I was gone this weekend but apparently the weekend was not without the drama. Marmie was in town so I guess Nathan decided that he wasn't going to take a nap on Sunday.
Have you ever noticed that it is really impossible to make your toddler take a nap if he thinks he might be missing something interesting? His father said that he left him in there for about an hour and a half.
K: He didn't want to take a nap but you left him in there for an hour and a half?
D: He was really, really tired.
K: What did he do?
D: He trashed the room.
K: What do you mean he trashed the room?
D: He up-ended all his crates of toys in the room.
K: And you left him in there?
D: He was TIRED.
My mom jumped in to say that he really was tired and that he eventually fell asleep if only for a little while. I laughed because I would never have hung in for the whole hour and a half. Especially if he was in a tornado mood. I mean, sometimes you just have to give up as a parent. No, wait. Maybe that's what you aren't supposed to do.
Don't mind me. I'll be upstairs cleaning up his room. The room in which he never napped.
Having a lazy Saturday morning when you should be doing the holiday madness? Why not veg out over some our favorite Supersisters around the net.
Need a little dancing this holiday season? Kristin Cummings, the anxiety superhero danced her way through a rough postpartum with a little help from Stevie Wonder.
It might be time to snuggle with little people and a good book. Check out the handy dandy holiday bookfinder on our very own and beloved pbsparents.org.
Cookies, cookies anyone? I think these snickerdoodles look positively scrumptious and perfect for Hanukkah or other holiday celebrations. I love how Lolo is representing for all the veggies in the world.
Don't forget to leave us links your favorite holiday happenings in the comments
This is the Christmas...
where 75% of the ornaments are hung at the eye level of a three year old Lucy.
when your 8 year old soaks up every holiday experience and tells you 1,000 times: "We are having a nice time huh mom?"
the magic of Santa is burned into a 5 year old dreamy boy's heart.
when you hold your tiny baby and think she must be as perfect as the baby Jesus himself.
when you are tired, tired, tired.
where you decide to go everywhere in your pajamas and a fleece pullover.
you are only mildly aware of how far behind you are with all there is to do.
you think about when exactly will you ever send Christmas cards.
when you decide everything is exactly as it should be and all is well.
What is this the Christmas/Hanukkah (or holiday) of for you my friend? Tell us in the comments.
It only took almost four years, but I think we finally have Ethan sleeping through the night. I know. What is wrong with those people that let their kids get up 700 times a night? He really just wants to sleep in between his mom and his dad. In fact, he says, "I just want to sleep in between my mom and my dad."
The trouble is, there is no room in a queen size bed for a grown man, a large pregnant woman and a boy who sleeps all over the place. Frankly, I would just like to not be awakened one or two times every single night. I don't think I have slept through the night in four years. And since sharing the bed with Ethan means Ethan shares MY half of the bed, I had to shut it down.
But what to do? I know people that lock their kids in their room and let them cry it out but my friend still sounds traumatized when she regales me with stories of being locked in her room. She is nearly 40.
We decided to lock our room instead. Wonder of wonders, it worked. After five minutes of hysteria outside our door, Ethan began negotiating.
E: Mom. Dad. If you promise to keep your door open and leave the light on in the bathroom, I'll stay in my bed.
It sounded too good to be true. I have no idea where the light thing came from but whatever. He was off to his room and is going on three weeks of staying in his bed. He does get up occasionally to check that our door is open and if it is not, he opens it.
I failed to do the math that an open door with a bathroom light on would be a bad combination for me.
Growing up, I shared a room with Jen a fair amount of the time. Jen liked to torment with a variety of things. First and foremost, she liked to set the alarm for two hours before she had to get up and then hit snooze every nine minutes until she got up. I, of course, woke up the first time the alarm went off and stayed awake. It made me a bitter girl.
The next big thing was that for my entire life, I have to have complete darkness when I sleep. So my sister would leave our room, go across the hall, turn on the bathroom light and then come back and crack my door. You know that light shined in my face.
Fastforward a few decades later. Wouldn't you know that light from the bathroom SHINES IN MY FACE. My husband just laughed when he realized what was happening. But a deal is a deal is a deal. Every night now I fall asleep to that light shining in my eyes. But I'm not waking up twice a night with my head in the stinky armpit of a three-year-old.
