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21 January 2008 @ 11:58 pm
It's so interesting, that no matter how old you get, and how much you think you know, there's still always something you can learn from someone else. In my case, it was a four-year-old.

I took a job in the afternoon babysitting for two kids ages 2 and 4. Their mother's laid up in bed, not sure what exactly is wrong, but I didn't think it was my place to ask.

Anyway, since it was my job to entertain them, we played with legos. And after they got tired of that, we cracked out the play dough. Man, I haven't touched playdough in years. I forgot how much fun it could be.

So as I was sitting there, reconnecting with my inner-child, the four-year-old was looking through the little booklet that came with the package, and in there was a picture of a rainbow made with playdough, complete with fluffy white clouds on each end of the arch.

When he saw that, he immediately asked if we could make it. I told him "sure, but we don't have any white playdough"

To which he responded,

"So we'll make the clouds pink. I like pink clouds."

I don't know, that line just sort of...struck me, and had me gaping at him for two-three seconds before I answered, "Okay, but are you sure you want to make them pink?"

and without hesitating, he answered in the affirmative.

It's funny, isn't it? We're such hypocrites in todays society. We constantly say that we should express ourselves, that we should be independent, and have a mind of our own, yet how many of use would give such an answer?

After being conditioned since nursery that apples are red, not purple, the sky is blue, not green, drawing should be done within the lines, and not outside them...it's kind of hard to say, and for a kid that young, I was really surprised.

I guess it's not so much a matter of self-confidence that struck a cord in me, but the fact that he dared to say something that wasn't considered normal. Dared to let his creativity take him wherever he wanted to go, to a place where clouds are pink, and rainbows are always in the sky. Dared to be...different, and not fear getting laughed at.

It's sad, now that I really sit down and think about it, because I don't believe there are that many who would say it in full seriousness, and actually mean it.

There's always something so special about children, whether it's that innocence that they have, or the simplistic belief in what they're told, that lack of fear, of needing to "fit in" and to be "like everyone else". It was a really humbling experience, that's all I can think say.
 
 
Current Mood: insightful
 
 
23 December 2007 @ 02:45 pm
So, today I decided that Azula is a Libra.

Don't ask me why, I am sooo not into Astrology, but a while back on DH, in the character's board on the Azula thread, a couple of us were discussing birthdays.

I know daydream11 is pretty convinced that she's a Leo, and I agree with her there, but there's this other chick that's adamant that she's a Gemini. I think because she's a Gemini herself, and she's a huge Azula fan, so usually when you're a really big fan of someone, you try and associate yourself with as many things as you can with that person/character. I could be wrong, but you know, I'm probably not ;)

Anyway, so, I was thinking about it today. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's cause I was looking at my calender, and it had the chart of all the horoscopes on it, and Libra caught my eye.

So, why do I think Libra? Well, definitely not because I know a lot about the sign or characteristics. I'm going solely based on the sign itself and what it represents.

Libra = scales. What do scales represent? Judgment. What did Azula say in CoD? "The Divine right to rule...is something you're born with."

Not an exact quote, but you get the point. Anyway, Divine right to rule? Something you're born with? Forget the fact that she's royalty, it's like she's hinting that the constellation she was born under gave her the "Divine right to rule".

So when I think of ruling, the two constellations that come to mind is Leo, and Libra. I can see her fitting a Leo just a bit better, because a Leo = lion, and a lion is the king of the animal kingdom, hence, Divine right to rule. But Libra is judgment, so it goes on the same thing.

Now, since I really don't know anything about Astrology, I could just be feeding you lies, so...don't take anything too seriously in this. I just came up with it and decided to write it out.

One thing I'm pretty certain of, is that Zuko is a Gemini. Not Azula. Well, it could be they both have the same sign, that would actually be pretty cool if they were both Gemini's, because it would be extremely symbolical. You know, light side, dark side, etc.

But I'm a little wary of that idea, because it's rare in shows that you find two characters who share the same constellation. Of course, Sozin and Roku shared the same birthday, but a couple of people are clamoring for it to be Aang and Zuko who share a birthday as well.

Huh, anyway. So I'm like, 99% sure that Zuko's a Gemini. Why? Because it fits with his character, symbolic-wise. See, Gemini is twins. Now, again, I know zero about horoscopes and such, but usually twins in horoscopes is made out to be a split personality. Two sides of the same coin, at least it looks like to me.

Now, what do we know about Zuko? He has Sozin and Roku's blood/spirits in him. Like Iroh said, these two sides are constantly at battle within him.

So, Sozin = bad, Roku = good. Light side, dark side, it fits.

Though, I could be totally wrong, but again, I'm so certain that he's a Gemini, it's not even funny. So if I turn out right, I CALLED IT!

And just in case there're some smart alecs out there, no, I'm not trying to associate myself with Zuko, far from it. Yes, I'm a Gemini too, but I sooo do not like Zuko's character, because for two and a half seasons he's done nothing but angst, and that just...gets on my nerves. A lot. He redeemed himself slightly in DoBS, but I still don't like him...except when he's with Mai, than I just go all happy happy joy joy.

