learning from the master

Have I mentioned we’ve finally got the kids out of cribs and onto floor beds? After several false starts and lots of mischief, I think we’re pretty much there. We do still have a pack n play set up in the closet for any toddler who can’t quite settle him/herself down, but most days they’re excited about their pillows and blankets and big kid beds. (On the other days they stand by the door shaking the child proofed door knob and crying until they pass out on the hardwood floor and then I accidentally open the it on their little outstretched fingers when I check on them before we go to bed and so they scream and I feel like a terrible mother and end up doing another late night nurse session where they look up at me with sad eyes and a little face covered in drool and floorboard imprints. But, that’s what we call a successful transition these days.)

Anyway. All that to say, it can be bad sometimes but when it’s good they’re usually also up to no good and I’m having a really hard time not bursting out laughing when I bust in on their little naughty behinds running around during nap time. They’re so persistent and foolish and silly and wild and it’s as endearing as it is mind blowingly aggravating. I know this is so obviously true of toddlers that it should go without saying, but now that I’m in it I am just so in it and so baffled by the irrationality of it all! These little people have no sense of time or consequences, immediately making new trouble just as soon as I pull the door shut. This morning after going in for the fourth time in less than two minutes I find Rowan pitching all his bedding over the sides of his punishment sleep cage and Evelyn with both of her legs out of bed, head still on the pillow. She looks up at me all innocent and sweetness as she reaches over to slowly pull the blanket up over her head, pretending to be asleep, legs still hanging. Little stinker! 

I knew I could not contain my uproarious laughter (and if there’s one thing you must never do, it’s let your toddler see you giggle when you’re supposed to playing the part of serious grown up) so I kept ducking out to give Drew reports and to cackle and then tried to pull myself together when I heard the pitter patter of little feet running for the curtains again. It was so hard! I am just not prepared for their little defiant and devious attitudes and all the patience and consistency they require!  

This afternoon I called my mom (who is a pro, after 5 troublemaking children) to ask her how she kept it together so she could stay firm and lay down the law. Her answer: “I just looked at what you had done and then very seriously said: “Mommy is very upset right now and will be right back.”

My whole life I thought that was the scary thinking time where you were meant to stew in your guilt and await the punishment, a dramatic pause before the verdict. I had no idea she was having a laughing fit in the kitchen! 

Armed with this newfound knowledge, I was prepared when I walked into the kitchen this afternoon and found Rowan with stickers on his forehead and his hands in a stick of butter. Without a moment of hesitation, I ducked back around the corner, grabbed my phone and took a video for the grandparents so we could all laugh together. I’m learning!



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