Thursday, August 13, 2009

A successful experiment. Depending on what you mean by 'successful'.

A few weeks ago, we decided that enough was enough with Mallory serenading us from her bedroom floor at 10 p.m. each night. We started limiting her naps to just one hour - no exceptions.

On the good side: she goes to bed without the song-and-dance routine now. She falls asleep fairly quickly. She even falls asleep IN HER BED most of the time now! Hallelujah, we got her off the carpet before the stomach flu season begins!

On the bad side: now, she is miserable to live with.

She is so miserable that she is funny. We obviously need to tweak the routine a little more to get her some more shut-eye, because she is either overtired right now, or else she is just a raging lunatic. A typical day goes like this: I go in to wake her up in the morning. She sees me and starts to cry. "NO mommy! I don't want to get up! You get out!" The entire morning routine is much like this. She doesn't want to get dressed, will only go downstairs if she is carried, cries the whole time she is getting her hair brushed and barrettes or ponytails put in, she orders something for breakfast and then refuses to eat it (yesterday she was sobbing into her juice cup: "This is not apple juice!" when it most certainly was.) She argues with Liam over who gets to pick out their vitamin first (we should never have let them choose which colour they want; the mantra should be, "You get what you get and you don't get upset"). She drags her feet to get her teeth brushed.

I hope the morning goes a little smoother for Cindy, who has noticed some increased fussiness but has not found it unbearable, at least not that she has let on yet. Mallory does give her a hard time when she wakes her from her afternoon nap, though she can usually coax her out of bed by promising that she can play in the kiddie pool after her snack. When I pick her up at the end of the day she is not usually too bad. She likes to watch Dora while I make dinner and I pretty much know and expect that she will fuss over what is for dinner - this was going on long before the shortened naptime. But she always seems to get a second wind in the hour or so before she goes to bed, to the extent that whatever visions we had of getting her to bed a bit earlier that night go flying out the window. And then the process repeats itself.

*Sigh*... one day we will figure this parenting thing out!

On a somewhat related note, we are going on vacation soon. And I am soooo ready for it. We usually go on vacation around the same time each year, and it's right about now that it starts feeling like we haven't had a getaway in f-o-r-e-v-e-r (I feel bad saying that; we did have a lovely trip to Chicago in the spring). But once a year I think it is so worthwhile to have some downtime and pat yourselves on the back for having made it through another year of fighting to get vegetables down your kid's throat and doctor's appointments and skating lessons and endless meetings and long days and longer nights and feeding the cat food that makes you nauseous and cleaning pee out of the carpet in your new house when your son decides that his bedroom closet does double duty as a toilet. We survived all of that and more, and it's time to reward ourselves and calm our nerves so that we are ready to deal with another year of it.