Anyway, so yeah. Those are my thoughts. I think it would be neat if both Zuko and Azula were Gemini's, because, all personality traits aside, if Zuko has both Roku and Sozin within him, than that means his sister does too, if in a less intense form than he does. I also think it would be more symbolical than Aang/Zuko, because, though Aang was Roku in a former life, there's no way Zuko was Sozin in a former life.

Eh...that's just my idea. Also, I see Aang as being the Ram, forgot what it's called, um...Tauras or something? I need my calender. It's the one that comes after Pisces. But anyway, I think the Ram, because according to the Hebrew calender, that's the first month of the new year. So like according to the English calender it's January, Hebrew is April.

So, I kind of see that as being symbolical of leadership. You know, first month, new year, all that. And we know Aang is the Avatar, and he's going to be leading the next invasion during Sozin's comet. Heck, he already led the first invasion during DoBS. So...to repeat once more, though I know nothing about Astrology, these are my thoughts, and I'm basing them solely on the constellations, I really know nothing about what personality traits correlate to what, so really, I'm probably feeding you lies. Hopefully not though.

But remember, if Zuko turns out to be Gemini, I CALLED IT!!!

Oh, yeah, and one more lie thought: I think everyone here can agree with me. No matter what personality traits correlate to Pisces, I think that month fits Zhao like a glove ;)

(for those of you who don't get it, Pisces is a fish. Zhao got eaten by a fish. Get it? Good. Now laugh.)

hm...maybe I should post this at avatar_fans and see what they have to say there.
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06 November 2007 @ 06:03 pm
You know, this is really bothering me a lot. I always knew there was a war going on between Kataangers and Zutarians, but I think it's starting to get just a little bit out-of-hand.

For a long time, Kataangers have stood firm in their belief that their ship will happen. Well, season three has proven them right, that at the end of the show, they'll probably end up together.

But what, suddenly Kataangers feel the need to make fun of us Zutarians. I mean, for a long time, one of the Zutarian's arguments that Kataang won't happen is because Katara doesn't see Aang as anything more than a son/brother. However, it's kind of obvious now that she's developed feelings for him.

So now what, suddenly Kataangers have to rub it in our faces? I can't speak for everyone who ships Zutara, but I know that most of us don't go around bashing Kataang and saying it won't happen. We don't complain or go drawing comics making fun of their ship or those who support it.

It's not like I can't take a joke, or laugh at my own ship. Heck, my OTP is Sokkla, and I know there isn't a chance it's going to happen, but really now, it's become not so much an attack on the ship itself, but on those who support it!

I'm starting to see a lot of comics out there that make fun of Zutarians themselves. Often we're made out to be vain and stupid shippers who will ignore blatant fact solely because we believe in "opposites attract".

I don't think it's fair, and I don't think it's right either. It's one thing to make fun of all the cliched plotlines you find in fanfiction, or some of the more ridiculous theories on how it'll happen...

But to attack us shippers, and penalize us, and make us out to be some nimrods who don't have an ounce of common sense? Why? What for? Cause you want to have your little gloat? Because you want to feel better cause you made other people feel bad...?

That's not called being funny, that's called being malicious, and if that's what Kataang supporters are made up of, that doesn't speak much for the ship itself.
 
 
Current Mood: sadsad
 
 
22 October 2007 @ 09:08 pm
 
 
23 September 2007 @ 07:08 pm
For Maylene-chanCollapse )
 
 
 
23 July 2007 @ 01:20 pm
Okay, so I took the challenge on LJ's Seven Sins community for Sokka and Azula.

Somehow, it just seems to fit that pairing. XD

1. Greed. 2. Gluttony. 3. Wrath.
4. Sloth. 5. Envy. 6. Lust.
7. Pride.
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16 July 2007 @ 08:33 pm
Today was pretty okay. When I arrived, the mother wasn’t home. She had called me in advance to tell me that she had an appointment, and asked if I could come a bit earlier to watch the kids, but unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.

So when I got there, Gloria was with her tutor, and the rest of the gang was at a neighbor’s house, who apparently have a moonwalk (not those really big ones that you see at carnivals, but rather those small ones that fit in the backyard), and they were all jumping on it.

I went over to check up on them, and they were playing and having fun. The neighbor said that she didn’t mind that they were there, and that when she wanted her kids to come in, she would send them home.

I was pretty happy, cause that meant that ALL the kids were occupied and I didn’t have to watch them. I really lucked out, cause I brought my notebook along with me, and managed to write up a lot, which put me into a good mood for the rest of the day.

Anyway, when Gloria finished with her tutor, I asked her where she was going. She said she’s going to a friend/neighbor’s house. I asked her which one, because I needed to know where she was. She sounded pretty flustered, either cause she was too impatient to think of the name and give me an answer, or because she just didn’t want to (it would seem that she thinks I’m sort of her enemy, so she tries to reveal as little information, personal or impersonal to me), and just said “whatever!” and left.

