Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stop Thinking and Just Parent

Amidst all of the potty training (2 yr old), crawling (twin 8 month olds), job changes (Mrs. B), and another school year starting (me), finding the time to enjoy the small joys of parenting has been even more elusive. Our summer consisted of three busy months, June where we traveled to see family, July where everybody was sick, and August where everything is always crazy with school starting up. By all accounts "the Boy" and Twin-kies did a great job dealing with all of the changes, and don't seem any worse for the wear. Through all of this "the Boy" did pick up one rather irritating habit. At about 5am every morning he would wake up, pop the child protector lock on his door and proceed down the hallway to our bedroom. He would then come in and want to converse. I know that some parents are completely okay with this arrangement, because they themselves are morning people. Mrs. B and I aren't those people.

Let me paint a little picture to show you how much we are NOT those people. For one whole school year, Mrs. B and I worked at the same campus and would often commute to work together in the morning. On most days, the most talking we did was to say goodbye when we got to school.....literally, just the words "Goodbye, I love you". People would ask Mrs. B what it was like to spend all that extra quality time with her husband, her response...."Quite, we don't talk". So needless to say, neither one of us is jumping out of bed to spend a little quality time with a child at 5am.

We tried all kinds of things to make this situation work:
  1. Bring "the Boy" into bed and let him finish sleeping with us---Outcome: Nobody sleeps, and I get kicked in the face 3 or 4 times an hour. FAIL
  2. "The Boy" sleeps on the floor---Outcome: "The boy" gets really comfortable sleeping on the decorative pillows, so comfortable in fact, he starts to show up earlier each night to sleep on the floor. FAIL
  3. SOOOOOO, we hide the pillows-----Outcome: "the Boy" comes into the room and can't find his pillows to make a comfortable bed on the floor, and proceeds to wake up parents to locate the missing pillow......FAIL
  4. Bribery - he would receive a play car if he stayed in bed until we came and got him----Outcome - at 5am he doesn't give two flips about a stupid car. FAIL
  5. Reason - we talking to him about being a big boy, and staying in his bed, he agrees that he is a big boy and that big boys stay in bed.....Outcome: I am having a discussion about being a big boy at 5am, at which time he doesn't really care about being a big boy. FAIL
Figuring I have presumably run through all of my possible options, outside of tying him the bed, I give up, for a night. The next day, whether from lack of sleep or a stroke of brilliance, I come up with one crazy idea that sounds completely stupid idea....but really how much worse could it get.

What if we moved him into the same room as his brothers, so that all three boys sleep in the same room.

The voice in the back of my head is screaming "now you will have 3 kids awake at 5am stupid" but why the heck not is my motto.

I proceed to explain to "the Boy" what the new plan is going to be, and he agreed (just like every other time) to stay in bed. And what do you know....he actually did. In fact the next night, when one of the Twin-kies woke up in the middle of the night and started crying, "the Boy" got out of bed and reached through the crib to pat his brother on the back, and then they both went back to sleep (this was all witnessed in the monitor, and confirmed the next morning when I went to get everybody up). It was a very proud moment as a father, I had conquered this little sleeping problem and the big brother was looking out for his little brother. When it comes to raising kids, sometime the dumbest idea has the sweetest result.

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