Friday, June 19, 2009

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As you all know, I am in my twenties and have two little boys ages 4 and 10 months. After tonight I have decided to get my tubes tied. And just to be safe my husband decided he will get a vasectomy also. Actually, instead of "tied", I am going to request that my tubes be double knotted!!.... Does anyone else have a four year old who will NOT stay in bed?????! We recently came up with the "brilliant" idea of letting our boys share a bedroom. My husband has such happy memories of late nights and games and story-telling and adventures with his own brother, that he wanted his boys to experience the same thing. Now granted, one of them is not yet walking or speaking, but since we only have three bedrooms and we have company from time to time who need a guest room, we thought "why not put them together now?! They will bond! Laugh! Grow! Play together in the mornings! It will be wonderful!" Here is a small taste of what we have been experiencing as of late - tonight pretty much sums it up: we put the boys to bed around 6:45pm. They were fed, prayers said, teeth brushed, sips of water, more prayers (for sweet dreams) said, cuddled, kissed and humored in every way a four year old could come up with. My sweet husband took over for the first two hours and instituted the "Super Nanny" rule of - After the first time the child gets out of bed you explain what is expected and if they keep getting out of bed then you gently take them by the arm and place them back in bed again and again and again and again until finally they relent. Andrew stood in the kitchen waiting for the inevitable a whopping 80 TIMES. As in 8 and 0 - 80! the number after 79. He made me stay away (which I gladly did while watching "Pregnant at 16" and "Wife Swap" in the bedroom) so that Ian and Owen wouldn't see me and start screaming for me. Finally at 9pm i tagged him out and kissed him goodnight and have been dealing with my "angels" ever since. Ian woke Owen 3 different times and poor little Owen Marshall is EXHAUSTED since he missed his afternoon nap today. We aren't "spankers", but i came darn close tonight! Threatened it and told Ian that we have always done the time-out thing but he is getting very close to us beginning to just spank him and was that what he wanted? (He does not - in case you were wondering). Finally, about 15 minutes ago I either stumbled onto the trick, the magic, the threat that may just work from now on ...or...he just finally collapsed from exhaustion. Before I share my new strategy let me just say that ever since Ian had a nightmare (he has many) but a very alarming nightmare last week about a monkey - sigh and lol - he has literally been my SHADOW. He won't go to the bathroom alone, get a toy alone, if i am in my bedroom and walking between the bathroom and closet - he is SO close to me that i am literally stumbling over him. If i'm on the computer, he's by my feet playing. if i'm in the shower, he's in the bathroom with his toys. It sounds cute and pitiful but believe me it is anything but!!!! It is frustrating and infuriating and I am at a complete loss. Here is a kid who liked to go by himself on bear hunts alone in the closet armed with a flashlight and squirt gun - who now BEGS for me or his baby brother to watch him go to the bathroom so that he won't have to be alone. I could go on and on about this and everything I have tried, but believe me I have tried every common sense idea you could fathom - and even some non-common sense ones... Anyway, a few minutes ago while i was at a total loss of how I was ever going to get Ian and Owen to sleep, I googled "four year old scared of bed" and found some forums. And among the monster sprays and prayers and spankings and co-sleeping and answers from parents who have clearly never experienced this and every method imaginable, was my magical answer: "Give her/him one chance, before bed, to ask for anything she/he could possibly need before going to sleep. Including a pre-lights out monster check. Come up with something she/he will sorely miss and tell her/him that if they come out after they are put to bed, she/he will lose it the following day.Good luck!" So simple and yet SO effective. So as I walked Ian back to his bed for the zillionth time I said, "if you get out of bed again, tomorrow I am taking away Batman and you will NOT play with him all day". He got out of bed - and so I said, "okay, tomorrow I have Batman". Then as I put him back he started screaming for me and crying (but NOT getting out of bed!! Ahaaa!) Then Owen started fussing. So I went in there and said, "You've already lost Batman tomorrow, but if you get out of bed again OR if you yell for me OR wake Owen again, I am taking away the big black car you play with." To which he crinkled his forehead and said, "What black car?" to which I said, "The big black car that Papa gave you that you play with every day" to which he said, (in a Mommy-you-are-not-too-bright way), "That car's not black", to which I gave him a blank stare and thought, "children are overrated". He is right - it is silver and black I saw as I walked out of his room, but guess who has not made a peep and who is currently fast asleep with an angry...i mean angelic...look on his face??! I would like to give an honorable mention to another favorite answer that I saw on the "how to get your child to stay in bed" forum. This response comes from a 15 year old girl: "Tell her if she doesn't go to bed you're going to ask the monsters to eat her toenails. I'm 15 and that would make me go to sleep in a flash!" Now there is a future mother who could write a parenting book!
dance party time - check out their "robot"

Andrew's sister and her family came to visit Wednesday and Thursday and we were so excited to have them! Aside from all the obvious reasons and the fact that we hadn't met each other's newest babies and haven't seen each other in forever, the major bonus was that Ian had his best bud, cousin Landon around to leach onto 24/7 - so I was finally shadow-free for a blessed 48 hours. You would think that the boys getting to have a slumber party together (complete with marshmallows and stories) would have solved the getting out of bed problem, but you would be wrong. Last night I heard wailing over the baby monitor... here is what I'm almost positive happened. Landon started crying (in his sleep) which in turn woke his sleeping bag buddy, Ian - who was also crying walking towards my room when I came to check on them. By the time I got into the room Owen had started crying and just as I settled him down Landon again cried out in his sleep and then from the bed Hallie started crying and calling for her mommy. I sent Ian to my room to sleep for the rest of the night (okay, I guess I wasn't completely shadow-free after all!), tucked Landon in again, made sure Owen was still settled and after unsuccessfully trying to calm Hallie, finally knocked on the "guest room" door and ever-so-gently shoved her in. Just refer to me as "Crisis Management".


Anyway, all in all it was great to see family! And we are excited to have them for another night on their way back from Utah. Love you guys~

Signing off:
Crisis Management

Another FAV!!