Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bedtime Battles

OK, they're finally in bed. For good. I think.

Brian was gone tonight, and it was a bath night. Usually that's a terrible combination but this time things started off, well, slightly above average and I was hopeful we'd get through things without incident. Honestly, sometimes I wonder when I'll ever learn!
With the kids in bed, clean and snug, I thought my job was done. Oh, no! Joshua wanted to get up and look at his Pokemon cards. So did Matthew. I was willing for Joshua to do it because he's usually pretty responsible about going to bed when he's truly tired. But I had to say "no" to Matthew because every morning when I go in to wake him, he squeeks at me and pushes me away. He is very hard to rouse and my goal for him is to get to sleep earlier, not later.
OK, that ruling went over like a lead balloon. Yes, I understand the seeming "unfairness" of it. The fact is, Joshua has proven himself responsible in this area, and Matthew has not. At this point in time, though, reason and logic had no place in Matthew's mind. He just begged and cried and said he would get up when I tell him to in the morning. Sorry, kiddo. I'm going on history, not promises, on this one.
Soon enough, Joshua climbed back in bed and I foolishly thought the end of the fussing must be on the horizon. What did Matthew have to fuss about now, anyway? No more unfairness, right? Oh, silly girl! Lacking a reason to fuss, the boys decided to fill their time with talking which, of course, bothered Elizabeth - who needs her beauty rest. She took it upon herself to take notes about the things they were saying so she could provide me with a complete report. And I probably would've gotten the word-for-word account if I hadn't stopped her short.
So I found myself back upstairs standing in the doorway of the boys' room. I was getting frustrated, feeling like a broken record telling them over and over again to be quiet and go to sleep. And I was stuck for a consequence to give them for their behavior. I couldn't send them to their room. They were already there! I couldn't send Dad up. He wasn't home.
For lack of a better idea I just stood in the doorway and watched them. And I began to pray. Lord, I know You love these boys. Please help me to love them now. I'm frustrated with them. Thank You that Your love is perfect - toward them and toward me. Oh, please help me to love these boys! And I stood there and looked at them and tried to have loving thoughts about them. Know what they did? They said it was "creepy" to have me standing there. Whatever!
When I thought they were ready to stay quiet and was about to leave them, I came up with an idea I wished I'd had much earlier. I told Joshua I was going to go back downstairs and work on decorations for his birthday party. I said I would work on the project if he stayed in bed and remained quiet. I came up with a less impressive bargain for Matthew. But they seem to have worked because the boys are still in bed, and they're still quiet. Hmmm, I'll have to remember this tactic!
Now I must go work on that project!

1 comment:

Ann Kroeker said...

I love the part about Elizabeth taking notes. Hilarious! But I also love that you got that inspiration regarding the party preparations--brilliant! Clearly, your prayers were heard.

Party on!