The mouths of babes

Husband is at a rehearsal for a show next week. A friend’s band is doing a covers night and they asked him to sing a song so I am home alone tonight with three kids.

Bedtime gets started early here. The baby was in his crib at 6pm with his bottle. The older boy was in the bath and the eldest was I her room writing something.

She came in to show me. “How to be good”.  I was very impressed!  She knows the rules!  Too bad she doesn’t actually follow them!

 

Listen. No talking back. Do something the firs time you are asked. Do as you are told. Focus your ears. Do not ignore. And all this information is good.

After bath, I read them a few of daddy’s old Smurfs and Ewoks comic books.  Then it was time to get into bed. I told them a make-up story all about Princess Rose and the good transformer who worked with the Prince to rescue her from the bad transformer.  But that story wasn’t enough, so I had to tell another one with Spiderman and how he became Spider-transformer after Optimus Prime injected him with nano-bots to assist the Autobots in taking down the bad transformer.  (Neither kids has seen the Transformer movies, or the cartoon, but their daddy tells them these make-up stories all the time.  I’m sure mine paled in comparison.)

Bedtime seemed to be going so well until it didn’t.  Suddenly neither of them were settling down and my voice started increasing in tone and pitch, and I may have tapped her on the back a little harder than I had intended in an attempt to get her attention and stop sitting up in bed. I’d gotten hit in the face at least three times by the Spiderman doll and clearly had enough and that’s when the waterworks from the girl started:

“You never spend any time with me.”

“I just don’t know what to say to you.”

“Why do you always have to work?”

“Why can’t you just spend all your time with us?”

Oy.  She’s a master manipulator.  At the age of six!

Needless to say, bedtime took about 3 hours.  It’s a little after 9pm, I haven’t had my dinner and I’m seriously considering opening a bottle of wine.

I swear I have no idea how my husband does this on a daily basis. He’s amazing.

The 4-year-old.

This popped up on my FB feed this morning.

I immediately wanted to paste a photo of my daughter in place of the lovely woman on the phone.

Harsh?  Maybe a little.

Accurate?  Damn straight.

I don’t know what it is about mornings, but daughter (who will be 4 in late November) has been waking up more times than not, grumpy.  She comes into our room demanding breakfast, turns on the lights, wants my phone or wants some milk.  My alarm hasn’t even gone off (hell, who needs one with this kid?).  She’s a great kid.  She is just hellish in the morning… oh, and right before bed.

Over the last month or so, her  “time outs”  are increasing exponentially.  She just does not listen, or do what she’s told.  Either she is wrapped up in a book, or with drawing that she just isn’t paying attention to us, or she is deliberately ignoring us.  When my parents witness the behavior, I can see the smirk that comes across their face.  The expression, “what goes around, comes around” comes to mind.

Time and again, while talking to patients in the office, particularly parents, I hear the expressing, “the effing fours”.  Really?  That’s just a myth, right? Right??  Sadly, I think I’m deluding myself, especially when I see this wonderful blogger describing what my life has been like the last few days.  Just when I thought we were getting into a good eating phase, she does a complete 360 on me and it’s back to the refusal… of everything (that doesn’t have chocolate in it.)

Don’t get me wrong, watching my kid come into her own personality and seeing her doing things independently is wonderful.  I know everything she is doing is right for her age, I just wish it wasn’t so trying sometimes. Why does bedtime have to be a battle?  (Speaking of battle, we just got this book from Scholastic – brilliant!)  I know I have it pretty easy.  Five out of 7 days of the week, I only have to deal with the morning and afternoon crazies.  The rest of the day I am dealing with the adult crazies (ha! ha!).  Hats off to my husband who is in the trenches with the kids 7 days a week.

I have to say though, that despite the occasional (okay, somewhat daily) epic meltdowns daughter is having lately, she is an amazing big sister.  She and little brother are playing more and more together every day.  She is teaching him so much. Just this morning she pointed to a picture of Elmo and said, “Who’s this?” and he responded, “Eh-mo”.  Cue big grin from him and proud smile from her.  It was so adorable.  Almost daily, there is a few minutes in the day when big sister and little brother sit on the couch and “read” a book together.  It’s one of the best parts of the day.

I love my 4-year-old.  She drives me crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.