The things we do for our kids.
Summer was almost over by the time I started catching on to conversations like this:
Carter: "How much money is there?"
Madeleine: "I don't know, let me check the vault."
Carter: "Okay, just make sure you put it in the shared account."
Shared account? Vault? What's going on here?
They finally confessed they had decided to pool resources for some time (hence the "shared" account) in hopes of crossing some items off their Christmas list. Santa? Who needs Santa when we can cat sit and dog sit and bird sit our way to kid toy/game heaven a month before the elves leave the station?
A few more months of saving and scheming and working and taking every stray penny that fell on the floor, they were able to make their goal and take their ziploc bag full of dollars and bills to the store of their choosing to make a very hefty purchase.
I won't go into the details here, but the bottom line? My kids shocked the socks off me by making a grownup size acquisition on a kid size budget--and neither one of them gets an allowance. I really think the only way it was able to happen was because they kept parental involvement to an absolute minimum and did it in a way that made sense to them.
Here are a few ingredients of their success. Feel free to run these by your school-age kids to see which ideas match their own style of sibling-powered saving and spending.
Divvy up responsibilities. Madeleine did the bulk of the work, but was sometimes tempted to bail on the plan and go to the movies instead. Carter had the discipline of a drill sergeant and kept that wild-spirited Madeleine on track. Not one dollar slipped through his hands.
Spread the word. Carter asked me fifteen times a day if I had any ideas about how he could make money while Madeleine offered to dog sit anyone's dog in the neighborhood at our summer block party. Our neighbors knew if there were any little jobs appropriate for kids, ours would be into it.
Remember the mantra: Sharing now means sharing later. I asked Madeleine why she decided to go in with Carter when she clearly had more earning power. "Well," she answered. "I don't think I could have done it without Carter. Having Carter made it easier. And now we both have the same right to play on that thing. It wouldn't be as much fun if it was only mine and then Carter was bugging me to use it and I had to decide to share or not. This way it belongs to both of us." Fair enough.
Do you remember doing similar projects when you were a kid? Do you think your kids could do what you did then, now? What's your take on kids buying things for themselves?
It was the night before Marmie (my mom) was to return home to Miami after 6 days of grandparenting bliss. The boys were holding each other and crying in their bunk beds. It was so bad that Jorge climbed up into the top bunk to console them, it was quite a scene. My mom could barely stand it.
"It's okay mom, they'll be fine.", I assured her. It gets a little worse each time, the happiness of being together and the sadness of living so far apart.
"Well Marmie, we're comin' to your house for Christmas." Jorge said after 45 minutes of getting them settled and to sleep.
We all laughed only to find out later he actually promised this, and we did in fact have to travel with three small children and an infant 1200 miles. Driving of course, because who can afford that many plane tickets? Even though this is probably a terrible idea I was secretly very excited. I'm going home for Christmas.
So now the countdown begins. The kids pretty much talk about it everyday. Josiah asks exactly how long we will be staying (he's asked this about 100 times). Jack talks about swimming on Christmas day as my parents live in Miami. Lucy suggests we go to Marmie and father's house for Christmas pretty much every other day but she insists that TODAY is Christmas and we must leave right away. Lyra now only cries half the time when she is in the car and usually when the car is stopped. This fits perfectly into Jorge's plan of driving straight thru while we pee in bottles in the backseat.
What love. I guess there is something about older people in your life. Like Santa they listen to your biggest dream. They put dollars or coins in your birthday cards. They spend time with you and are delighted by everything you do. They give good advice. They love you with no agenda.
So Christmas, bring your joy, we'll soak it up...especially the old people.
I heard them upstairs talking with a door between them. Technically Nathan was screaming but Ethan was talking.
E: Hey, Buddy. It's time to take a nap.
E: Buddy. Even I am going to take a nap today.
E: Nate, do you know what you can do?
There is a pause in the wailing.
E: Do you know that you can do? If you don't want to sleep (dropping his voice), you could just play in your room. Sometimes that's what I do. When Mom tells me to go to sleep but I don't want to, I just play. You could do that too.
Bless his heart, the wailing started up again. I guess Nathan decided that he preferred his freedom to anarchy. But at least now he knows his options for next time. I guess that is why little brothers have big brothers, right?