Piggy Wiggy


girls-arguingSammy and Ella have been fighting. A lot. Ella is Ella and generally not super easy to get along with. She angers quickly and resorts to yelling, hitting, and other truly inappropriate methods to get her point across. Until recently, Sammy has dealt with it by ignoring her, or if she can’t, crying to me or Sean that Ella’s done whatever it is. Until recently. I don’t know if it’s the stress of school and the extra tiredness that comes with school,  or Sammy deciding to stick up for herself, or what, but she has started fighting back. Literally. Ella is stubborn and won’t learn the simple lesson that Sammy is much bigger than she. One shove from Sammy sends Ella flying and crying.

Sometimes it’s exhausting, sometimes it’s kind of funny.

This last week they were in the bath (I’m too lazy to bathe one child at a time, until they complain, all 3 in the tub, assembly line style). Ella splashed Sammy so Sammy splashed Ella, then Penny got wet and started screaming. More splashing, three children screaming, jumping out of the tub dripping water on the floor, then one slips on the other one’s water drips and screams that she did it on purpose. Meanwhile, I’m running around trying to snag someone with a towel. Good times.

Ella became very mad, so she scribbled across a drawing of Sammy’s of a pig dressed as a policeman. Sammy saw, so she did the same to the drawing Ella had made for herself. Ella saw that and grabbed Sammy’s drawing and tore into little bits right in front of her.

Sammy looked like she had been slapped.  Then she burst into tears. Sobbing with the ugly cry face. I’ve not seen her so devastated about something, really ever. Ella had lost it by that time and was just flat out screaming and running around hitting and kicking things. I’m telling you, this house is nothing but a good time all the time.

When I finally was able to get them calmed enough to sit on the couch, one on each side of me, Sammy still blubbering, Ella arms crossed in front of her chest deliberately not looking at me, I asked them what happened. Ella said Sammy splashed her first and started it. Samantha blubbered something.

I tried asking Sammy why she was so upset.

Snot and tears streaming down her face she said, “Ayyagrptmntplph”.

After a while, she calmed enough for me to hear, “Piggy Wiggy”.

Then she started with the sobbing again, “piggy wiggy, piggy wiggy, piggy wiggy”.

I assumed piggy wiggy was the drawing she made. I told her she could make another one. This caused a new round of ugly crying.

Ella is a pretty good artist for her age. Apparently, she drew the pig for Sammy, who said she couldn’t draw it herself.

I asked Ella if she saw how upset Sammy was. She yelled that Sammy did it to hers too. I agreed and told them they both needed to be nicer to each other, so their punishment was they each had to do something nice for the other one everyday for the next four days (one of my finer parenting ideas if I do say so myself).

Ella got up and drew another pig for Sammy, and even drew the clothes on it. Sammy clutched and began sucking on it like a blanket before I reminded her the paper would get ruined that way. She said thank you to Ella (after some prodding). Then they went to bed with Sammy saying “piggy wiggy” over and over again to her new picture. Crisis managed and it only took an hour and a half.



The State of Education

This school year, I’ve been busy serving on the fundraising board for Sammy and Ella’s elementary school. We finally finished the launch of our annual fund drive. In L.A., and I think many other public school systems in the U.S., if you want your child to have more than the basics, you have to pay something to help fund the school. What did we ask this year? $2200 per child in order to raise $645,000. Yeah. That’s a lot.  It’s a lot to be asked to raise, and it’s a lot for a family with even one child, let alone […]

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Ella and the chickens

Ella's favorite chicken

Ella throws another tantrum. Over what I can’t remember, her water wasn’t cold enough, her eggs not hot enough, a sister moved her blanket, her drawing wasn’t perfect. It goes on and on. My head pounds, I’m at my wit’s end. Time outs don’t work. She runs out of her room, I carry her, kicking and screaming, back in. Out she comes, in we go, and the only thing gained are my black and blue shins. Yelling doesn’t work. Her screams are louder than mine. Walking away doesn’t work, she follows, making sure I know she’ angry with the world. […]

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