I Picked a Fight*

P decided that this would be a really good time to stop napping.

I knew it was coming, but believe me, I was not consulted on this decision and am not in love with his timing. We are making the best of it, but he’s a bit of a bear by bedtime because he’s just totally exhausted.

Last night was not my best night.

All the kids were tired and signs of cabin fever were peeking through their brave facades. They were whiny and bickered non-stop, and basically all I could do to make it stop was put the TV on.

(So they watched a loooooot of movies yesterday.)

By bedtime everyone was fried. My fuse was especially short, and when P started melting down at bedtime I was much more “yelly” than I care to be. He decided he wanted to take this box set of early readers to bed with him, but they are already kind of falling apart and he has a bad habit of ripping books, so I put my foot down.

He lost. his. mind.

Really, I probably could have just let him take the box to bed and been done with it… but after an entire day of him not listening or questioning every single thing I asked him to do (or not do) I was so done. I decided to take a stand and be firm… but really I just wanted to win. Is that bad? (ha)

In hindsight, bedtime is not the best time to pick a fight with an already overtired and obstinate kid. But once I said no I knew I couldn’t back down and we went head to head.

I’ve always categorized kid meltdowns in “stages”, with Stage 5 being the most meltiest of meltdowns. That’s the hitting-kicking-yelling-crying-on-the-floor-I-don’t-care-who-sees-the-world-has-ended tantrum.

Last night P leveled up. I swear he took us to new heights and hit at least a level 7. He was SO mad that I wouldn’t give in and scream-cried until he had nothing left. I couldn’t just leave him in his room because he shares with H and H was trying to sleep, so I stayed with him and held him. When the screaming dulled to crying, I crawled into bed with him and held him there.

Believe me, holding my tantruming kid after the world’s longest day was the last place I thought I wanted to be, but I think it was what we both needed. He eventually calmed down and burrowed in as close as he could get (while still saying, “I want the Blaze books, Mommy!” every 60 seconds or so). He wore himself out and passed out a few minutes later.

It was… a lot. But I’m glad we ended in a hug instead of at war where we started. I got some much needed quiet time last night, and felt much better this morning.

We haven’t been on any type of “schedule” yet as I know the kids’ whole world has been turned upside down… and it IS still March Break. So, we are “March Break-ing”. Taking it easy, watching movies, playing outside and doing crafts.

That being said, I decided to try something for our collective sanity today. Just after lunch, we went into “quiet time” mode. I seriously separated everyone. M is working at his desk, H is down playing Lego, S is in her room playing toys, P is in his room playing with his Star Wars toys and I am secluded in my kitchen. I don’t know how long this will last, but it is GLORIOUS. I told them all we’d be on our own for an hour, then come back and play together. It’s been 25 minutes and it seems to be working.

This might be the single greatest accomplishment of my life.

(I’m also totally eating a secret microwave s’more to celebrate.)

I think it’s important to carve out a bit of time each day to be alone while we’re in this strange period of self-isolation. Part of me felt mean for enforcing it, but I really do think it will be good for everyone to just have a minute to breathe. We have lots of together time… so this is okay too.

After all, a recharged mom is a much less yelly mom. <3

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