Bedtime: An Addendum

Baby jail. Oh, how I miss you.

So. Apparently kids are people. You can, like, communicate with them and stuff.

Yeah.

So, like I said before, bedtime has been a struggle for me with Cameron and Grace for a while now. But this week, I had an idea! I would tell them what I wanted them to do, instead of assuming they knew and then getting mad when they didn’t. So, after baths, we have been having about a half-hour of wind down time where we watch some tv or read a book. Then, at 8:30, I turn to them.

“Cameron and Grace,” I say. “Do you know what time it is?”

Then, one of them usually says “bedtime.” Or, “butts.” Whatever.

“And what do I expect from you?”

Then we go over what I expect: for them to lie down BY THEMSELVES, to be quiet and to go to sleep. Bedtime has been so much better since I started this! Cameron is naturally more likely to go to sleep, so this is his cue to settle down in his bed. Grace has a little more energy (plus, she’s younger) so it takes a little more time to settle her down. When she tries to ask for juice and toys and whatever else, I calmly repeat that it’s bed time and time to go to sleep.

Honestly, I think it’s more because laying it out there like that helps me not feel crazy and angry and frustrated. So then they follow suit.

I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but if this actually ends up working? Wooooooooo!

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On My Other Blog: Pretty Things

love my part-time job as a sales person at a clothing store. I feel like I shouldn’t, since I am still paying for my college education – but I do.

More here.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Behold! My very first Mother’s Day presents from Cam and Grace! Apparently, I am a star. Even though they made them only because their teachers told them to – I still plan on keeping them forever.

 


On Bedtime

Look at how sweet and innocent she looks. Lies!

My daughter is a horrible sleeper. Horrible. Tonight, when I was trying to get her to go to bed, the only thing I could do to settle her was sit in the dark and pat her on the back as she lay in her tiny bed. To ease my impatient-to-do-anything-else mind, I decided I’d count to 300. One, two, three, pat, pat, pat. All the way up to 300. She was still and peaceful. I sighed with relief and took my hand off her little back. Her eyes jerked open. Nope. Three hundred more pats. Still no sleeping toddler. Finally, around pat 725, she was out for the night.

Sometimes, parenthood is intuitive, easy, fun. Sometimes it’s an uphill climb up Mount Everest.

Bedtime for me takes some serious Olympian-level endurance and patience. I am sleepy. There was probably lots of laughter and silliness earlier in the evening, but that’s all over by the time the kids (yes, two of them. And they’re two and four) are in their beds. I need sheer focus and determination to see my task through. But I’m no good with determination. I want them to just go to bed, quickly, with no drama. Instead everyone is thirsty, and has a boo-boo and needs to poop. No! Go to bed!

I get frustrated and overwhelmed and then I want to quit. I get angry. It’s very difficult for me to focus on something that is hard for me. I’d rather procrastinate, thinking of a million other things I should be doing instead of the situation at hand. But I don’t want to be like that. I want focus. I want to be the kind of person that finishes what she starts, no matter what the obsticle.

But my kids don’t let me dither. They keep my crazy head on one straight and deliberate path. I’m so thankful to them for that.