Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Crappy Parenting Moment #987?

It is always tougher when Jonathan is out of town.  This happened about a week ago, but I was too cranky/embarrassed to write about it sooner.

For the last month it has been tough putting Isaac to bed.  Pretty much he's been challenging us to see if we can make him stay in his room after it's lights out.  Jonathan and I have taken turns "guarding the door" and escorting the little escape artist back to bed. Repeatedly.

While Jonathan was out of town Isaac upped the ante.  Not only did he get up but he'd yell and throw a fit going back to bed.  This woke Corinna up who'd then cry, nurse, cry, nurse, and then fall back to sleep.  As soon as she settled down, after about 10 minutes, Isaac would get up again.  Repeat over and over.  About 10:30 (bedtime was at 8) my patience was frayed and my baby exhausted.  Isaac came downstairs for the 14th? 15th? 16th? time and announced he was "Stinky!"  I blew a gasket.  I cleaned him up, swatted his behind, and made him sit on the toilet.  I then chased him up the stairs and back to his room, letting him know how I felt about the situation.  Of course this caused Isaac to wail loudly, waking Corinna, who started crying.  Matthew shouted over the din, "can't you make him be quiet?"  That was the final straw.  I yelled back, "I can't even make him stay in the d--- bed!  How do you expect me to make him be quiet?"  I don't think Matthew or Isaac have ever heard me swear before.  They seemed shocked- not sure if it was the yelling or swearing or both.  I closed the door.  Corinna and I stayed in the hallway guarding the door, but Isaac stayed in his bed after that. 

 And I felt really terrible.  Terrible that I lost my patience and yelled, terrible that I'd sworn, terrible that I swatted him when I was mad (he wasn't hurt, but nonetheless), and terrible that I couldn't come up with a better solution.  

Yep, I was a crappy parent that night.

Fortunately things have been getting easier lately.

I am so glad for each new day to start fresh and for the chance to be a little better than the day before.  I am also grateful for resilient children.  I've made plenty of mistakes with Matthew (firstborn and all), and he seems to be turning into a thoughtful, helpful, and loving child despite my shortcomings.  There is hope!

As far as what to do, after we move we are investing in an eye-and-hook lock for his door.  If Isaac stays in his room he can have the door open, otherwise we'll lock the door until he goes to sleep.  His dad and I need the sleep, his baby sister needs more sleep, his brother whom he's keeping up needs the sleep, and he needs more sleep.


abby said...

I'm sure it's tough with four kids, but an impish toddler and a newborn must be tougher. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. The Lord forgives and the children forgive. I think Isaac may have gotten the message at least that night.

I babysat for a couple who had a lock on the outside of their 2 year old's door. She locked the door on me and her sister. Luckily her 8 year old brother heard the sound of our yelling and got us out. I think your hook way is better than just having the lock on the outside.

Rachel Ellis said...

Thanks Abby.

Heh. 2 year olds. Thank goodness you had the older child to free you; things could have gotten interesting otherwise.