Phillip is coming home late tonight. I should:
do the dishes
put the folded laundry away
pick up the toys that were left when I got tired of barking at kids to put toys away
take out the garbage
clear the dining room table of: broken knick knacks, Jack's laptop, contact paper, scissors, a book, a clippie, cloth napkins, a dirty bowl and dish, a stack of receipts, last week's grocery list.
BUT I'M NOT GONNA.
I think I'm going to lay down on the couch and watch the latest episode of The Good Wife, the only TV show I've kept watching post-cable and post-move. Oh Kalinda. How could you!
I WOULD watch it in the bedroom, while I am in my bed, perhaps with a cookie, but for some reason our fake wireless works better in the living room and I hate hate hate waiting for shows to buffer (and then crash, then you have to start all over, GAH.)
Jack stayed an extra hour at preschool today so Molly and I could buy his birthday presents (the family party is Sunday), and then I made him lay down in my bed for an hour. I INSISTED. The no nap thing is still really rough, even though it makes for a terrifically easy bedtime. But he's SUCH a whiny, antagonistic poutface in the late afternoon, especially lately for some reason, and I'm getting so upset with him. And with Phillip out of town it's just exhausting. So the last two days I've been saying, "Yes, you can watch Busytown, but not until the clock has a TWO." And there's anywhere from a half hour to an hour before there is a two. And he is NOT happy about this, but I pile him up with books and today I gave him my phone and I LEAVE.
It sucks. He whines. I have to ignore most of it. Then he has to go potty. But he DOES understand that he doesn't get to watch his show until TWO. He respects the clock! So yesterday, when he only had a half hour to wait, he waited (impatiently) and then he got to watch his show. But today, when he had an hour, he waited (impatiently), then he got REALLY annoyed ("it's taking a LONG TIME to be TWO"), but I was Firm and Meanish and told him too bad, and about ten minutes before two I heard him snoring.
I think? It's nine and he's still not asleep, but he's not making noise or whining for me either. And holy cats was he PLEASANT this evening. Just, you know, HIMSELF. I know I know I know that 99% of his craptastic attitude has to do with being tired (or being woken up too early, sorry PRINCESS) but he WILL NOT go to sleep. He just won't. In order for days like today to happen, he has to be genuinely worn out (which he was because 1) he woke up earlyish this morning and 2) he spent an extra hour at preschool which meant extra time on the playground, thank you sunshine.) AND I have to have a fight with him. I can't just say, "You're really tired Jack, let's have a little rest, I'll leave you alone." No, there MUST be an element of arguing, because that's the THING that finally does it. I cannot remember the last time he fell asleep in the afternoon (at OUR house - my mom's house is a completely different and annoying story) without me getting in his face about it.
It's kind of like crying it out. Crying it out TOTALLY worked for Jack, even though we had to do it several times, through several transitions. It never took more than a day or two and while I hated it, I also realized that he was, as Moxie says, working it all out.
(Molly, on the other hand, has never cried it out. Phillip wanted to several times with her, but I have this gut feeling about Molly. She has ALWAYS gone to bed easily and cheerfully, she often ASKS for her nap, and when she cries at night there is a PROBLEM. The one time we did let her cry, she just got ramped up and hysterical, just like Moxie says. Oh Moxie. She's better than any parenting book.)
But I HATE fighting with Jack. It is SO exhausting. It BOTHERS me. I do it, obviously, because you have to. But I think about what it would take for him to nap every day, and I just don't know if I could manage it. Even when he's REALLY TIRED, even when we BOTH know a nap would make the rest of the day so much easier, I don't always have the energy to force him into a quiet room for an hour until he DOES fall asleep. The whining, the negotiating, the complaining... I hate listening to it. I've tried getting REALLY mean about it, and then he cries. Which often equals a nap. But MAN I hate doing that. I HATE IT. I hate the me who is yelling and raging at what is just a very tired little boy. And then when he doesn't nap, Phillip loves how easy he goes to bed at night and then I think, well, maybe no nap is fine...
I wonder if I "made" him sleep for a week, would it turn into a routine? After more than a YEAR of no napping? And then sometimes I don't think he NEEDS a nap. He's not ALWAYS horrible in the late afternoon. It often depends on the weather, how much attention I'm giving them, whether or not we're going out, what time Daddy comes home... Sometimes it's totally fine. Sometimes he plays his computer and builds with his blocks and watches a show and helps me unload the dishwasher and pretends to build a house until Molly wakes up and everyone is happy.
I don't know. I feel like a GOOD mom would suck it up and pick the fights and do what has to be done to make sure the kid gets what he needs. But an AVERAGE mom, such as myself, is not always SURE what he needs, and finds herself emotionally exhausted and/or angry and depressed after having to "fight" him into a nap. BAH!
What's clear is that I need a nap. After a lifetime of being Anti-Nap - for most people naps = refreshment, for me naps = feeling like I took drugs/lost my mind - it's now a requirement. I seriously cannot function past one. This is how Jack developed his deep and abiding love for Busytown Mysteries. I NEED TO REST. WITH MY EYES CLOSED. HORIZONTALLY. LEAVE ME ALONE.