Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Screaming to naptime

In one of those rosy after-school moments that you just want to take a snapshot of to cherish forever, everyone was screaming and pouting today. Zoë was ready for a nap but didn't want to take a nap and kept getting into stuff. Miriam was screaming at Zoë and Benjamin about getting into stuff. Rachel was having fits over her math homework and kept snapping at everyone. Benjamin was in good spirits but functioning at full volume.

I couldn't handle it anymore and snapped. I sent everyone to their rooms to chill out, pushed the benches under the table, lifted the baby off the table, and then put her in bed. She started screaming again, of course, but I left her locked in the bedroom while I spoke with my older kids about expectations.

The baby is allowed to scream, on account of she's a baby.

Screaming at the baby for screaming is not appropriate behaviour.

Screaming at your brother for screaming at the baby, who is screaming, is also not appropriate behaviour.

Screaming at your sister for screaming at her brother for screaming at the baby, who is screaming, is definitely not appropriate behaviour.

And if we're being fair, it's probably not appropriate behaviour for the mother to scream at her eldest for screaming at her sister for screaming at her brother for screaming at the screaming baby, either.

But, quite literally, for crying out loud—Everyone! Stop! Screaming!

As calmly as I could, I explained my expectations for the afternoon. Miriam needed to read a book aloud to Benjamin and finish her homework. Rachel needed to stop crying about 12+12 (because she knows the answer) and get ready to actually focus on her homework. Everyone can have a snack but snack time must be accomplished without having the baby climb up on the table to smash an entire box of crackers. I can only answer one question about homework at a time. So if you see someone asking me a question wait for a few minutes. I love you all. I will get to you all. But the cracker-smasher is my #1 priority because she's smashing crackers. Got it?

Once the older kids were all sorted and ready to cooperate, I returned to Zoë, who was screaming bloody murder while pounding on the bedroom door. I opened the door and she immediately stopped crying. I figured she'd just come out of her room and start running around again, but she didn't.

She grabbed my hand and led me back to her little bed. She climbed up, lay down, and put my hand on her tummy and patted it a couple of times. So I started patting her tummy while she sniffled her way to...sleep! It took ten minutes, tops.

I tiptoed away from her bedside in a state of complete shock.

Let me tell you how many times she has gone down for a nap this easily before: ZERO.

I'm still just reeling from the shock of it all.

My baby—my baby—went down for a nap. In her own bed. And it was her idea.

Last night at soccer I was chatting with a friend from church (because about half our ward goes to soccer on Tuesdays (seriously: five families were at Benjamin's field (which is good because all three of our kids have soccer on Tuesdays at exactly the same three different we're going to need some back up at some point))) and she mentioned a picture I'd posted of the kids playing at the Museum of Life and Science earlier that day.

"Maybe Zoë will go to bed at a decent hour for you tonight," she said. "The museum always wears out my kids."

"Haha," I laughed dryly. "Not Zoë."

Nothing wears this baby out. We went to the museum yesterday and went swimming and went to soccer and played at the park after. And she still stayed up until 3 AM.

But she decided to take a nap today. That's pretty monumental.

A while ago Miriam asked if we could go swimming and added that "it might wear the baby out!"

"Swimming doesn't wear the baby out," I said. "You know that."

She knows that because no matter how long we ever spend at the pool Zoë never reaches the point where she crashes. There's usually no change in her sleep pattern at all.

"What do you think would wear the baby out?" she asked.

"Turning thirty," I said.

And that will probably be true (especially if she has a little baby like herself to look after).

1 comment:

  1. Apparently a whole lot of screaming wears the baby out...but that is not so pleasant...still, I am amazed and happy that she decided she needed a nap!