Friday, August 21, 2009

Watch the attitude

I know this is not Monday. So technically it's not Monday Memory (or Memory Monday, whatever I'm calling it) but I'm still going to start this post with a memory (if I can get past transcribing the Little Bill Noggin show going on behind me in the background - Little Bill's in my head while I'm trying to type!!)

One of the parenting techniques my mom used to use that I abhorred was putting my younger siblings in bed and letting them cry and then fall asleep. I hated this because it ripped my heart out to hear them crying and I really wondered how Mom could be so mean.

Fast forward twenty years and about a dozen kids later.

This is really the most useful parenting technique ever.

Take this morning for example.

I'm babysitting my neice and a 10-month-old boy, L, while Katie and Kris (L's mom) are running their yard sale. Both babies are high maintenance and used to being the center of attention. So one starts crying, the other starts, the first one cries louder, the second one screams at a higher pitch. The trick is to not let them get started but sometimes even the kid prowess in me isn't that capable.

I mean, I am just human, afterall.

Obviously since I'm talking about this NOT happening, that's exactly how our morning transpired.

L was awake first (at 5 something but I took over my duties at 6). He fell asleep next to me in the chair for about 10 minutes, just long enough for me to get Evalyn dressed after she woke up at 6:38.

Then it started.

I had to devote attention to Evalyn, which meant L wasn't being held, which meant disaster.

After about 30 minutes of not being able to move without L screaming (and making Evalyn cry) I was sweating (these kids are heavy!) and thoroughly tired of hearing screaming babies.

"Watch the attitude or you can go back to bed."

I found the pack-and-play and spent about 45 seconds trying to figure out how to put the damn thing together (while Evalyn's crying and L's trying to eat paper.) Now, if you've seen me try to do something when I'm frustrated, it's not very pretty or coordinated. To this moment, I can't tell you how I managed to get the pack-and-play set up because I was just jamming it, jerking it, and moving it until the sides finally went into place and I could put a child (safely) in it.

And I did.

Here's the best-parenting-technique-ever in action!

Seven minutes later (yes, I was counting), he was asleep. And Evalyn was fed in peace until she decided to be a little poophead and cry about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

"Watch the attitude or you can go back to bed."

The thing with Evalyn is when she's tired, she gets excited about going to bed. So at the first mention of bed, she was all smiles. And then cries when I wasn't holding her. Then smiles. Then cries.

You get the picture.

I held her off till 9, put her in bed, at which time L woke up. And here we sit. I'm blogging and he's playing.

My weariness is exacberated by having had Josey and Riot all day yesterday and not getting home till 1:15 a.m. after sitting in the ER with Josey and her mom. Josey has a UTI.

Cheers to today...and naptime!

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