, but I share these with the whole family."

"But , but," Gabe sputtered. I think that he thought that the the house and furnishings were just there somehow. Then he was scowling again.

"It's okay because we share. We have this house so we can share. Dad shares his electricity with you every time you listen to music, watch a movie, or take a shower. You sleep in a bed that Fred shares with you. You wear clothes that I bought. You ride in my van or Dad's truck. We all share with you. The least you could do is not complain if we touch something that you own." Gabe was clearly unhappy with all of the sharing. People are supposed to share with him, but the idea of him sharing with them is one that he does not like.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Ribbon - variation on a theme

When Gabe was a baby he had lots of nice baby and toddler toys. He never placed with them. However, by the time he turned two he fiercely owned them. Don't you dare touch them. He still owns lots of nice toys and things that he plays with a little. He still struggles with the idea and reality of anyone else touching his things.  Even papers he brings from school are his and no one can touch them. Actually, we touch his stuff all of the time in the same way that families touch each others things. We have worked with him and worked with him on sharing or at least not having a fit if some one touches his things. We are not trying to steal things from him. However, the same thing is not true for him. If he wants it more than you do, it is his.

Because Gabe is gluten and dairy free he thinks more clearly now. He has enjoyed playing with Maree's baby and toddler toys which are in the living room. Angel is finishing high school online and the computer is required to be in a main room in the house, hence the toys in the living room. She can keep an eye on Maree while she works.

Maree has a special 'spot' that is a small quilt in the shape of a flower. It is very girlie in appearance. Gabe likes Marre's spot. He likes to sing. He places the spot on the floor and stands on it as if it is his stage. I have asked have asked him repeatedly not to stand on Maree's spot. It had gotten to the place where he would yell at her if she even touched it while he was singing. After all he likes it more than she does. This attitude has landed him in time out and he is not to touch her spot unless he is picking it up from the floor and putting it back into the box.

Now to the ribbon. The ribbon is a pale pink piece of satin ribbon about a foot long. Angel gave it to Maree and she likes to carry it around. Gabe also likes this ribbon. He is attracted to strings and things like that. He was becoming very possessive of the ribbon so I told him that he is not allowed to touch it. Within a few hours the ribbon went missing. By the next day I stated that the ribbon needed to show up by bed time. Since Maree leaves her things in every nook and cranny of  the downstairs that ribbon could be any where including under the couch or in the laundry hamper etc. Angel was sure Gabe had it and I knew that was a possibility too.

Dirk took Angel, Gabe and Maree out for the evening. They got home late. Angel quickly reminded me about the ribbon. I asked Gabe where it was. "I don't know!" he growled.

"I needed it now," I said.

"I don't have it. It is in Angel's room." he barked.

"Please go get it. She is up there." I said. Gabe was back down in less than a minute without the ribbon. "You have 5 minutes to come back with that ribbon or I am coming up to go through your toy cart."

"No! You cannot touch it!" Gabe shouted as he ran upstairs. He was back a minute later with the ribbon. He stood in the center of the room holding it. When I asked for it, he slowly and painfully brought it to me. I reminded him how I have shared lots of string with him over the years. This one is Maree's and he is not to touch it again. She has shared many things willingly with him, but he is not to take her things.

Here is one of my latest 'string' projects

Let me try the link again

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Ring & The Rock

     Gabe called from the upstairs bathroom stating that Angel had left her ring on the shelf. I called back telling him to just leave it alone. About an hour later Angel went up there and called out that the ring was missing. I was annoyed. I was working on my homework for I class that I am taking and did not want the disruption. But Angel had her tattle tale voice on and I could tell that things might blow up if I did not move.
     I headed upstairs. Gabe was already getting into bed. "Where is the ring?"  
    "It was on the shelf," Gabe answered.
    "Where is it now?" I asked.
    "I don't know," he said.
     I was unconvinced. "Go get the ring." I said it a few times before Gabe finally got out of bed and wandered into the bathroom. He looked around aimlessly. Then he wandered back into the hall and began to look around there. Gabe likes small shiny things and has the bad habit of just taking what looks good. Just then Angel went zipping into Gabe's room and straight to her toy box. With in a few seconds she announced that she had found the ring.
    I scolded Gabe for lying and stealing. Then I went downstairs and had second thoughts. Angel found that ring so fast that it made me wonder. Angel, who is adopted, is also fetal alcohol effect. That means that her conscience does not work well. She has lied to us so many times. Maybe she was setting Gabe up just to see him get into trouble. It is so hard to teach these kids not to lie and steal. The lying and stealing is an issue with both of them.

   Now for the rock. Last weekend Dirk was planning to take Angel and Gabe to backpack camp with him. I would stay home with the baby. Gabe was so excited about going that he jumped out of bed and pulled something in his neck. It was just one of those annoying little cramps. Now Gabe became obsessed with the 'serious' injury to his neck. He felt he needed and ambulance to take him to the hospital. Dirk told him that there would be no ambulance. The choices were, stay home like the baby or suck it up like a man and go to camp. Gabe 'desperately' needed to go to camp like a man.
    We have lately been pointing out the differences between acting like a baby and acting like a man. It has been a bit hard on him as Gabe would like to act like a baby and be considered a man. You can't have it both ways. This baby nonsense has to go, so we have decided to call it like it is. The fact that there is both a baby and a man in the home have been helpful. He has made progress since that baby has been here. Maree is allowed to act like a baby, Gabe is not.
     Of course that did not stop him from whining  about his neck all day out at camp. When they got home the first thing Gabe told me was, "Dad got the rock out of my head. See?" he showed me his neck. I had no idea what he was talking about. As it turns out they had gotten so weary of listening to him whine that Dirk decided to see if trickery would help. First he massaged Gabe's neck to try to get the cramp out. Then he told him that he was going to pull the rock (pain) out. Gabe's neck still hurt where the rock had been. No wonder I can't get this kid into reality!