Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Challenging Days

We've had a few challenging parenting days around here lately. First, Morgan is still not sleeping for any substantial length of time at night, so I'm up every couple of hours. Fun! I'm on about 5 hours of total sleep right now, taken 60-90 minutes at a time. I'm cursing the sun for being so bright and streaming its light beams into my house and eyeballs just now. Mean old sun. Want it dark.

Ryan has been challenging, too--he's already had two fits bordering on tantrums this morning, due in part to his not getting enough sleep (he couldn't fall asleep last night) and also in part to what I can only describe as sheer cussedness. We had our neighbors over for the afternoon yesterday and he and his friend (also 5) tore up my house more than usual. Neither one could listen to us about the inadvisability of throwing pillows and walking on unsteady tables and it's getting out of control. When they are together, they influence each other for the worse. The final straw was the trashing of Ryan's room, in Rock Star-Hotel Room style, bookcase knocked over, toybox overturned, dresser drawers completely emptied of clean clothes, bed stripped and mattress pulled off the boxsprings. The the other boy chanted gleefully, "We got in trouble! We got in trouble!" Thank You, Good Night. Ryan spent all evening cleaning up the mess and missed his story time last night, which hurt him because they're reading the second Harry Potter book, which he loves. Oh well.

Obviously, those two boys will not be playing together unsupervised for a while. I'd love to call a complete halt to them playing together at all for a little while, but unfortunately, my friend and I babysit for each other. Today, I have a doctor's appointment and my friend is watching my kids. I usually end up watching her kids at least once a week. It's hard, because I don't have many daytime babysitting options, so I need to rely on my friend and vice versa. I also really resent the fact that evidently I need to supervise the 5 year olds as much or even more than I need to supervise the 2 & 3 year olds. But my eyes are open wide now and I will be watching them carefully.

I think slaving away to rectify the situation in his room made an impression on Ryan though. We chose not to have his friend help him (his mom offered) clean up the mess because the other boy was completely unremorseful and even cheerful about the whole thing and Ryan was definitely picking up that attitude. He's basically a good kid, but let's just say that his parents and Brendan and I have differing ideas in the discipline realm, and these differences are beginning to tell now that the boys are getting older. Not that both boys weren't equally responsible for what happened--they definitely were. But it was remarkable to see the difference in how each child behaved upon being caught. Night and day.

We're going to spend a quiet day at home, cleaning up some more and trying to get the house ready for Christmas. Maybe napping, too. Yeah. Naps. Hooray.

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