I felt that life was getting too crazy. I had stopped running. I was getting more and more grouchy. I was less inclined to go out and do things with the kids. I was looking forward to the Mrs being home more and more, but since she was working 100 hour weeks (nope, not kidding...think long and hard before becoming a lawyer kiddos) we never saw her.
So two weeks ago, I decided to kick myself in the ass and get up, get out and do something. I started running again. We got back out for play dates. I was cooking healthy meals again. But I was still feeling tied up. That's when I realized that maybe I was trying to control too many aspects of the boys lives. Too much of "don't do that", "don't touch that", "don't climb up there", "stop fussing", "stop jumping off the ottoman", "don't throw your toys", "no splashing", "go to sleep"...my blood pressure is rising just writing it out! Instead of walking quietly and carrying a big stick, I was stomping around and screaming through a bullhorn. So I decided to stop.
The first situation I have chosen to tackle is nap time.
Nap time (and bed time for that matter), while albeit I cherish, has been a thorn in my side. Our routine has been to go to the bathroom, change diaper, read 2 books and off to dream land. The first three went off without a hitch. The last one? Not so much. Taz would be screaming, Little Man would be banging, books would be thrown, beds would be destroyed and occasional crying would ensue. I would tromp up there 3-5 times every afternoon for nap and every night for bedtime, aggressively open the door, demand silence, then slam the door and return to folding clothes, finishing my dinner or just trying to relax. Eventually they would stop and sleep, but not before I was worn out and feeling completely frazzled.
So yesterday, I decided that I would no longer scream. I would no longer creep up the stairs like a ninja so as to surprise them and put the fear of Dad in them. I would no longer react.
It's 4:27 PM now and the boys have been upstairs for 3 hours. Nap time ends in 3 minutes. All three hours have been filled with screams, cries, crashes and thuds on repeat. I have said nothing. I have done nothing besides fold laundry, make a few phone calls and watch Judge Judy drop the hammer on some unsuspecting derelicts. I have nearly reacted. I have fought the urge to react. My calves and quads have twitched, like spurs in a horses side, just prepping for me to make a quick move. I have been grinding my teeth at every noise. But I have stood (or actually sat) firm.
I warned the boys that there would be no treats, no TV and no toys if they chose to cause a ruckus. I am hopeful that after a few days of essentially no fun that the lesson will be learned and quiet times will return. However, with every fiber of my being going through the ringer right now, I don't know if I can make it another day. The boys just came downstairs and got the bad news. I explained that we have rules, and nap time and bed time are quiet times not crazy times. And in this house if you follow the rules, you win. If you break the rules, you lose.
|The boys finding out that no fun will be had tonight.|
Silver lining, found.