Monday, January 11, 2010

And you thought the season of giving was over

I intended to write a scintillating and something or other post about how we've recently changed our routine and how much better our life is. But I have run into two problems with this plan. One, the word 'scintillating' doesn't go with 'change in routine'. And two, last night was the Night of the Screaming Child and is probably much more interesting.

So about 9pm, after being suckered into watching another dubious Jesus movie on youtube, as they were all going up to bed, Elphine announced loudly, "I'm going to be St. Nicholas tonight. So put your shoes out and see if I put something in them in the morning."

She said it louder and louder probably six or seven times but no one put their shoes out and finally I told her to cheese it and go to bed.

So then (I'm sorry, I realize my transitions are atrocious but I'm too tired to change them) Matt and I stayed up, stupidly, till midnight watching other junk on youtube. This is a regular Sunday night occurrence. We're usually physically tired after Sunday but keyed up and unable to go to sleep. Plus, I've been waiting up to feed the baby one last time in the hopes she'll sleep until 4.

A fleeting two hours later, that puts us at 2am, Matt heard a noise in the kitchen and got up to investigate. Turns out his daughter was up on a stool collecting handfuls of Christmas candy out of the basket on top of the fridge to stuff in shoes. Appalled and transfixed he let her continue uninterrupted.

However, Elphine's getting up catapulted Gladys to her second full night of angst ridden potty training.

I expect you're saying, at this point, that the middle of the night is not a good time to potty train. You're right. Matt mentioned this several times to Gladys. "You have a pullup on," he whispered soothingly, "go back up to bed and go to sleep."
"But you just went potty. Please go back to bed. Please."
"But I have to go Potty" she wailed and wailed and wailed.

Where was I? you ask. Had I abandoned my poor husband? No, I was feeding the baby.
"Matt, let her go potty" was my sound advice.
So we did. After an hour or so of her sitting and singing she was joined by her brother who had awoken for the same reason. The enjoined in fighting and arguing.
"I have to go potty Gladys."
"No, I have to go. You go away."
and so they argued until they both came in here, pulled the blanket off me and curled up together on the floor until the need should strike them again.

So this morning, floor littered with children, I open my eye to find my shoes arranged carefully by my bed and a large snickers bar placed lovingly across them. "Thank you Santa Elphine" I groaned, "that was very lovely of you."


Sarah Boyle Webber said...

Oh, Anne, I'm so sorry. Thanks for the laugh, though.

R said...

Hahahaha! I love this! Kudos to Santa Elphine (whose name needs to be corrected in the last sentence).

BTW my mom is sending an ikon. Now that I think of it I cannot for the life of me recall from where, but she got it from a friend of the lady who painted it. I'll have to ask again now...

Daniel said...

Anne, I can so relate to potty training escapades. We're now lucky to get through dinner without Emily "trying" to go to the potty at least 3-4 times. Tonight she suckered me into taking her one last time after she had already been put to bed. You want to tell them no - enough is enough - but at the same time, who knows - they might really need to go and it would be a teachable moment wasted.
We did give in this evening and Emily got a cookie as a treat for going potty as she announced she had to go, made it to the bathroom in time, and successfully went, even though it was in the middle of dinnertime.

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed with your mothering skills in the midst of the wonderful mayhem of your delightful brood.

This is the subject of another post, but I'm curious about your position on corporal punishment. Do you spank? Ever? What are your guidelines? When is "enough, enough?"

I was very judicious in spanking my own children when they were young, but sometimes, it's the only thing that effectively communicates what you need to communicate as a parent.

I remember one time, one of our little ones - age 3 - ran out in joyful exhuberance and ran ahead of us. I could see her veering aimlessly but directly off the sidewalk and into traffic. When I retrieved her, and after I calmed myself, I did speak very sternly to her about what she had done. Because she didn't seem to understand, and, to underscore the point, I gave her a simple whack on the bottom. She understood that.

I never had to do that again. I felt like a mother dog, growling at one of her pups. It felt 'natural' and yet very uncomfortable at the same time.

May God continue to bless you in your vocation to family life.

Anonymous said...

To potty train a boy put cheerios in the toilet bowl and let him try to hit them. he may need to see Matt show him how.

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