Her tutor was pretty shocked at her behavior, and went out after her. She told me that she saw her going down the block and then turning, which meant that she was going to the neighbor with the moonwalk. Her reaction didn’t really surprise me, because I kind of figured she wouldn’t want to tell me anything. I’m trying to figure out a way to get through to her, as all of my attempts have been unsuccessful.

Cecilia was the first one to come home after I was there about half an hour, and she played inside the house with her toys. Mark came next, and after taking a drink of water, found the play dough Cecilia had abandoned when she had come in.

I suppose what Mark did next with the play dough could be classified as ‘normal’ for children his age, considering they’re still exploring the world around them, but it was disgusting no less, and I believe that half the time he was doing it for attention.

He played with the green dough, pressing it, punching it, ripping it to pieces and putting it back together again, but then he started eating it. Not actually chewing, but he was definitely licking it, and putting it on his mouth.

I kept telling him to stop every time I caught him at it, telling him it was disgusting and he shouldn’t be doing it, but darn if he listened. He actually did it on purpose and kept saying “Look at me!” so that I’ll continue to give him attention.

Of course, since that would be reinforcing negative behavior (I actually retained something I learnt in college), I simply looked away each time he did it. So he didn’t get attention for it, but that didn’t really stop him either.

He actually took the dough and put it in his cup of water, then licked the dough, and afterwards drank the water. (Sorry for nauseating any of you who might actually be reading this.)

Violet came in a bit later, and she was just roaming around, so I took her on my lap and started tickling her, cause gd that girl is sooo ticklish.

In the interim, Mark went outside (though I hadn’t realized, because he didn’t tell me he was going out, and I didn’t hear the door open/close) and Cecilia also went out, although she took her leapfrog with her and said she was going to play on the front porch.

Not more then two minutes later, the mother came home. Mark was overjoyed and clung to her until I finally took him inside because he was seriously annoying his mother (pulling her, pushing her, clinging to her legs, the whole nine yards). There, I didn’t let him go out until his mother came in, and when she did, she announced that they were going out to eat.

The kids were thrilled, but Gloria, who was at the next-door neighbor at that point, threw a hissy fit because she wanted her mother to take the neighbor’s kids with them. Personally, I had never heard of doing such a thing, so I was pretty surprised at Gloria’s gall to ask her mother to take extra kids, when she and her siblings are already enough of a handful.

It seems like something that’s done in that neighborhood though, because no one thought it was strange. I tried to dissuade Gloria from the idea, and her mother didn’t really want to do it, but in the end, she agreed to take just two friends along, and that’s it.

So a boy who we’ll refer to as Daniel, and a girl who we’ll call Grace, joined the crew. Since I told them they have to be wearing seatbelts, they all sat in the back of the eight-seater van, except for Mark and Cecilia, who were in the front and car seat respectively, and they ended up having to double up. So Daniel and Gloria shared a seatbelt. I teased Gloria, saying that she has a boyfriend, but it was really only a joke, which I think might have touched upon a nerve, because she actually blushed and told me I was “so mean!”.

…Well, this is certainly a new and interesting development.

Anyway, we went to a place called ‘Circa’, which in my dictionary translates as one of those ‘ultra-expensive-get-ripped-off’ type of restaurant, because two small scoops of ice cream cost over two dollars over there, and if two small scoops of ice cream can cost two dollars, you can imagine how the rest of the menu went.

So, we had pizza, and French fries, and garlic knots (yum, yum!), and ice cream for dessert. It was kinda nice. The kids were SO much more better behaved then the last time we went to a restaurant, except that until the food came, they were all running around, but hey, you can’t expect kids to be little angels, and especially these kids.

Mark seemed to have this idea in his head that sitting on the table while waiting for food was a great idea, so I was constantly taking him off the table. The pizza distracted him enough, so that he was standing on his chair as opposed to sitting.

He also seemed determined to get a drink, as he kept sidling over to the refrigerator and taking out a bottle of vitamin water. We kept having to put it back, and he kept whining that he wanted it, but we said no, cause the ice cream for dessert was instead of a drink.

They ate their fill, and I’m pretty happy cause I made both Mark and Cecilia wash their hands with soap before eating (considering the last thing they did was play in the dirt before they went, yeah, it seemed like a good idea). I would have liked to get Gloria and Violet to wash their hands as well, but by the time I got back to the table with Mark, the food was already there and they were all digging in. It was a lost cause.

There wasn’t much incident until the ice cream came, and the ice cream was this big tub with three different flavors, one of which I think was cookie dough (my personal favorite!). I actually would have liked to have some, if Gloria and the rest of them hadn’t stuck their spoons in and started eating out of the carton, and of course, we know that kids don’t have any qualms about double dipping and sharing germs.

So, I was denied the ice cream, which, looking back now, should have been the worst thing that happened to my day, but unfortunately wasn’t.
We got cups for them, and the kids tried filling their cups with ice cream, but the problem was that the spoons they were using were actually ice cream spoons, and when I say ice cream spoons, I mean the short kind with a flat, shovel like end, so it wasn’t exactly adequate for what they were trying to do.

