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September 20, 2007 / allyo

Better

I realized something about Jamie this morning, as I was going over last night in my head. He’s never going to be the type of kid who is going to follow your instructions just because. Well, other than “STOP!” as he’s running away from us. But we’ve reinforced that through running games and it’s a very simple, immediate thing.

But this morning MD was getting grumpy with Jamie because he was doing something and was in MD’s way. MD told him to stop doing what he was doing, but Jamie was ignoring him. I asked Jamie do what he was doing in another place, because he was in MD’s way, and he immediately complied. Now I’m not ragging on my husband, although I do think he has some unrealistic expectations for Jamie to “just listen and do because I said so,” but at that moment a lightbulb went off and I realized that whatever it is that you want Jamie to do, you have to make it make sense to him.

Yes, there will always be times when it’s “just because” but for the big challenges like getting him to go to sleep by himself, there needs to be a lot of reinforcement and explanation. Yes, I know this. But it’s so easy to forget in the everyday rush.

Last night we talked about bedtime and how it would go. We ran through our routine verbally, and talked about how I would leave before he fell asleep.

And then, following Jody’s advice before I even read it, we went upstairs about 15 minutes earlier, partly so I wouldn’t try to rush Jamie and end up frustrated. I’ve always believed that you shouldn’t set your kid up for failure, but I it never occurred to me to give myself the same consideration.

It took him forever to fall asleep, but I was able to leave. I went back in for about 10 minutes because he was scared, but after I left the second time, he was quiet for about 20 minutes or so before finally drifting off. Lovely. I don’t mind going in and out to help him with his covers or whatever because the sewing room is right there on the other side of the hallway and I’m able to work on things while I’m waiting for him to settle down.

So, I was able to get some sewing done, get my stuff together for today, and get in to bed in time to watch Top Chef. A resounding success.

And thanks for the supportive comments, they really, really helped me approach the evening feeling less alone.

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3 Comments

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  1. Monica / Sep 20 2007 6:29 pm

    I’m glad things are looking up. I, too, find myself feeling trapped by our bedtime routine and am trying to change my approach. It feels like it is always two steps forward, one step back…but I am hoping we figure all of this out very soon!

  2. Austina / Sep 21 2007 4:36 pm

    See you are a terrific mommy!

  3. Jody / Sep 27 2007 1:13 am

    I’m glad it went better. Tonight, I was feeling incredibly rushed, because we missed our 7:30 deadline (justifiably — Wednesday is church-choir night). But even then, I came out of the last of the three bedrooms, and it was still only 8:10pm, and I thought: I can live with that. And I can.

    Is it just a fall thing, or the quilt my SIL sent me, or what, but I feel incredibly driven to start new crafty projects. And the thought of yarn is not turning me on, so I’m casting around. Weird? Or normal?

    Oh, also: I turned 37 this year, too, and I’m forever wondering just what happened to all that time.

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