Tonight's bedtime could only be described as pure hell. We thought we had it bad with Parker when he was this age. We had no idea. Parker is handling it all very well, actually. But Eli and Miranda were in rare form tonight and Michael and I have no idea what to do about it.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
We took a little musical break at BADM.
Jenna and I took the kids to Bay Area Discovery Museum today. I wasn't sure if Parker would still be able to go in the tot area so I couldn't go alone. Luckily, he still has an inch or two to go before he gets cut off.
We started in the tot zone where everyone enjoyed the water beds, costumes, and fish.
Next we went to the Bay Hall where they had fun with crabs, cranks, tunnels, boats and trains.
Then we spent some time outside first with the trucks and ramp, then going on a walk and then, just after my batteries died, with the gravel pit.
When I got some new batteries, we went inside to the last exhibit before we left. Some cultural old time-y california thing. The girls just liked the bears.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
After Miranda started getting wound up again tonight, I just said screw it. I had already sat with her for 20 minutes and read lots of books and I knew nothing was going to make her happy. So, I wished her well, apologized to Elizabeth and left the room. She screamed and screamed. After about 15 minutes, she was still screaming, but then I heard Elizabeth too. Eli was in Parker's bed (He was reading books with Dad downstairs). So I went up there and put Eli back to bed and told Miranda (who had stopped crying while I was in the room) that she could keep crying. I left again. She cried for another 10 minutes and then fell asleep. I took Parker up about 10 minutes later and all are sleeping quietly at the moment. I think I'll use the same CIO technique in the middle of the night too (Michael's in the back tonight since I was last night.) Maybe I'll take Parker down with me so he can sleep. But actually, he has been able to sleep through the girls middle of the night 2 hour nonsense sessions so he might just be fine.
I met up with Monika today after music class. She's potty training one of her girls too, so she brought a potty to the park. And I had picked up another cheap one for her at Ikea so we looked a little silly with all the potties. But, since three kids actually used them at the park, I guess it was more smart than silly. One of her girls is in love with Parker, they are both pretty darn sweet, and since they are closest in age to my girls of all the twins I know, so everyone does well together. We spent at least 15 minutes singing songs to them as they swung on the tire swing. It was damn cute.
After they left, we played for a bit in the sand area. Elizabeth just loves playing with big girls. She plopped herself down with some 12 year olds and started copying everything they were doing. They were polite, but not happy. When I went to get them to leave, the girls said, "oh good, the babies are going."
Monday, July 28, 2008
You know you're in trouble when you characterize "slightly less hysterical screaming" as a marked improvement, but that seems to be where we are.
Rachel had a board meeting tonight, so I put the kids to bed on my own, night three of the single-room lifestyle. At just a little bit later than usual, I took the girls upstairs for milk and books. I explained very persistently the whole plan about going to bed without screaming, and they agreed that it all sounded to good, but when it came down to it: not so much.
Actually, Elizabeth was a perfect angel tonight, going straight to her bed after lights out, and staying there, without any fuss, through all the distractions that ensued. She was sound asleep long before you'd expect any non-deaf person to be. Miranda, on the other hand, was having none of it. She was all lip-service through books and milk, and light's out, but once she refused to say good night to the horse I knew it was all a sham. Screaming happened within the minute.
I held her for a few minutes and tried to calm her down, because she seemed genuinely scared, and she calmed down a bit, but only if I was right there. Not quite sure what to do, I improvised a plan on the spot, and decided that Parker and I would read books in the bedroom tonight, so both girls could listen if they wanted.
This plan started out pretty well, and Miranda was quiet as a mouse. But then she started whimpering, and then moaning, and then calling out for Mommy. I addressed her a few times, but largely kept on reading. Eventually, she was crying hysterically, while Parker and I kept reading books six feet away. Parker was a real sport about the whole thing.
While I was reading to him and listening to Miranda scream, I was transported back to the hysterics Parker used to put up at bedtime for a while. As I watched Miranda occasionally let her screaming lull long enough to sneak a peek my way, it was clear that all she wanted—just like her brother used to—was not to be left alone. Parker and I finished our books, and he hopped into bed while I sat with my hand on Miranda's back, shushing her into calm, and then into sleepiness.
Eventually Parker told me he had to go pee, so I sent him downstairs and stayed with Miranda. When he called out, "That doesn't look like a pee, that looks like a poop!" I whispered in Miranda's ear that I was going to help Parker, and she didn't tense up, so I figured she'd be ok.
When I'd finished with Parker downstairs, I sent him back upstairs to hop in bed, and I loitered downstairs for another five minutes to see if Miranda would erupt, which she didn't. Then I went back up and sat with Parker for 10 minutes or so while we whispered to eachother about sisters, and swim class, and Jenna, and how it's hard for Miranda to go to bed because she's still a little girl and she gets scared. As I kissed him goodnight, he said, "I will watch the girls in their beds," and I told him they were lucky to have him for a big brother.
When she isn't hysterical crying (which is usually only after naps and before bedtime these days), Miranda is quite a sweet kid. Michael and I were just saying last night we haven't quite figured out what she is about. Elizabeth and Parker seem pretty cut and dry, but Miranda is still a mystery to us.
Although she is labeled with the "one that is afraid of the water", here she is enjoying a soak.
And here she is enjoying the new pin toy. It's a hit with everyone.