I got a normal spoon, and ended up being in charge of filling everyone’s cups. It was amazing how pushy and demanding they could get, because they all wanted their cup to get filled first, and each wanted either only vanilla, or only chocolate, or only cookie dough etc.

Gloria was extremely demanding, and when I started filling up Violet’s cup before hers, she whined and claimed that I was favoring Violet (which was slightly true, though her sister did ask me first), and that I was going to give her all the vanilla because I like her better. (Which was only slightly true, because I do like Violet better then her royal-pain-in-the-neck.)

While everyone was enjoying their ice cream, I brought myself a bottle of Arizona Iced Tea (green tea with ginseng and plum juice, cause the ginseng made me think of Uncle Iroh), and Mark immediately jumped up and said that he wanted some.

Well, I wasn’t exactly about to give him from a drink I brought for myself. Sure, I was being selfish, but they’re not exactly my younger siblings, who I might feel an obligation for, they’re more like little demons who’ve somehow crept into my life, and considering their behavior, I wasn’t all too eager to make them so…happy.

Of course, Mark wasn’t going to be satisfied with a simple “no”, and began to whine and cry and went to get the vitamin water cause he wanted a drink (and no, he couldn’t just drink his melting ice cream), and at that point the situation was taken out of my hands, cause the mother told him that if he puts back the vitamin water, I’ll give him some.

Well, who am I to contradict the all-powerful mother? So I put back the water for him, and got a cup, and stippled a few conditions to it (cause like heck I’m going to make it easy for him to get some of MY ginseng tea!). So, Mark was “forced” (or more likely, coerced), to sit down nicely in his seat, and ask politely for what he wanted. A funny fact about him, whenever I say to him “what do you say?” when he asks for something, he always responds with “thank you” first, when I’m trying to get him to say please. I guess he get confused, cause people usually say “what do you say?” after they give you something and want you to thank them. I should really use the phrase “what’s the magic word?” except that I feel if I would say it like that, then he’ll start to think that saying please will get you anything (cause it’s like, the MAGIC word), and he’ll say it only when he wants something, and I don’t want him to get into that mode of thinking. You have to be polite, in whatever situation you are (except of course, when you’re held against your will, being mugged/raped/victimized, etc.), cause it’s just basic protocol.

Speaking of protocol, their eating habits could use some work. Cecilia was actually pretty cute, cause she took some French fries for herself, and she wanted ketchup, so she took a napkin, opened it up and spread it on the table, then took the bottle of ketchup and poured some onto it, then started dipping her fries in. It was just so cute, and considering she’s just two, I was pretty impressed; it really made me wonder where she picked it up.

Anyway, when we got back home, all the kids piled out. Now, something to note here, their van is not exactly the cleanest. Nothing being grown or anything, but there were soda bottles and stuff littering the floor, so when they all went out, Mark took one of those bottles and threw it outside.

Now, normally that’s a big deal, cause the world isn’t your garbage can, but it was an even bigger deal, cause it was a glass bottle. It was a miracle it didn’t break. I wanted to reprimand him, but for a reason I can’t remember, I wasn’t able to do it right then and there. I think maybe I was closing the door or something, I don’t know, but next thing I hear is the sound of shattering glass, and the culprit, was of course, Mark, who picked the bottle up and threw it on the sidewalk.

Now, this is a HUGE deal, but it gets even better, cause Mark, the ever-so-clever three-year-old that he is, decided while he was in the car, that he didn’t want to wear his shoes, and took them off. Oh, and he wasn’t wearing socks.

So you can imagine the scene, except that Mark seems to have this incredible streak of luck that doesn’t seem to wear out, cause he didn’t get cut. Not a single bruise. Not only that, but the idiot then goes and jumps, yeah, you read that right, JUMPS over the glass that he broke, and unless my eyes were playing tricks on me, I could’ve sworn that he stepped on it and come out unscathed.

Now, normally I keep my temper under control. I’m more the passive-aggressive type person, but when I saw that, I completely EXPLODED. No, not yelling at him and causing a scene, but more like grabbing him by the arm, and without letting him get two words in, proceeded to take him all the way across the street and to his house, all the while shouting about how dangerous it was, how he could’ve ended up in the hospital with stitches (which is pretty legit), and how he’s getting punished for breaking a GLASS bottle on the STREET where ANYONE could hurt themselves!

I literally dragged him up the stairs to his room, sat him on his bed and told him he was being punished, and has to stay in his room for five whole minutes, because what he did was very dangerous, and he could’ve ended up in the hospital with stitches.

I’m pretty sure that fact that I just exploded in front of him rendered Mark temporarily surprised and unable to react, but trust me, the second I started walking out of the room, he tried getting out, so I closed the door, and held it closed for about a minute.

I was pretty impressed that after I let go of the knob, he didn’t try opening it again. Rather, he just banged against the door with his feet (or at least, that’s what it sounded like), and whined and basically threw your typical tantrum.

So, after about a couple of minutes, I didn’t really time it, I was sitting outside his door, and he stopped crying and opened it on his own. I guess he didn’t think I’d be out there, cause he was pretty surprised to see me, and of course tried to make a break for it, but I caught him.

