Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Putting Liam to bed

Bedtime at our house goes something like this.

Chris takes Liam upstairs with him yelling “Stop” and “No” all the way. Once they get to the top and begin the teeth brushing and diaper changing and pajama donning, he stops yelling and is generally cooperative.

When his teeth are scrubbed and jammies on, Liam hollers “Mom.” Then it is time for me to go up. I straighten his bed and hand him his pony and blanket while he sits on Chris’ lap in the rocking chair. I give/get kisses and head back downstairs while Chris sings to Liam and rocks him.

This part of the routine works well. It is later that the system breaks down and runs off the rails.

Liam has taken to getting out of bed three to five times each evening after Chris has put him there. It is very frustrating. Chris and I only have just a couple of hours, at most, from the time Liam goes to bed until we crash ourselves. Time for us to talk and try to maintain our own relationship.

Once he is in bed the first time, we take turns going up and putting him back.

When becomes my second or third turn, I find myself flying up the stairs with the intent of swatting him on the butt and really giving him what for. I get to the top of the stairs telling him to: “Get back to bed.” Then I have to follow this tiny-little, bow-legged guy in footie jammies down the hall to his room. It tugs at my heartstrings every time, and inevitably I tuck him gently into bed and caress his hair and sing to him and tell him how much Mommy would like it if he would stay in bed this time. I am the biggest pushover in the world when it comes to this cute little dude.

I just don’t get it. I am generally pretty tough. The whole time I was pregnant I worried I would be too harsh as a parent. I am surprised and pleased that it hasn’t turned out that way.


CMR said...

Quick story:

Sometimes I see my father come out when I'm dealing with Cyn's kids (and especially with Nicholas). I loved my dad, and there were many good things about him, but he was not a gentle man with my brother; he was somewhat more tempered with me, but still would let his anger boil over onto the physical side.

Mercifully, I have never gotten to that point with them...though I came close once with Maggie's nephew Alex. :-( I'm tremendously glad I haven't, and hope to heaven that I never do.

But I know just what you mean when you think yourself a softie. Most of the time, when it comes to dealing with them, I bend a lot more than I thought I would...and frequently a lot more than I think I should, in retrospect. :-)

mags said...

Janers ... I'm not surprised at all. But then I see you from a different perspective. One outside of yourself.

I see the gentle crazy woman, whose first instinct is to love. Especially with that "cute little dude," how does your heart not melt? It's funny - right now I'm fairly surrounded by tiny ones Liam's age, and a few weeks back I had one to myself for a few days. Alice Ruth and I bent many of the rules, because it's so much more fun to play than go to bed. (And it's the auntie's prerogative, anyway!) So although it's different, I can imagine how bedtime must be a riot and a pain in the neck, all at the same time.

Note to CMR: That particular incident is somewhat legendary. Whenever Alex and I get into an argument, I always say, "Don't make me grab you by the coat!"

CMR said...

...a legend which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

And then tear up all over again when I think of Alex's reaction when talking to Pat about it later -- both his incredulity that my dad would have done that, and his frank assessment of things, which was both heartfelt and poignant at the same time. :~>