Thursday, November 14, 2013

At the end of my rope

My darling, beloved four year old daughter has turned into a psychopath.  Now, I am very aware of the fact that being four years old is a hard lot in life, especially when you have two older brothers who are so much more capable than you, and who get so much more attention because they are homeschooled and get to do one-on-one lessons with their mother.  I understand how frustrating it is when you have so little control over your life, just as you are starting to realize you are separate from other people.  Believe me, I have a lot of empathy for her.
I also have a lot of empathy for me, who is stuck in the house with her every day, all day, tearing myself to pieces trying to be patient with Her High Maintenance Majesty.  I am still working on overcoming my strict German, Roman-Catholic upbringing steeped in guilt and shame.    
So when I notice myself ignoring my four year old because she is driving me up the wall, or when I start yelling even, I cringe.  I always promised myself that I would do things differently than my parents. I now understand why my parents did what they did. (At least I have never, ever spanked my children.  Wait.  Maybe I should...).

Talking about being at the end of my rope:  Something else was on the end of my rope the other day.  We picked him up on a rope from our friend, so he can live with us for a month.  His name is Ben, and he is very, very handsome, albeit a little small.  But who cares about being small when you are so extremely stinky.  Meet Ben:

Usually, when you introduce a new goat to a herd, they fight and head butt to establish their pecking order.  I was concerned about my girls beating the crap out of poor Ben, considering how small he is, and considering how bossy my goats are.  But when he arrived, there was instant harmony.  None of my goats are in heat right now, which means they are not very taken by him yet.  But once they come into heat, they will be quite enamored with him.
For now, things are more peaceful than they have ever been in my goat barn.  Now there is a man in the house, and even though he is not huge and bossy, he has a good influence on the ladies.

Speaking of man in the house:  My husband did it again.  Steve blew people away with his skills and knowledge, mostly small people this time.  He taught a class about wilderness skills at our kids' homeschooling program and brought an assortment of dangerous show and tell bootie: bows and arrows, flintknapped knives, fire making kits.  The kids were enthralled.  He even demonstrated making a friction fire, huddled outside the school doors so the fire alarms wouldn't go off.  The kids oooohhed and aaaahhhed, while I nervously stood by, thanking the God of fire for not making this skill a very easy one to copy at home.

Kai and Lukas' social standing just went through the roof because of their cool Dad.

I bet this is a first at this school.
What else is happening at our house, aside from terrible cabin fever with all this dark, rainy weather, and going insane because of all the chaos and mess and four year old psycho drama?
Well, thanks for asking.  Here is another doozie: All the chickens that we painstakingly raised and fed and then slaughtered, in other words: put a lot of effort and money into?  We put them into our freezer in the pole shed.  Steve noticed the other day that it had been unplugged.  All the chickens and other meat in the freezer were defrosted.  We don't know how long it has been like this, but we suspect a friend of ours unplugged the cord, not realizing it went to the freezer, because he had to use a power tool.  If this is the case, the chickens have been defrosted for two and a half weeks at 40 degrees.  I've been on the phone with the Extension Service and many other people, seeking opinions about the safety of all of this.  Are they salvageable?  I really don't want to throw all this meat way, but I also don't want to poison my family with salmonella.  My friend Bo suggested I cook up a chicken and feed it to the guy who unplugged the freezer.  If he lives...

Do you see why I'm freaking out this week?

Other happenings at the farm?  Picking up free, organic pumpkins from Cascadian Farm to feed to our pigs.  A haircut for Lukas, with "help" from his sister.  Anything to stop her from throwing a tantrum, really.  Yes, give the kid scissors to cut her brother's throat hair.  I'm just kidding!  Of course I didn't give her scissors!  And progress with building an extra room.  The concrete pour (in the pouring rain) was successful!

Interesting, isn't it, that I am a life coach, and I help women transform their lives.  I can see the patterns in their lives and help them identify what is needed and what needs to be learned to create a different experience.  The other night, I had a mini-breakdown, bawling in the arms of my very own life coach: Steve.  I felt so overwhelmed and pre-menopausal or PMS-sy or whatever it is that my hormones are trying to pull on me right now.  By Steve holding space for me to lose it, I was able to apply the principles I teach to other women, and I was able to come up with a list of things that I need to do in order to pull out of this.
One of the things:  I want a treadmill.  That way, I can exercise inside of my house, without leaving my kids to kill themselves to fend for themselves without an adult present.  A treadmill would infuse my life with endorphins and Mama time.  So all I'm saying, if you have a spare one sitting around somewhere, would you mind passing it on to me?


  1. When Willow turned four, she began to throw constant, horrible tantrums. It was so bad that we didn't even want to stop at a gas station, let alone a trip to the grocery store. She'd been pretty awesome through the terrible twos, and three was hilarious, but she went crazy at four. Also, she was a giant kid, so to strangers it looked like she was a 7 year old throwing herself on the floor in a department store. We methodically went through a wide variety of strategies and not one thing seemed to make a slight bit of difference. Then she turned 5, and the tantrums abruptly stopped (at least until 12). Like a light switch. Gone. I was both relieved (of course) and annoyed that it seemed to be some kind of developmental stage that I (and a bevy of strangers) had to suffer through. Would have been dead helpful to know this at the time, and would have saved me a lot of frustration in trying to strategize a solution. Maybe Eva is just going through a phase, and you can just keep doing what you did with the boys as they seem to be doing pretty darn well. Good luck! I miss you!

    1. Jenni,
      thanks for this comment. Perspective is good. So are White Russians with Kalua and half and half. I miss you too...


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