I believe Albert Einstein defined insanity by doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. I can’t tell you how many times I have found that to be true in parenting. Sometimes it is a matter of my expectations being wrong, sometimes it is the mini-ions going through their own changes. And when I have really been in the thick of it, I have found it hard to recognize that my increasing level of insanity is because something needs to change.
I wrote not too long ago that we were going through a hard time. It seems both mini-ions were going through changes that I just hadn’t grasped what or why, so I had a hard time understanding that I needed to change and what the change would be to. Revolving around one of the most important aspects of early childhood, sleep.
As Mini-ion #1 is approaching his 4th birthday, he is requiring fewer naps. Initially I was fighting it, but after spending a few evenings with him after he has had a nap, I am onboard with him not napping. But he still needs to have some quiet time, particularly because Mini-ion #2 needs a nap. He used to be able to go in his room on his own, play with his cars and drift off to sleep, but not anymore, he would get increasingly bored and disruptive to Mini-ion #2’s nap process.
At the exact same time, Mini-ion #2 has been going on a nap strike. Not just a one or two day picket line, but a full on, rented the blow up rat, hired negotiators, stoning anyone who dares cross the strike line, nap strike. It becomes a bad, BAD scene when she doesn’t nap. Add in an older brother who is interrupting constantly and a mom who is feeling more and more bewildered and like a failure and eruptions start happening.
It took more days than I want to admit, of this constant failure, before I even began to realize I was going insane, and that I needed to make a change. Even longer before I found the right change. But so far, I think I have found it, at least for now, and Mini-ion #1 and I are friends again and Mini-ion #2 is getting naps again (although her negotiators and I are still coming up against many disagreements).
How did I find the right change? By trusting Mini-ion #1 more. Trusting that he could tell me what would entertain him. Trusting him to be on one floor by himself while I am on another. By trusting that he wouldn’t scribble all over the house (but giving him washable dry erase markers in case he does). And by giving him meaningful work that he can do, if he wants to. And if not, by having quiet toys he can choose to play with instead.
Here are some of the places I got help. Some of it is other blogs, some of it is amazon links of things I’ve bought. But it all helped!
- My sister made a book of these fabulous Path of Motion cards. She laminated them too so Mini-ion #1 can erase and practice all over again.
- Again touting This Reading Mama’s post and her post about the Letter T. I’ve printed a couple of the writing projects and Mini-ion #1 has started practicing.
- This laminator (and the coordinating pages) from Amazon – what a cost savings that I can print my own pages!
- These washable dry erase markers from Amazon. Because everything needs to be washable.