I was in the middle of blogging about the challenges, struggles, and paralyzing frustrations of motherhood when I started writing about last night. I realized it deserved its own post and that our readers deserve a good laugh (or sympathetic cry) at my expense.
The struggle is constant. Last night was a good gesture gone horribly awry. It usually does go this way when I try to be a better mom. All I wanted was to embrace the sweetness that #4 (4 years old) is feeling for his older brother (12 years old). But I get it. Poor judgement call and I paid for it. No one to blame but meself.
The 4 yo has been saying he loves #1. He wanted to snuggle with him. I try to be flexible sometimes. And oh my gosh, talk about heart melt when the 4 year old says, “I love my brother and want to snuggle him.” I’m all for routine and organized chaos but I’m also for spontaneity and fun. #4 wanted to sleep in bed with #1. This worked the other night perfectly until #4 peed (for the first time in 2 months of course) in #1’s bed. So I figured I’d squash that from happening by making him pee for sure right before bed. (Yep, I’m a great problem solver!)
However, last night #2 and #1 were also getting along well. #1 has been having issues and feeling like he never gets any attention so I also figured I’d reward that relationship and not be a hardass for a night. You know, you say “no” about a million times a day, sometimes you just need to say “yes” once in a while. So then #2 wanted to sleep near #1. Sure, I figured logically, since this would put all 4 boys in the same room which we will be transitioning to soon anyway.
Which displaced #3 to the other bedroom.
#4 and #5 then had screaming matches instead of falling asleep.
#4 went to bed without eating (which, in retrospect, the philosophy to let the toddler choose between eating what I made or not eating anything, while a solid parenting move in general, has its downside). He woke up 5 times (mostly because #1 didn’t actually sleep in bed with him, and I am sure he was very hangry) before I lost it and brought him back to his room before he woke us #5 and all hell broke loose.
Since #3 was sleeping in #4s bed, #4 had to sleep in #2’s bed. This, as you can guess, didn’t go over super well at 2 am. We both melted down. I wavered between strangling him, screaming at him and cuddling him to get him to stop screaming in hopes he wouldn’t wake up mama or #5. I was a hot mess as was he. All I wanted to do was sleep, which I’m sure the 4 year old understood as I screamed this to him in the night. Screaming at a 4 year old that you want to sleep and to stop crying is a sure winner to get a nice, calm child that says, “Oh! I didn’t realize I was keeping you up! I’ll calm down since you explained this to me and just fall asleep.” I mean, this ain’t my first rodeo with toddler logic. I am an expert.
Then, if the night wasn’t already a disaster, the part time dog has his own issues. He usually sleeps with #2 under his covers. If #2 is gone, the damn dog doesn’t know what to do with himself. He paces. He cries. He barks. He tries to jump into bed with us, and expects to sleep in the middle. Also under our covers. That doesn’t really fly for us. I first let the dog sleep with #2 in the other bedroom for the night but he was pacing in and out, having no idea what to do with himself, sure to disrupt the 2 toddlers sleep. I finally threw him in the bedroom that #3 was now sleeping in, hoping he had a warm body to sleep near and would calm down. It didn’t work. He woke us up crying even more often than #4. So logically, I chose last night to be a hardass with the dog. Usually I give in because he’ll do it all night and I let him on the bed with us. I chose last night to draw the line. So I scolded him and went back to sleep. 4 times. My wife got up to let him out, too. This also continued throughout the night.
I’m not sure there’s a moral to this story, except never let your children talk you into anything, no matter what. Even the best of intentions will blow up in your face. ‘Tis better to put up with the hour of whining, begging and pleading before bed because you won’t let them have any fun, than to have a night from hell. I’ve learned my lesson! Until the next time I think I should be that cool mom that’s flexible.