Our family jumped coasts on Tuesday morning. We’ve started a 3 month journey that involves schlepping from southern California (145 miles from the border of Mexico), to northern Vermont (25 miles from the border of Quebec). It’s a time-consuming trip, involving two long trips, one by plane, and one by car. Once we get to Vermont, we’re planting ourselves until Labor Day, with a few shorter car trips in there.
The plane part was not so bad (considering our past). I think it was partly because we took a 6 am flight. The boys got up without any coaxing and were super excited to go on the airplane. Once we were on the flight, they crashed for almost 2 hours each. After that it was all about amusing them, which I mostly left to my better half considering he was about to depart for a week long trip involving business, repair work on our Vermont house, and … no kids.
Of course, I knew I’d have to pay for those five hours of “relaxation” since I would be left to my own devices starting yesterday at 6 pm. We’re staying at my parents’ apartment in the big city.
Let’s just say…
My children really know how to push my buttons at bedtime. I read a blog post recently that really pinned the tail on the donkey of the bedtime situation. I laughed a lot because it sounded so familiar. She referred to bedtime as “whack-a-mole” in her house.
While I only have two moles to whack, sometimes I feel like digging my own hole and hiding in it when I’m in the thick of it.
The part that rang the most true for me was this:
“One of the myriad problems with this parenting gig is that they save the hardest part for last. BEDTIME. Bedtime should be in the morning when we’re fresh and kind and sweet and decent parenting still seems like a very real possibility. But no, the hardest parts dinner and baths and bedtime arrive at the end of the day- when we have nothing left.”
At bedtime, on the best of days, I’m tired, and usually, I still have work to do. At the very least, I have some Mad Men to catch up on and a beer waiting for me in the fridge. I need that time to myself in the evenings.
Considering I haven’t slept well since Sunday night, when we went full swing into packing mode, and I don’t have a newborn, three nights of constantly interrupted sleep/small stretches of sleep make me extra cranky. My kids can smell that on me and the game of whack-a-mole goes into overdrive.
Throw in a 3 hour time change, plus a massive change of scenery and you’ve got yourself the baddest bulls in the rodeo with me driving them home. Getting these two to lie down and stay down, let alone go to sleep, is next to impossible.
Bedtime of late involves yelling, often multiple times, and almost always ends with me trapped under a kid (Fuzzball), and often with my hand solidly stuck under the other one.
Obviously they always end up falling asleep but usually after all my “adult” time has been sucked into the void. In fact, tonight I passed out with them at something like 10pm, only waking up to my own snoring. I excavated myself from underneath them on the air mattress and now here I am at midnight writing this post. I’m sure I’ll be too wired to sleep after this and I’ll have yet another night of light and poor sleep.
What I really need are some tools to keep me from flying off the handle and screaming at my children before bed. Even the sub-two-year old endures my wrath sometimes, and I’m always swallowed with guilt afterwards. Do I need to try Ferber again? (It didn’t work the first time)