Bedtimes gone wrong

Survival posts seem to be a theme around here lately. But, if you had been part of the bedtime in my house that just happened…well, you’d understand. It’s been quite a while since I told someone that I didn’t like my kids much at that moment. I definitely said that twice on Sunday. To which my husband replied along the lines of he hadn’t really liked them much at all lately. I get it.

Some bedtimes go very well and everyone listens. No one loses their mind when you say it’s time for bed. Other nights, one falls and the other quickly falls in support of brotherhood. Tears. Legs that can’t hold up small bodies. Arms that have a life of their own. So much flailing. All the chapters from the Small Child Handbook. You know it’ll be a fun night when you’re doing a solo bedtime and your littlest human does everything he can to run away from you and not get his pjs on. Physically putting clothes on a small human who is twisting and turning is a delightful experience that leaves a person left feeling like you’ve had an excellent workout.

Tonight was one of those semi-ok nights. That means that at most times, at least one kid was listening. {We have a low bar in our house…} Going to bed even looked like it was going to go well because Maximus listened as soon as I said it was time for bed. Two minutes and that kid was in bed and I was on to the next one. Who was in my bedroom taking candles and glass out of a vase. Eventually I got Quinten into his bedroom. He wasn’t the happiest because I refused to sing him a song because he hadn’t been listening. Here’s the thing about Quinten, he doesn’t like it when you don’t do what he wants. So he threw an epic fit. And I said goodnight and left his room. Kicking, screaming into the air, screaming into the bed, and swinging his arms. I was planning on ignoring it, but Maximus shares a wall with him. {And it’s hard to tell a kid to try to sleep over that.} So I had to deal with it. And really, this kid is so stubborn that he’ll scream until you can finally convince him to stop. Tough love happened next. Hugging him as tight as I could until he stopped crying. It’s physically hard to give that kid love! It took a hug from his brother, putting a sock back on {don’t be so surprised that you kicked it off Q!}, remaking his bed, and lots of soft voices. I thought I was starting all over again when he requested a song, but somehow I was able to get out of that room without him {or I} screaming. After starting bedtime 30 minutes before.

::Now I watch mindless tv::

Our little boys of summer

The little boys of Leger Lane, like children everywhere, love the outdoors. When Maximus was 18-months old he used to sit at the sliding glass door and cry because it was winter and he couldn’t go outside. Quinten, at 2 1/2, is almost always out on the deck when it’s raining. Their love has no bounds.

Chasing a caterpillar into hiding

Chasing a caterpillar into hiding

EVERYONE in the house was excited once the weather got warmer this spring. Everyone. There are only so many toys you can play with in the house and chances are high that you will fight over a toy with your brother. Or maybe that’s just our house? 😉

Our favorite summer activities:

  • Play in the backyard – dig in the dirt and move dirt from one spot to the next
  • Play in the sprinkler
  • Go to the pool
  • Go to the park
  • Go for walks – ok, not Maximus’ favorite, but the rest of us like it!
  • Play baseball – not a surprise if you know my family! 🙂

Bryan and I have a shared favorite activity this summer – riding our bikes! It’s a little difficult to find time to ride together, but I’m excited that he shares my love of riding! I’d also put softball on my favorites list. It’s always been one of my favorites, but this year I’m having a lot more fun and enjoying it more than usual.

IMG_8504

Lunchtime ride

Maximus put together a Summer Fun list, which I dictated. Later, he made me add go on a Vacation to China. “Have we been to China?” “No, we went to Minnesota.” “Oh yah, put that on the list, too.” Apparently Bryan’s work trips to China are nothing but fun and also the only place to buy Cars t-shirts. #priorities

IMG_8477

2015 Summer Fun

We’ve gotten a good start on our Summer Fun list and are about half done, minus the China vacation. We’ve spent more hours outside than inside. We’ve missed bath night more times than I can count. Or rather, we’ve gone more nights without a bath than the number of times they’ve been clean this summer. The boys have gotten into a routine of wearing their clothes to bed {and don’t always put fresh clothes on the next day}. They fight bedtime because it’s very much still light out when they go to bed. And they wake up far earlier than anyone should because the sun comes out nice and early. We’re loving summer hard and giving it our all. Dirt under our fingernails, sand in our hair, new freckles on our faces, farmer tans on little arms, and skinned knees are the proof. We’re unanimously voting for 12 months of summer!

My kids are funny 

In my opinion, my kids are very funny! 🙂 

Maximus, while driving home. 

Look! There’s the nursery home!

A nursing home is across the street from our house. 

Quinten, while listening to Maximus ask for a sucker. 

NO! Two wait! No Max-mus. Two wait! 

Translation: too late. It was 5 pm. 

Quinten, every night before bed. 

No nap time. No dark out. 

Also every night. 

Sing me mommy. Sing wheels. Kitty. Doggy. 

Maximus,

I’ll be back mommy. I’ll be back in a Jimmy.


Maximus, while I was trying to redirect Quinten. 

You’re just trying to astract him.


My favorite Quintenisms,

No me whike. 

Too fits. 

Translation: I don’t like

Translation: Too small 

  

They may be learning different things, but they have the same sweet sleeping faces. 

Socks. Lots and lots of socks. 

When I used to get baby and toddler socks, I thought they were so cute. Our most recent gift was a bunch of crew cut mustaches. MUSTACHES! As if my two-year-old could possibly exist without mustache socks. seriously. I don’t even care that the colors don’t match his outfits. They make the outfit. 

