Friday, January 21, 2011

Breaking Point

So I've been meaning to write this blog for about a month and a half now because that is approximately how long ago it happened.

This is one of those ridiculous moments in parenting when you realize how SEVERELY outnumbered you are and that sometimes you have to go to extreme measures to win certain battles. Our battle had become nighttime. Not bedtime necessarily because my girls have always been pretty agreeable about going to bed. No, instead the battle would start hours after we had gotten them in bed and thought they were sound asleep. Then we would hear them. It would start off innocently enough. Some girly giggles. Some random thumps and bumps. Eventually these seemingly innocent noises would turn into sounds of something more serious. Sounds of naughtiness! And so it would become apparent that some parental intervention was necessary if we had any intention of getting a full nights sleep. Well, it turned out that our girls had discovered the fun of opening up dresser drawers and throwing clothes all over the room. This behavior went on EVERY night and EVERY nap for about two weeks. We tried all kinds of discipline tricks and punishments. Nothing was stopping these two. This all came to a breaking point one night when we hit an EXTREME wall.

We had managed to get them to go to sleep WITHOUT any dresser drawers being opened and emptied and we thought it to be a small miracle. We were wrong. Around 2:30 AM we started hearing those "innocent sounds of fun" however you know that anything making them that happy at 2:30 AM is anything but innocent. So grudgingly we both get up out of bed to see what is making them squeal with delight. First red flag that things are not going to end well is that we hear their door open before we have even made it out of our bedroom. As we open our door we see that they are heading for the stairs using the light FROM THEIR BEDROOM. When did Mack get tall enough to turn on her lights?!?! Not only that, but Kaitlyn is COMPLETELY NAKED! Immediately our patience is gone, and we start herding them back into their room to find what can only be called a true disaster zone. They have opened EVERY SINGLE DRAWER and emptied them throughout their room. Kait has stripped off her clothes and diaper (despite having access to many many clothes) and PEED on the carpet (and if you know how housing is about carpet cleanliness you can imagine how much my blood pressure spiked). We were horrified that our sweet little angles had become these demon children in one night! Somehow we managed to clean up their messes, at least as best we could at 2 in the morning, put Kaitlyn in the crib in the baby's room, and took away all of their stuffed animals which is the equivalent of torture in this house.

Exhausted, we return to our sanctuary after a seemingly endless battle and then it all starts to hit me. We are about to have three of these. Three children that will run our lives unless we can find a way to control certain situations, like these. The main thought that kept scrolling through my head was, what if something like this happens when Brian isn't home??? How can I be expected to care for a newborn AND deal with two out of control pre-schoolers when my husband is gone as often as he is?! So after a brief meltdown, we came up with our solution. It had to be drastic since their actions were CLEARLY drastic.

We decided that the first thing to go would be their dresser. It needed to be moved out of their room because they obviously could not handle the temptation it presented every time they were left alone in their room. Next we decided that they didn't really need a lightbulb. If Mack thought she could turn the lights on in the middle of the night to play, we would just take that option away altogether. Third problem to handle was Kait's propensity towards nakedness. This we decided to tackle with button onesies, and safety pinned footy jammies. Once we had a clear plan I felt significantly better and was able to sleep. I was comforted that between the two of us, we could come up with creative ways to avoid problems like these without having to resort to extreme punishments directed at our children.