Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Take two baby aspirin and call me in the morning

(You are sick to death of hearing about my kids' birthdays by now, I know. If you need a break I recommend a visit to my friend GHD.)

Last week's birthday festivities were kicking my ass. Then came this week: The Birthday Hangover. My god, these children are beastly. They are defiant, rude, and aggressive. Sent-to-the-principal (her), screamed-through-three-naptimes-in-a-row (him), hitting, throwing, tantrumming naughty.

Please tell me this is just a reaction to the excesses of last week. Please tell me my sweet children will be coming back, after a firm application of regular routines and discipline. I am hoping desperately.

The situation brings out an argument discussion I've been having with Jeff lately, which is that too much--too many treats, too many presents, too many desserts, whatever--is just as bad as none at all. If you get candy every day (or every hour, it feels like), then what's special about candy? If you get gifts once a week, how long before you expect them once a day?

He thinks I am totally overreacting, but I worry. I really do. I realize all this is a problem of privilege, but I want my children to appreciate all they've been blessed with. I want them to know that the reason they receive so many gifts is that there are so many people who love them. Even when they are being total stinkers.

P.S. She does look cute in her TwirlyGirl dress, though.


Damselfly said...

Hmmm. I think you are onto something. Sometimes I consider hiding all of my son's toys for a day and see what happens, what he does to play.

Heather said...

I have to agree. My kids get the same way. And ask "what can I get?" if I ask them if they want to go to the store with me. It's my issue more than theirs though I think.

But I know what you speak of!

Lady M said...

I think we are also guilty of overgifting. Between the preschool party, home party, three set of grandparents, poor impulse control by ourselves . . . we've got a lot of toys around here. Keeping that sense of entitlement out of the picture is going to be important, if we can figure out how to do it!

Suzanne said...

I'm with you. We've just finished the extended birthday marathon (actual birthday, family party, kid party), which stretched over 2 weeks. Enough with the celebration and gifts already!

the mama bird diaries said...

I agree. Too much and they appreciate nothing.

Tree said...

ITA. N frequently asks if he can go to Target with me to buy a new toy. I have switched my Target runs to lunchtime activity during the week in order to bypass the constant pleas for a new toy. A crappy new toy that he will play with one or two days, then cast aside.

I have learned what toys he plays with for hours and which toys he will play with for a brief period. It's taken 6+ years, but now I know.

Binkytown said...

No worries. It's the ebb and flow. We were just commenting on how happy and pleasant our sweet boy was and then he turned into a complete spazzing out freak. They'll be back..

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

Hey, if it makes you feel any better just READING about the parties kicked my ass! ;)

GHD said...

Wow! Thanks for the linky love Mayberry Mom.

Ha! "Birthday Hangover" is a GREAT name for it. Oy! We're going through it too!

I've hid most of the new toys and plan to bring them out one by one over the year. Somehow I doubt that would work with the clever monkeys you have.

Good luck over there!!!

Angela said...

I feel the same way. I worry that my children are given too much and aren't grateful for what they have. It's such a tough line, knowing when it's too much, but we all have to follow our instincts and sometimes also ask someone else their honest opinion.

GHD said...

Oh and P.S. TOTALLY cute!

Mandy said...

Passing through from your comment on MotherBumper's recent post.

I hear you about the treats. My husband and I feel as you do, although it seems that treats seem to come in waves. Recently, we've decided on a "no treats while in the house" policy (mostly food related I'll admit) and I have to say, I think it's made a difference. My son has far fewer mood swings now.

I'm sure your children will regain their balance sooner rather than later. It just seems like forever when you're in the middle of a bad patch.

mothergoosemouse said...

What you said. All of it. Including the part about the husband thinking that I'm overreacting.

And we have a TwirlyGirl dress too!

Julie Pippert said...

Wow, sounds just like my house!

I've started The Big Purge a month before birthdays and Christmas.

And I've started asking for cutbacks on Things.

For the same reason, and funny, I get the same reaction. :)

Kimberly said...

We had a similar Easter hangover earlier this month - SUCKS!

She is a cutie in her Twirly Girl dress though. Love!

Ramblin' Red said...

I call this return to unprivileged normalcy, "re-entry." My son is having a miserable time with re-entry from spring break, and is also "defiant, rude, and aggressive...screamed-through-three-naptimes-in-a-row (him), hitting, throwing, tantrumming naughty."

The week after Easter was also the same.

Hate re-entry. Hate it.