I marched my delinquents to a friend's house this morning, and as they played with her delinquents and my friend I discussed our collective Rage, things slowly got better. Misery loves company, for one thing, but maybe we all just needed a change of scenery.
I think what's going on is that I'm trying to establish The How We Live In The New House Routine and the kids are just not going for it. We've spent the last couple of months doing whatever is easiest. I mean, Phillip was away a lot, I was constantly getting calls from realtors wanting to see the rental house, we had to find a NEW house, then we had to pack and move and then we all got sick and yes, the kids have gotten away with many things I'm not proud of, simply because I had other stuff going on. Bedtimes were fluid, naptimes were flexible, television was always welcome. Now I'm trying to make things happen at specific times, trying to make Jack play in a specific place and on his own, trying to get them down for bed without hours of clowning around. And they're all "WHAAA?"
I have two things on my Killing Me Slowly list: bedtime and naptime. Ha! Could I pick two harder things? They're related, of course. Jack naps as an absolute last resort, when he positively cannot help himself. Molly cheerfully naps, for hours at a time. So at bedtime, which we would PREFER to be around 8pm, we have one incredibly cranky, nasty, sassy, whiny kid and one who is just not sleepy at all. Put them in the same room and they FEED off each other and it's AWFUL. So the idea we came up with was to separate them- put Molly down in a makeshift bed in our room, put Jack in his own bed, move Molly once Jack has fallen asleep. (Which he does quite quickly when he's tired and by himself.) We were going to start this last night.
However! Yesterday Molly did not nap. So we put them down super early and they fell asleep and wow, if only it were like that every night.
And today! They both napped! So... we put them down together and they are STILL awake. I keep hearing Molly drop books on the floor. She's not so smooth.
So even when we have a PLAN, the kids find a way to RUIN IT.
I guess we'll just keep trying. There's nothing else to do. Another thing I'm hoping for is Creating Spaces... like at nap time, Jack drives me crazy because he immediately wants to watch a TV show (he's not allowed until a certain time) or he wants me to play with him (a no no, this is QUIET TIME for BOTH OF US) and it's so frustrating. He used to be good at quiet time! And I know it's only because we've lost the routine and he's not sure what's available to him. I've just been storing toys here and there, he doesn't know where the art supplies are because I keep changing my mind, stuff like that. We are going to Ikea this weekend and I'm hoping to come home with a few things to help me sort out the space next to my kitchen, where I hope to put a lot of the kids' art stuff and Jack's quiet time things. Then he'll have a PLACE, you know? And I can say, "Here, go do all the things over THERE, because you are supposed to spend this time over THERE" etc.
Will new furniture solve one of my problems? WHY NOT?!
Anyway. We shall power through. If I need to buy MORE furniture, so be it.
P.S. I wrote about babysitting other people's kids at Parenting. I don't know. Sometimes I have good ideas there, sometimes I'm all, "well this happened, maybe that would make a good post, oh wait, not really, well, I already wrote it, ta da!"
P.P.S. Did you guys know that there are almost twice as many people signed up for the Blathering as there were last year? And the year before? !!! I can't decide if this makes me sadder or happier than I can't go this year. On one hand: AM MISSING OUT BIG TIME. On the other: I would probably spend all my time hiding in the closet, and every so often passing a note under the door asking for someone to bring me a drink.