And the "Parent of the Year" Award goes to....not me!!
Posted Jan 14 2009 8:55pm
Okay, I'll admit it...I still let Bella sleep in our bed. Well, it's not exactly that I "let" her...it's more like, she climbs into our bed in the middle of the night (ever so quietly) and I don't bother to get up to take her back to her bed. In fact, there have been nights where she does wake me up and says "Mommy, I can't find my blankie" and I actually get up out of my warm, cozy bed to go to her room to search for her blankie. This happened last night...she got in bed with me at 4:15 am and she laid her head on my shoulder and said "Mommy, I can't find my blankie" and I said "oh Bella, can't you just go to sleep for the next 2 hours without it" and of course she said "no", pretty much on the verge of tears. So off I go to her room, searching for that f"ing blanket and I can't find it anywhere. I go back to my room and tell her "look, I can't find the blanket...you'll just have to get back to sleep without it". Then I can see in the dimness of the lights that she actually has her blankie, as she proudly announces "I found it...It was mixed in with my pillows". Yeah, she drags the whole bed with her when she comes into my room....her 2 pillows (the Hello Kitty pillow and the Disney princess pillow, as if she feels like if she has a preference for one over the other, that Hello Kitty or Cinderalla may feel like they got the shaft), her little taggie blanket (this is the one she can never seem to find that she sends me searching for), and her huge Hello Kitty blanket. Oh and her paci...yes, let's not forget the paci. The one paci that she refused to give to the Paci Fairy....I don't think even Jo, the Supernanny, could convince Cole or Bella to give up that last paci. No amount of sexy British accent or promise of fabulous gifts in return for the pacis would ever work. I laugh when people say "well, you've never seen a kid go off to college with a pacifier, have you....so don't sweat it".....my kids will be the first ones to challenge that saying...I just have a feeling....just like the saying "God doesn't give you more than you can handle", which I also laugh at when I hear (and then I go drink a bottle of wine)....because obviously God does give you more than you can handle (or maybe it's just me and I'm His test subject)
Anyway, so back to the whole blanket dilemma...so at 4:15 am in the morning as I'm tiredly wandering the hallway and her room to look for this f"ing blankie, as I now lovingly refer to it as, I realize how screwed I am. Why I'm JUST now realizing this is beyond me, honestly. It's like a light bulb finally went off above my head and I was smacked with reality, right there in the darkness of my own home. My daughter has me so tightly wound around her finger that it's actually funny...well, no not really funny as in "haha" kinda funny but funny in the sense that I now realize I'm digging a very deep hole for myself and there's no way out except to use tough love.
And by tough love, I mean, I'm gonna have to start walking her back to her room and making her stay in there. Let's talk about the reasons why I haven't done that so far.....there are 3 of them...Cole, Landon and Garrett. The way our upstairs is set up, all our bedrooms each have a connecting wall, with Garrett and Landon's room having a connecting wall on both sides. So on one side, they have Cole and Bella's room and on the other side, they have mine and Tim's room. If Bella cries...no, let's re-phrase that, WHEN Bella cries when I send her packing back to her room, she'll wake the whole freakin house up. I guess I'm picking the lesser of 2 evils, if you will. I'd rather be dealing with 1 child who wants to continue sleeping in bed with me (even if it costs me much needed sleep) than deal with 3 crying, grumpy kids in the middle of the night who were awakened so rudely from a peaceful slumber. And let me just say, for the record, that Garrett and Landon are not children you wanna deal with in the middle of the night if they are wakened unexpectedly. Cole may be consolable but that could go either way.
Every night when I say goodnight to Bella, I say "now you're gonna stay in your room because you're a big girl, right? And Cole would be lonely if you left him". I used to say "Hello Kitty will be lonely if you left her" but then she started dragging her freakin Hello Kitty doll along with her to my bed so I stopped saying that, figuring she can't drag Cole to my bed (well, she probably would if she could....she's definitely the boss in their relationship...she has been the source of many of his time-outs...but she earns a time-out right along with him, as she says "Mommy, but it was Cole who jumped off the kitchen table, not me" and I say "yes, well, you're the one who told him to do it so you get a time out too". ) Why can I be tough with her in those situations but not at 4:00 am????
Yeah, so every night we have this conversation about how she's gonna stay in her bed because she's a big girl and Cole would be lonely if he were to wake up and see she's not there and yadda, yadda, yadda....she just smiles and says "okay, Mommy" and then as I'm walking out her door, I hear her quietly say "see you in the middle of the night". CRAP!!!!
I know it's gonna be the battle of all battles with this child when it comes to this issue because realistically she'll still be sharing a bed with me when she's 16 yrs old if I don't put a stop to it. But I just don't wanna deal with it now, when I need as much as sleep as I can possibly get. Many moms I've talked to about this say "you have to be consistent, walk her back to her room every single time, and just let her cry if she cries". But I need my sleep, dammit. And I know I can't be the only parent dealing with this situation....the thought of another 3 yr old child climbing in her parent's bed gives me great pleasure because then I realize I am not alone. That's how I give myself permission to believe that it's okay to do this, just for now....just until I can handle the battle that will ensue when I enforce her to stay in her room.
Good Lord, why doesn't anyone tell you how difficult parenting is??? All you hear is "it's a love like you've never known before" but no one ever says "you will be challenged every single day, every minute of the day....oh and night-time too...it's 24/7...".....and they certainly never follow that up with "you'll feel guilty about every decision you make, every little thing that you could possibly feel guilty about, you will feel guilty about...hell, you'll feel guilty about feeling guilty"....I know I'll be the main reason my kids end up on some therapist's sofa someday in the future, crying about the woes of their childhood. Well, maybe Tim will share that responsibility as well because Lord knows he's not earning the "Parent of the Year" award either. I guess that'll go to Brad Pitt this year because he makes parenting look so easy.
When people learn that we have 2 sets of twins, they always always ask "have you seen that show 'Jon and Kate, plus 8'?"....as if they're trying to secretly tell me "see, you don't have it so tough...she has twins and sextuplets and she manages to hold it together". What I'd love to say to them is "yes, ON CAMERA she's holding it together....behind closed doors, perhaps she's collapsed on the bathroom floor in tears wondering 'is this really my life now'?" Although I really do have to hand it to the woman...she's super organized and I'm envious. I always wondered how she kept up with the laundry until I saw the episode last night and realized she has a neighbor lady come over and fold all the laundry and then a friend of hers comes over later and puts the clothes away for her.
I realize this a super long post, much longer than I intended it to be actually. But once I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll....tough love with Bella will come later. For now, she wins the battle. And she knows it.