So first of all, can I tell you how EASY it is to have one kid? I mean no offense to friends who have only one - but I simply cannot get over how delightfully calm it was around here this afternoon. Henry and I played in the sandbox for an hour, then went to Schmizza for dinner, rode the street car, played in the water at Jamison Park (spontaneously!), had ice cream and came home to bed. We snuggled, we didn't have to rush to the potty or fight about who got the tractor or the ball, no one was crying, I didn't have to keep my eyes on three kids in the water, worry if I had juice cups for everyone, or a change of clothes in case someone fell in, that one kid was lagging behind and about to get run over, or ANYTHING. I know it might feel boring by the time Chris, Ellie and Quinn get back on Sunday, but tonight one kid was Heaven. Capital H.
Last week SUCKED. I really needed this break with just Hen. We got home from a 10 day vacation at our house at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon on a Sunday (which was so fun, and SO tiring) . The day we got back, the kids transitioned to bunk beds - big kid bunk beds. So no more princess and car toddler beds. Then the next day (also the first day of swimming lessons), they decided they wanted to give up their nighttime pacis (gasp!). Yes, my four year olds were still using pacifiers at night. Not proud of it - but Ellie was SO attached, it was hard to yank them from her. I was pretty much willing to switch dentists just so we wouldn't have to deal with getting them to give them up - but Ellie (the real hanger-onner) announced she was ready. I hadn't been pushing - encouraging, but not pushing. That was Monday, so Tuesday, we went to Build-a-Bear and they each made a teddy bear (at friend Karen's suggestion), and stuffed their pacis inside. I had told Karen months ago that while it totally worked for her girls, I was SURE Ellie would be ripping the bear open within minutes of bedtime and trying to tear her pacifiers out.
Quotes from that first night, after attempting bedtime at 8:30:
9:15pm - "I know it was my idea, Mommy! It was a STUPID idea! I should have listened to you!"
9:45 - "I hate Build-a-Bear Factories!", throwing her newly stuffed purple bear across the room, then running across to get her, screaming, hoping she hadn't hurt her.
10:08 - "Sometimes life is just so hard, Mommy!", through heavy tears.
We were up until 10:15ish that first night, crying, anguishing, very, very sad. I felt so badly for her. But we made it.
Quinn, on the other hand, just said, "I don't miss my paci."
That lasted for 3 or 4 days - the heavy crying, twisting and turning in bed - total paci withdrawal. Then it started to settle down, BUT they started getting used to us hanging out in their room at bedtime, and started waking in the middle of the night again - at least 2 times each, which is FOUR times between 11-5am, which means that I don't sleep well, which is already not happening because, have I mentioned? I am 36 weeks pregnant with a seemingly huge baby who likes to kick. So to recap:
- come home from 10 days away (always an adjustment)
- switch to bunk beds from pint size toddler beds
- begin swimming lessons
- give up pacifiers
- up until after 10 four nights in a row, with no naps
Oh, and on a more positive note, but still big deals - within the past couple of weeks, they have mastered scooting on their Mini Kicks (which they LOVE!), and just yesterday learned to ride big kid bikes. So I guess that was a lot of change within a couple of weeks. When they get back, we are going to need to be on serious sleep patrol. How is it that our 2 year old is a WAY better sleeper than our four year olds have ever been?
Oh well, good thing things will be settling down here in the next few weeks. Except for me being gone for five days - to have a baby.