Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bedtime battles

Two year old boys are the bane of my existence.

Jacob was my angel baby. He was the easiest baby ever. Slept through the night at two weeks old, hung around in his swing, vibrating seat and bouncy saucer all day, loved to laugh and smile at us, and never fought me once at nap time or bedtime. It was a refreshing help to me, because I had bedtime battles with Bailey up until she was almost 4 years old. Bedtime was a torturous time in my life for years. It hasn't helped that Chris has always had a job incompatible with him being home during dinner and bedtime 99% of the time. I even resorted to watching super-nanny for tips. And her 'back to bed' routine actually worked... like after 2 years of trying it nightly...

Although Jacob was a bedtime champ, about 18 months - to 2 years old rolled around and he became this holy force to be reckoned with. I would fight with him daily. That kid sat in time-out more times in a single day than I could count. He got into anything and everything faster than I could stop him. I even had those safety locks on all my cupboards and doors, and he still figured out how to get what he wanted. I had to have called poison control about 150 million times. I swear they knew me by name and laughed about my mothering skills every time they hung up the phone.

My most memorable 'incidents' committed by Jacob include: Black permanent marker ALL over my freshly painted walls and window treatments, and of course his humongous teddy bear that was bigger than him; the time he flushed my hard contacts down the toilet when I had the stomach flu. That was a great one. I can't see 2 feet in front of me without them let alone drive, and had to wait 8 weeks to get my new ones. And two weeks later, he got hold of them... and flushed them... again. But the one that tops them all, is definitely the time I brought home my brand new leather couches. I had them home all of 2 days. I put the kids in front of a movie and hoped in the shower. I was in and out in all of 5 minutes, when my trusty little spy Bailey came running in hollering "MOM! JACOB IS DOING SOMETHING!!! I of course came running out to see if my couches were unscathed... they weren't so much. He had climbed up to the top shelf of my pantry and gotten out the Dawn Power Dissolver that cuts tough grease on pots and pans. It works AWESOME on pots and pants. It DESTROYS leather sofas. He was turning around in circles spraying this stuff. It also took the finish off the front of my television and armour. I speechlessly escorted him to his room where he stayed for the next hour while I tried uselessly to fix what was damaged beyond repair.

Yeah, he drove me up a freakin wall. Like until he turned 5. Then all of a sudden... he became about 95% more pleasant to be around. He is still your typical little boy; gets wild and silly lots of the time, but is able to be a lot more obedient, and I can actually reason with him now. We get along a lot better these days.

Carter has now occupied the role of holy terror for the past 18 months or so. He will be three years old next month. He is exactly as busy as Jacob was. I can't believe how much damage that kid can do to a perfectly clean house in minutes. He is my little wild man. I love him so much; but he drives me up a freakin wall, every day without fail.

He was the best baby too. Seriously. Went to bed like a champ every night... until I had to put him in an actual bed. Then the torture began. The only bargaining chip I had was to take away his pacifier.

Did some of you actually gasp? Okay, before you get all Judgy-mcjudgypants on me, let me set the record straight. I NEED that dang pacifier for my sanity! I am pretty much a single parent these days. I need some solace at night after my children go to bed! Some days it is all I have to look forward to! So what did I do? I would threaten to take it away like the first 50 times he got out of bed, then of course actually take it away, to which he would then throw a monster fit for the next 20 or 30 minutes following the confiscation; to which I would argue and fight with my 2 year old just like I was a two year old and stubbornly refuse to give it back because after all, I had told him what I was gonna do if he got out of bed even ONE MORE TIME... and GOOD mothers follow through with promised punishments for the good of their children, right? Then I would of course cave and give it back just to make the torturous tantrum stop, to which 85-90% of the time he would actually then go to bed. Whew. I am such an effective disciplinarian, believe me, I know.

Well, then I started feeling guilty about 2 months before the baby came that my almost three year old still had a pacifier. So one night when Chris had just gone back out of town for work I decided to have the "Pacifier Fairy" come and take his pacifiers to a better place where new babies needed them, and not big boys. (Another Super-nanny favorite.) Carter gathered up his most beloved pass's as he calls them and put them all in a bag on the front porch, and then balled his guts out heartwrenchingly, as I listened torturously for 3 painstaking hours; he got a present the next morning in place of his most prized possessions. I made it through about 10 days where he of course would beg and plead at nap time and bedtime for hours. Gut-wrenching, whining, pleading, tantrum throwing, hollering, mourning the loss of "MY PAaaaaaSS mom, MY PAAAAAASSSS!"

To be continued.......


Shelby said...

Oh man....I thought Reesie was a wild child, but it looks like she might have some competition after all. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

Also, I tried to call you back but it was around 9pm so hopefully I didn't wake you all up. I have no idea what time normal people go to bed--Joe and I usually go sometime between 12-1am. Call me back when you have time!

Lori Ann said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I know you know (and then some). This too shall pass, the last week was just BAD! I need to vent and recharge a bit. I wish the same for you, that you will sell and reunite your family! HUGS!!!!

Jeanine said...

I'm sorry I was laughing so hard Jen -- I'm glad you didn't hear it. Just the way you told the story -- it's so vivid.:) Hang in there! Jeanine.