I sat him down (he actually laid on the floor), and explained to him calmly what he did wrong cause I don’t think he quite got it the first time. I told him that it was extremely dangerous, and that glass bottles were different from plastic bottles, because they can break, and people could get hurt from them. Then I told him that it was a miracle he didn’t get hurt cause he wasn’t wearing socks or shoes, and that if the glass had gone on his feet, it could’ve cut him, and he would’ve gotten an extremely bad boo-boo, and would’ve had to have gone to the hospital and get stitches.

He was actually listening, which impressed me somewhat because whenever I lecture him, he doesn’t really seem focused. Now though, he was quite serious. I really hope he took my words to heart.

After that, he played outside again, but he was so well behaved. When it was time to take a bath, he listened the first time (or maybe it was the second or third, but it’s still incredible cause he never listens so fast), and came in.

He got himself undressed and turned on the water, while I went to get Cecilia and Violet. I didn’t even bother with Gloria, cause she wouldn’t listen to me anyway.

Violet I actually had a hard time with, cause every time I brought her in, the moment my back was turned, she ran out again. So finally I asked her if I ever told her the story about the girl who cried wolf, and apparently she’s heard it before, cause she started telling me it. So when she finished I started telling her my version of it, except I was describing her, when I told her about the girl, which she picked up on, and so I never finished telling her the story.

Anyway, Cecilia came in when her father brought her in, and she wanted her father to give her a bath. Ha, yeah right. She’s a total daddy’s girl, it’s kind of cute, and when she was outside, she was sitting in her father’s car and pretending to drive. She actually honked the horn.

So, the bath went more smoothly then it usually does. Cecilia cried when I wet her hair, and when I put shampoo in her hair, cause she wanted her mother/father to do it. Mark and Violet were so good, and they went much faster then usual. The mother came in while Cecilia was crying and washed her hair, which shut the kid up. Then she did some soap, and out she went.

Mark and Violet played a bit in the bath, but overall, I think the whole thing took about 15 minutes, as opposed to the usual 25.

They got out of the bath, we got them into pj’s, and they all lived happily ever after.

Well, not really, but I was happy cause I could finally leave. It was actually cute, cause Mark and Cecilia (all dressed and in pj’s), were looking out the upstairs window. I told them to keep looking, and I’ll wave to them from the outside, which I did.

Mark actually banged on the window with the brush.

And then I left. Except I had to make a u-turn and go back, cause I forgot my notebook and papers on the couch, but that was it. I gave Mark and Cecilia a hug and kiss, and as I was getting back into the car, Gloria was riding her bike, actually, she was standing there with her bike, and with a bunch of neighbor/friends, and although I didn’t exactly pay any attention to what she was saying, the gist of it was that she was happy I was leaving.

…I have a feeling I’m in for a long haul with that girl.

These are my observations for today [07. 07. 16.]

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Tips, anyone?

~Téa
 
 
Current Mood: complacentcomplacent
 
 
11 July 2007 @ 03:29 am
Today, when I came, the mother left me alone with the children, while she went off to do some errand.

It wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be. Gloria was inside the house, being tutored. I think this is her first time with a tutor. She seemed to have gotten along well with her, for which I'm glad. I don't know how often she comes, but I hope it's going to be every day, so there will be at least an hour where I won't have to deal with her.

Violet and Cecilia, along with Mark had all been sitting outside on the front porch by the neighbors house, eating supper, when I arrived.

Cecilia smiled when she saw me, and said "hi", which, considering I hadn't seen her in four days, is a good thing.

The mother left almost right away, and left me in charge of feeding the kids supper, which wasn't a big deal.

However, when Mark realized his mother was leaving, he began to run after her. I was actually pretty scared that he might run into the street, so I went after him, and caught him as he was running down the block. His mother pulled over and told him she was going to be right back, but he kept crying.

I tried to get him to come back to finish supper, but he refused to budge from his seat on the sidewalk, so I left him there.

Cecilia and Violet were fine, they ate supper nicely. It was a very hot day out, so when they finished, I told them we were going inside, which they didn't have a problem with, though they did go back outdoors soon after.

The neighbor who they were eating on their front porch gave one of her children two cookies, and asked her to give them to Mark, to sort of appease him, because he was still sitting on the sidewalk (whining a bit). However, when her daughter approached him, he was very agitated, and swiped at her to make her go away.

Gloria wasn't such a terror as she usually was, and when I told them we were playing inside, she asked for permission to eat dinner on the front porch of their house, which surprised me because she's not one to usually ask permission (must have been the new tutor or something that brought about this behavior).

When the mother came home, they were all more or less playing outside. They spent a good deal of time outside, where they played with the hose, rode their bikes, etc.

When it was time to give them a bath, things got a little hard. Every time we brought them in, they kept going back out. Gloria flat out refused to come in, and ran away from me.

Violet was actually pretty good about it, and stayed inside. Mark ran in and then ran out.

