Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bedtimes....and Mommy Mess Up

My kids go to bed sometime around 7:30 -8:15 the goal being 7:30. My oldest son REQUIRES a set bedtime as he wakes up with the early birds no matter what time he goes to bed and if he hasn't had enough sleep we suffer endless pointless meltdowns all day that are completely unsolvable.....see me gritting teeth. (Keep in mind that we are flexible....if someone really "can't sleep" they can read a book in bed.) They are usually asleep within minutes of lights out - something to do with an active outdoor lifestyle I suspect. Recently he asked a couple of times when their bedtime was gonna change, so I made a change. I said we would follow the same bedtime routine (PJs, Pee, Teeth, books.....) but then they could leave their lamps on and read themselves until 8 or 8:15......Which works as I'm usually with Holdy in our bed singing and lying with him while he goes to sleep anyways.....So last night was the trial run.....and today August was weepy all morning......I'm hoping it wasn't the new "bedtime" but my total mother screwup.....
I was making my raspberry pancakes for breaki and said "August can you get the plates out?" Meaning of course "get the plates out!" and he said "no" which ticked me off, mostly because I knew I'd misworded my request and secondly because he was wanting me to go downstairs and find him frozen berries to eat and now I didn't want to do something for him.....When I asked Sawyer to get out the cutlery and he said no I was even more ticked. I inherit this nasty little way of manipulating from my mother. You know the old "Do you think we should add salt to this gravy?" or "do you think we should light the fire?" to which I always answer "No I don't" and it wasn't really a request....So you see my boys come by their NOs honestly. It ticks me off NO END when my mother starts with her commandrequests.....So why do I do it? ARGH!!! So when August said "Are you going to look for the raspberries now?" I snottily answered, "No I don't feel like it." I can be a really bad parent. He left the room (looking hurt) and I presume looked for himself. Don gave me a nasty look. And I felt bad bad bad. And 5 minutes later he came and got the plates out. Talk about mommy manipulation. And August was weepy the rest of the would have been easy to blame it on the bedtime eh?


MamaTea said...

It could have been the bedtime. Who knows...I would have done the same thing. I get a wee bit tired of kids who want me to grant their every request, but when I ask something of them, they say no. So I would have probably done the same thing you did. Regardless of whether I got a nasty look from my Hubster. :)

mamak said...

Well, we are people with emotions, not perfect robots with a canned response! It's all part of the humanness. And although, I always tend to apologize and talk to my kids about why I snapped, I think that it is good for them to see that people can be hurt by their actions, and that life and relationships are a two way street. Otherwise if every wish was always granted, would it not be a huge wake up call later in life, and how many friends might they lose if they were expectors and not partners? Hey it happens, but they also know that even though we can be upset, the love, is always pure and unconditional...

MamaLou said...

You guys always have such nice words of wisdom! Thanx!

Stephanie said...

The fact that you are aware of it is a good thing.
Just do better in the next moment.
If you conditioned them to this response it will take time to undo.

When I ask my kids to do something they can say *no* and so can I.

When you live from respect and principles the give and take and mutual respect does come into play.
When kids are so young it is mostly one sided as they grow you will see the fruits.

I won't even go into set bedtimes because if you read my blog you know what I think about anything arbitrary.

Just keep trying to be consciously aware and apologize if needed.
Heck I mess up and apologize a lot.
It shows my kids I'm human, I have physical limitations on what I can do.

MamaLou said...

Yes I like to be able to accept the NOs too, and the fact that my RequestThatWasReallyACommand was the basis of being ticked.... If I want them to have the choice to say NO then I have to ask the y/n questions at a time I can accept NO (and I do, often..) .....My rhetorical "Can you get the plates?" wasn't the time (Is this a correct usage of rhetorical, or am I using it in a new way??)that I wanted a NO....and I *think* it was your blog that defined unschooling bedtimes as being flexible and open to change that made me watch for signs that a change was needed.....and I hope we'll eventually grow towards their knowing when they need to go to bed (we had a long day today and two of them were falling asleep on me as I read to them.....)