I'm getting ready to leave for California tomorrow so while the kids nap, I should be working on my ever-growing to do list instead of doing a blog post. But this will be quick.
Last Thursday was one of those days that ended with the feeling that I'm really botching things as a parent. Nap time was a fiasco, it took nearly two hours for the kids to go down! By that time, it's like, what's the point? For a few months now, the kids have gotten used to me sitting in the recliner while they go to sleep, and I've been working to end that. Nighttime has been working pretty well, but the nap is another story. So I did my nighttime routine of sitting in the chair for 5 minutes, then leaving. Immediately, Bear (who was almost asleep) rose up "mommy night night, mommy night night!"
"No, Mommy has to go downstairs now, good night" was my calm reply.
He followed me out of the room, crying and I guiltily shut the gate on him (we have a gate in the hall for stair protection). At night he has done this for just a couple minutes then goes back to bed, but not this time. And so it continued, one or the other getting up, crying.
I tried the Supernanny thing of no talking and calmly putting them back in bed (The show never talks about how your back feels after you do that 100 times!) Then I would finally get exasperated and go into the other room. But then Bear started sitting on Boo, and pushing her into the gate...essentially doing anything to get me back in there.
When you first have your baby you think "oh, I know I'll get angry sometimes, but I'll just breathe deep (or whatever)". You can't imagine that this sweet little thing would ever do anything to make you angry...or to what depths. I hate to admit this, but I'm being honest here: when I saw Bear ramming his sister against the gate, I felt so angry that I just wanted to swat him. I took everything I had not to. But I wasn't very calm. "NO! We don't do that! You get back in that bed right now!" Then I put him into bed, not very calmly.
I was tired, frustrated, exasperated and felt I was being played like a fiddle by these two kids. In hindsight, I put them down too late to begin with, so they were overtired, and I probably should have just given up on the nap, but then I imagined the late afternoon meltdowns. But I also felt that I should not give in. Oh, it's so hard to know what is the right thing to do!
They did finally fall asleep that day and didn't wake up until almost 5:00, which threw our schedule way off. But we went to the playground (like I had promised earlier) and met Daddy. Then a dinner in the mini van of Sushi for the grownups & Chicken Nuggets for the kids, and home for popcorn & Thomas the Train. Mommy needed the kind of soothing that only eating a bowl of popcorn (my vice) and sitting on the couch watching TV can give...even if it is Thomas.