I was exhausted, so rather then fight with them to come inside, I decided to let them have their fun for a bit longer, before really getting serious. It turns out to have been a good decision, because I spent some time bonding with Violet. We sat on the couch together, and we talked about different things. Nothing deep or profound, just silly things like barbie dolls vs. horses, and which color is nicer, pink or purple.

Giving them a bath is exhausting as always, except that Cecilia joined us today.

I finally discovered why she always cries when I wash her: She wants her mother to do it.

Gloria too. When it comes to washing/brushing/fixing her hair, she only wants her mother to do it.

Even Mark, when it came time to put on pj's, he wanted his mother to do it.

Not much to report really, and I'm tired, so I'll just write down some things of note.

After she took a bath and got her hair done, I took Gloria aside and gave her a task. I told her that starting tomorrow, I want her to try and ask for things she wants, or things she doesn't want people to do. Instead of screaming and yelling and whining, I want her to ask calmly for it.

She agreed, and said she'll try, though I think she said it more to get me off her back, then to actually internalize what I say. I'm assuming this because later on, when I called her by her full name, as opposed to her nickname, she got really mad, and started yelling that that wasn't her name.

I reminded her what we spoke about, and that she wasn't doing what I asked her to, and she shrugged her shoulders.

I guess there's always tomorrow.

I may edit this later, in the event I think of something else I wanted to write down.

Otherwise, that's all I have to say for today [07.07.11].

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I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, with little devils dancing on my head.

~Téa
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Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
10 July 2007 @ 01:23 am
Today was my first time seeing the family again after two days. Sunday I didn't go, because they weren't home, and Monday was the same story. So in total I haven't seen the kids for three days.

I arrived there very late, for various reasons. I'm trying to keep to a normal schedule and get there every day at a regular time, but until things settle down, that's how it's going to have to be.

Cecilia was not up when I came. Her mother told me she had put her to bed for the night, because she was very tired and hadn't taken an afternoon nap. This made my life greatly easier. Mark was bouncing around as usual, as were Violet and Gloria.

when I got there, their mother said that they were going to play outside for a few more minutes, and then they were going to take a bath. Surprisingly, Mark had wanted to take a bath then and there, so we acquiesced.

It is to be noted that Mark's behavior continues to improve. He worked very well with me today. I adopted a playful attitude towards him and Violet, and they reacted accordingly.

I was actually more easy-going with them today then I usually am. In the bath, I let them splash around (not so much that water spilled over), let them scrub their hair, even made 'bubbles' with them, and gave Mark a mohawk while he had shampoo in his hair, which we all laughed at.

Gloria, it seems, had decided to take up the role of whining and crying that was vacated by Cecilia because she was sleeping. She was constantly whining and crying. I gave her a task while she was in the bath. While she still had conditioner in her hair, I told her to brush it out so when she comes out and she brushes it again, there won't be as many knots as there usually are.

She threw a fit about getting conditioner on the brushes, and no matter how many times I tried to patiently explain that we would wash out the brushes afterwards, she refused to listen, saying her mother didn't let (which was disproven, because her mother came and said that she can do it if I say to), and trying to come up with all sorts of reasons as to why not.

When she finally agreed to give it a shot, she tried first with the comb, but found that it was hard to do it, so she finally agreed to use the brush, which is what I had suggested in the first place.

While the other kids played around, she got out all the knots, something I was very impressed with, considering that my impression had been she can't tolerate the slightest bit of pain.

I brushed out the back just to make sure, but it was all soft and smooth.

The kids had been playing around while the shampoo was in their hair (hadn't washed it out, cause I wanted to do it all at once), when I decided that it would just be simpler to do soap, rather then waste time and water washing out their hair. All at once would be much easier.

Apparently, Gloria disagrees, because she threw a mini-tantrum about how she wanted to wash out the conditioner first. I tried telling her that it didn't make a difference, and we were going to wash it out all at once, but I'll be darned if she even listened.

Mark and Violet had a lot of fun. Violet did misbehave a little here and there, and she and her brother got into a hair-tugging fight, borne of some misunderstanding that she splashed/hurt him on purpose. Either way, it didn't escalate into anything, because I broke it off before it had the chance to.

In the end, only Mark and Violet did soap at the same time. Gloria flat out refused. When I turned on the shower head, I told the kids to get underneath it and Gloria in particular seemed to enjoy it.

I told her that we weren't going to be doing it like this every time, and she got miffed cause of that, stating that we were going to do it every time. After that, she basically insisted on doing things her way, and did the opposite of what I told her.

When she came out of the shower, I told her to put on pj's, she didn't want to, and put on her clothes instead. When I told her to brush her hair, she also refused, and ran outside to play.

I told her that tomorrow, we were going to put her hair into two braids, because it was flying all over the place. She didn't seem to like the idea, but we'll see how things go tomorrow.

With Mark and Violet, I tried getting them into pj's by playing "Simon Says" with them. It didn't work, and you could hear crickets chirping in the background when I said to put on their shirts.

I accidentally gave Mark Violet's shirt to wear, so we had to make the switch, which he didn't neccessarily want to. I find that if I talk to him, and distract him from the task at hand, he listens much better, so today I asked him if he wanted to buy ice cream from the ice cream truck when it comes around, and that got him onto what his favorite flavor of ice cream is. It's bubblegum.

