I'm going to be honest and tell you that when I think back to 10 months ago, everything is sort of a blur. I was overwhelmed but I probably had one of the best cases of denial ever. Even if I did find enough sense to acknowledge that I was overwhelmed, I probably would not have ever admitted it to anyone! Really, I didn't know I was overwhelmed at the time. I think I was in a true survival mode.
The kids were very hyper in the very beginning. Imagine taking a child that is ADHD (which Shyne is) and sugaring them up and sending them to Disney World. That was our kids...for weeks. Then to boot, Billy and I were very inexperienced with children. I don't think I can say that enough. Billy and I were very inexperienced with children. Other than my three year old niece, I had never babysat before. Oh wait, I did reluctantly help with a vacation Bible school a couple years before!
But looking back (and even then we recognized) that the kids were obviously over stimulated but for the most part didn't have anything terrible going on that we felt ill equipped to handle. For the most part, they were hyper and trying to adjust and we were tired and trying to adjust.
- The kids did not play with each other, specially the boys.
- Fuller would oftentimes go off by himself and pout when in the presence of other kids.
- Both boys were girl crazy. Shyne was especially excited to start Pre-K so that he could get "57 girlfriends." Sometimes he would even say that he was going to bring them home at night and kiss them.
- Fuller was obsessed with Michael Jackson to the point he wanted to be called Michael Jackson.
- Zippy insisted on being carried everywhere.
- Zippy was partially potty trained. She had been fully potty trained then had a big regression after a visit with her bio mom.
- Shyne occasionally use curse words.
- Both boys thought punks, thugs, hoodlums, gangsters, etc. were cool.
- Shyne would actually say that he was going to a gangster when he grew up. However, he didn't know what a gangster actually was.
- Shyne had impulsive behavior. Sometimes he would curse and hit other kids.
- Fuller was extremely bossy to Shyne and Zippy.
- Fuller had a terrible time sharing. What was HIS was HIS and what was THEIRS was HIS.
Fast forward 10 months to now:
- They are all playing together!!! Praise the Lord. This was a hard one to break and took a lot of work on our parts!
- Fuller gradually quit pouting. It is hard to pinpoint how long this took because it was gradual but I can't remember when he last went off by himself and pouted because his friends wanted to play something different than him, etc.
- We implemented a rule that none of them were allowed to have boyfriend/girlfriends. This was reinforced by Shyne's teacher as one of her class rules prohibited the same. We never kidded around with them about having crushes on girls etc. All this girl crazy talk was quickly abolished probably in the first couple of months we had that we had them. Guess what? Shyne thinks girls are gross now! LOL! Now we have eased up on them since they are now exhibiting very normal behaviors for their ages. We don't want to think that it wrong to like a member of the opposite sex.
- Fuller still likes Michael Jackson but has expanded his musical tastes to include other artist. He is no longer wearing his one bicycle glove everywhere!
- Zippy started walking more after we sat her down and had a little conversation with her about it. It is amazing how it really stuck with her and she tried really hard to resist asking or pleading to be carried after a couple of months.
- Once I complete my job and got Zippy out of daycare, I had her fully potty trained in about two weeks which was about mid-September.
- Shyne's cursing and impulsive behavior pretty much came to a screeching halt once he was diagnosed with ADHD. He can concentrate but has the hyperactivity part of the disorder. He was put on the lowest dosage of medication and we immediately saw drastic improvements in his overall behavior and academics.
- The rule is that no gangsters are allowed in our household. So they are not allowed to wear their baseball hats anyway but the right way. Shyne now says with disgust in his voice, "Mom, we don't allow gangsters and thugs in our house, right Momma?" However in public if we see someone that sort of fits the description, I have been loudly asked "Momma, is that guy a thug?" Yeah, that could make for a nasty situation! SNIKES!
- Fuller is still bossy but not as bad. I'm not sure if this is about being the first born or about being parentified or possibly a combination of both. Now Shyne and Zippy tell him that he is not their boss and that they don't have to mind him.
- Fuller is much better at sharing but can still get a little possessive at times.
While things were never really bad in the beginning, we have definitely come along way in a short period of time.