He's talking much more now, and expressing himself better. When he wants to do things, he says so, unlike the other times when he would just cry. I feel like I'm making a lot of headway with him.

An incident I'd like to note, he wanted to wear underwear today. I let him, and he put it straight on. Since he's not potty-trained, I told him he needs to wear his diaper underneath. He told me that's not true, and that his mother let's him, so rather then argue, I told him we'll ask, and we did, in which his mother said he could wear underwear, but he has to wear a diaper underneath.

He listened, and took off the briefs, and let me put the diaper on him.

There is nothing much else to say, except that at last, it looks like some progress is being made.

I'm trying to get Gloria to express what she wants (kinda sad she's six already and doesn't do that), rather then scream and cry for her mother, but I have a feeling this is going to be rather difficult.

I'd like to list my goals here, of what I hope to accomplish by the end of the summer for each kid.

Gloria: I'd like her to be more behaved, learn to try and solve the situation herself, rather then cry for her parents (especially her mother). I'd like her to realize the importance of taking care of yourself and your belongings, and teach her to listen to adults who are older then you, because they know what's best.

Violet: As of now, I am unsure of what exactly I hope to accomplish. She is normally well behaved, with the occasional temper flares, but as the days go by, I hope to realize what my goal is with her.

Mark: I want him to learn to come when he is called, and also realize and try to live up to what his parents (and I) expect of him. I want him to learn not to go outside without socks or shoes on (currently he has no qualms about going barefoot), and channel his anger through words rather then fists. I want him to learn that if someone wrongs you, that's no reason to use violence or agression, and that if you have a complaint, you should go to an adult and tell them, rather then take matters into your own hands.

Cecilia: For now, my current goal is getting her to take a bath without screaming and crying. I hope I will find a more long-term goal as the weeks progress.

These are my observations and conclusions for today [07.07.10].

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Go ahead, leave a comment, make my day.

~Téa
 
 
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06 July 2007 @ 11:28 pm
Well, today was clearly some sort of gd sent day as a punishment for me, since I got bitten twice and pinched a couple of times by both Violet and Cecilia.

I finally witnessed Cecilia giving a tantrum, and now that that has happened, I think I can die happy.

Or not.

Mark was surprisingly good today. I was actually very, very surprised. Gloria too, wasn't all her usual, obnoxious self that she usually acts.

Today started out different then all the other days, so I suppose that's one thing to point out. I arrived at the usual time, maybe a few minutes over, but who's counting? Anyway, the kids weren't home, it was only the mother there.

Apparently, her husband took all the kids swimming in a nearby town, about a forty minute drive from where they live. I don't know why they had to go out of town for a pool, but whatever the case was, they weren't home.

So I asked the mother if she wanted me to come back or something, considering that it was a forty minute drive, and she told me they should be home in about twenty minutes, so it would be better if I waited.

For lack of anything better to do, I browsed the web on my cell, and when I got bored of that, asked her for a pen and paper and began to write a bit.

Anyway, that's not the point. They got home a good forty minutes after I arrived, and the husband asked if I was waiting long, so I told him about half an hour, and it was no big deal.

The children all needed to take baths, cause they smelled like chlorine. That was the main object for the day. Get them to take baths and put them in their pj's.

Well, as mentioned before, I had been in middle of writing, and didn't want to interrupt my train of thought while it was still going, so for the next half hour/forty-five minutes, I let them play outside, half-heartedly telling them that they needed to go upstairs and into the bath on the rare occasion they passed me esconcsed on the couch.

The day was pretty much relaxed until they actually came in to take their bath. I'm working on a theory that maybe the fact I was already there when they arrived contributed to the fact that there was less tension in the home, but that remains to be seen.

Anyway, when I finally stopped writing cause they REALLY needed to take a bath cause it was already late, I tried getting all the children to come in.

Gloria was not as difficult as she usually was. She was more or less inside the rest of the day, so I didn't really have to rip my hair out like I usually do.

Mark was difficult, as usual. When I told him he had to come in, he flat out refused, again. So, I did what I had to. I carried him inside.

Of course, he tried leaving, but I wouldn't let him. He began to scream, to cry (not with tears), to whine, etc. and did everything he could to get outside, but was unsuccessful.

I did something different this time then when I usually try to discipline him. Instead of putting him in the crib like last Friday, or putting him in the room and telling him to calm down, I let him roam wherever he wanted, not that he did much roaming. He more or less made a beeline for the door every time I let him go.

I think the fact that he wasn't confined to one area of the house, "trapped" so to speak, put him a little more at ease, because in the end, he did stop whining.

He cried and screamed for about twenty minutes, if I'm not mistaken. Gloria entered the house at one point, and stayed inside. I didn't give in, and no matter how loud it got, I just let him carry on throwing his tantrum.

I did try to get him to speak. I'm trying to get him to put into words what he wants, instead of crying and making the person guess. So when he wanted to go outside today, I kept telling him, "Do you want to go outside? You have to tell me, I can't understand you if you cry."

It didn't work, because he didn't end up saying it, but I kept telling him that over and over again, so hopefully, by the time all this is over, I will have gotten him to ask for things instead of simply whining.

When he finally gave up, he went into the kitchen, where Gloria was calling her father to remind him to buy her something. When I came near him, he pulled back. He played with the phone when his sister finished, and I think he was either trying to call his father, or he was really just playing with it. All the same, I told him that the phone isn't a toy, and that he can't play with it.

I was surprised when he actually, sort of listened to me. He kept trying to put the receiver back on the phone (it was a cord phone), and it kept falling off. So we did it together, and he was surprisingly more obedient afterwards.

I think this may be a sign that he's finally starting to accept the fact that I'm in charge, and that when I tell him to do something, he has to listen. I won't get my hopes up that this sort of behavior will continue, because most likely it will not, but I think I'm finally starting to get through to him.

He shows a great want and need to do things by himself. So far, whenever I've given them a bath, he always wants to wash his own hair with the shampoo. Of course, he lets me scrub his head a bit afterwards, because that's the only way I'll let him do it, but otherwise, he listens more. Today he didn't splash the water like he usually does. It could be because I was doing everything rush, rush, rush. It was late already when we finally got all of them into the bath, so there was no time for playing around, it was one thing after another.

Also, when I was undressing him to get into the bath, he wanted to do it by himself as well. I could use this to my advantage, to get him to listen and behave more, but that remains to be seen.

When he got out of the bath, he was much more compliant with putting on his diaper. He also got a new bed that day, and a new dresser. All those things could add to why he was listening, so I'll test my theory again on Monday.

After the bath, he was pretty much well-behaved, and was warmer towards me that he had been the last two weeks.

Violet and Cecilia gave me heck today. I'll start with Cecilia.

On the whole, she seems to be more into defying me lately. When I tell her to do something, there's a fifty-fifty chance she'll say yes or no, and it's usually the latter.

I'm not sure what it is that's making her act this way. It could be she simply doesn't like me, but it could also be that she's trying to test her boudries, see how far her limits are.

When it was time to take a bath, I had brought her inside. Then she went outside again. The next time I saw her, she was playing in the mud outside, digging it up with a spoon.

I'll admit, I was a bit harsh with her, because I simply picked her up and took her inside, while she was crying that she wanted to finish something. I'm really against doing things like that, and normally I would've let her finish whatever she had to finish, but it was very late, and they really needed to take a bath already.

So, when I brought her inside, she consquently threw herself down on the floor and began to scream, kicking her feet, because I wouldn't let her go back outside. Because time was a limited commodity, I picked her up mid-tantrum and took her to the shower. On the way up, she either pinched or bit me, I'm not sure which one she did. I think she pinched me, but it could have been the latter as well.

It's something to note here, that out of all her siblings, she has the most high-pitched voice. When I put her in the bath, she was screaming because she didn't want to take a bath and wanted her mother, and she tried coming out, and I wouldn't let her.

I tried rushing things so she'll be the first one out, but it didn't work out that way. Well, she was the first one out, but not exactly.

I let her wash her own hair, but as my rule with the other kids, they have to let me do it for them after, just in case they missed a spot. Cecilia did not seem to like this, because when I did it for her, she started screaming again.

Her mother came in, and asked if she was done. So I told her that she was finished shampoo, but she still needed to do soap. Apparently, her mother can't handle Cecilia's screams, because she took her out of the bath without her washing her body, just so she'll stop crying.

I don't like this at all, because that's been the story for the last couple of days. Cecilia screams, she gets taken out. It's negative reinforcement, and it's teaching her that she can get things by throwing a tantrum.

Personally, her screams don't faze me much, but I'll have to see if there isn't a way to get her to stop, or at least stop her mother from giving in to them.

Violet was good until the point she had to take a bath. She didn't want to come in either, and when I made her, she promptly pinched/bit me, and then ran outside through the backyard (I'm happy Mark didn't think of that escape route).

When I brought her in a second time, she whined and cried (only a little, and it stopped by the time she got in the bath), but otherwise didn't try to leave the house.

As a result, I told her she was being punished for biting me, and that she was not allowed to go outside after the bath. All the other kids were allowed to, but she wasn't.

She was pretty much good afterwards. Even so, when they all got dressed in their pj's, I told her she can't go outside because she was being punished. At first she listened, but then she came out, and I was too tired to stop her.

On Gloria, there's not much to say, except that she gave me an easier time then usual. She mostly did what she was told, except when it came to washing/brushing her hair.

When I washed it for her, she said it hurt. Her hair is very knotty, so it could be because of that. I tried convincing her to brush her hair out while she had conditioner in her hair, because it's much easier to take out the knots that way, and when she washes it out, it won't be that difficult to brush it.

She wouldn't do it though, because it hurts too much. So her hair stayed knotty. I'm going to have to try and think of a way for her to do it despite a little pain, maybe a soft bristled brush would work.

These are my observations for Friday [07.07.06].

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My life sucks, how'd you guess?

~Téa
 
 
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