Socks. Small socks. They have become my thing. That House Thing that drives me a little nutty. Thankfully, Wrigley could care less about socks. That’s good for our budget and my sanity. 

These little socks are everywhere. Every room I walk into, I see socks. Sometimes next to their mate, but usually strung about hanging out with other misfits. It’s maddening. These socks that are never clearly labeled clean or dirty

People say dryers eat socks. I don’t believe it. My house eats the socks. More specifically, my small children feed their socks to my house. And then they whine and plead for an adult to go get them socks from their room. Quinten is obviously the worst. Having a toddler is a lot like living with royalty until you can teach them to use those little legs and hands to do it themselves. 

Where my socks? Go get them. Get my socks. 

It’s a super cold May day and I’m feeling extra bitter about it. If it wasn’t so cold out, they wouldn’t require socks. If it was nice out, I could put them in boxes! Forever. 

These adorable little sport socks that are inside out and in all the wrong places. Never where we need them to be and probably worn for days at a time. These small socks that are in constant need to be picked up, washed, sorted, matched, and put away. Only to be flung around the house before they make it onto little feet or tossed aside after coming in the house. 

  

These socks. 

Leger Band 

The Leger Band has been around for a few years. It’s no surprise given the talent my husband has. {Proud wife moment.} It’s one of the rare activities that is mostly fight-free. Although we do have some fighting over specific drums or sticks. But, compared to all other activities this one is the most “together” they can get. 

I love it almost all times they break out in music. {Unless I have a headache, of course.} I love it enough that I might allow some real instruments when we finish our basement. But, until then they’re doing ok with the plastic stuff. 

https://vimeo.com/126652212

Little brother stereotypes, unlocked.

When it comes to second-child stereotypes, Quinten is the poster-child for many things. Ornery and sweet are the most common descriptions of our little blondie. Other names we call him: turkey, firecracker, and trouble maker. Although ornery shows itself more often than the sweet, he still gives killer hugs. Like, squeeze as hard as his little two-year-old arms can squeeze and wrap those chubby little legs around your stomach hugs. He’s made his own bedtime routine: go to bed, listen to Maximus go to bed, and request another hug from whoever is leaving Maximus’ room.

More, more hug. Pease. Hug.

2015 Easter

2015 Easter

He has these looks that can stop you in your tracks. He loves a good pout face with eyes downward and a serious scowl. But there’s always a smirk right behind it. It’s a bit scary to watch the transformation between a mean look and a smirk that says he knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.

It’s no surprise that he can do everything his brother can do. Including stealing his brother’s car seat when Maximus isn’t around. {I forgot that 2-year-olds move their chest clip around. In this picture he’s moving it up to his neck. We taught Maximus to teach other people where it needs to go, on his tickle. That was the best way to ensure he was buckled in properly. Totally forgot this kid doesn’t know that and that he probably won’t listen to us or tell others.}

Car seat swap

Proud of his car seat swap

He loves hard and fights harderThis weekend I heard Maximus and Quinten yelling at each other outside. I went to the window to make sure everything was ok. I watched the yelling stop, Maximus push Quinten, and Quinten turn in the opposite direction. Before I could scold Maximus for pushing his little brother, Quinten veered around and charged after Maximus. It ended in Maximus hurt and screaming. After he was done, Quinten walked away and picked up a wheel barrel and walked away. So. Don’t be worried about the baby of our house. He’s doing just fine. It’s the rest of us who could use some prayers! We all struggle with how to handle our “baby.” How to play with him when he doesn’t share very well yet, how to discipline him when he likes to climb out of timeout, and how to reinforce the good behavior so he’ll keep doing it.

Rare picture of just the three of us.

Rare picture of just the three of us.

After a trying weekend with both children, he’s soaking up the single child thing while Maximus is at preschool. He’s all sweet and funny and not even a little bit naughty. Other than his hair sticking up, there’s almost no trace of ornery. This morning he’s been playing with a dump truck, sound effects and all. Picking up cars and dumping them off at what I can only assume is a construction site.

He’s all manners and helpfulness this morning. Except, of course, when he wants you to do something or get him something. Then he’s pretty demanding and yelly.

 Get my shoes! In Maximus’ room. Get them! Get my shoes MOMMY!

Cheering on the Cyclones at a spring football game.

Cheering on the Cyclones at a spring football game.

 

Another stereotype he’s locked down is sneaking into Maximus’ room when Maximus is gone. I was putting groceries away while he sat on Maximus’ floor playing with blocks {and ruining structures}. Then, sitting on Maximus’ bed reading books. While big brother is away, always hang out in your brother’s room.

I have the rare luxury of spending a couple of hours alone with my little guy. I’m not sure who’s having more fun, but I need to make an effort to do this morning often. With both of them. Everyone benefits from some alone time with only one child {or a husband, too}!

How do you make sure you spend alone time with your little ones? Or husband?

It’s not always easy

It’s been one of those days. It ended with Quinten spitting on my sweatshirt when I put him to bed. That’s a pretty accurate summary of his day. Some days can be such a challenge. Or maybe those days when you’re the only parent are really the ones that are challenging. Yesterday was A Day in itself. A super tired preschooler gave us both flashbacks to his 2-year-old days. So many tears at so many random things. We all thought today had to be better after a full night of sleep. It kind of was, except during the night Maximus lost all of his listening skills. All of them. I can’t count how many times I repeated myself today. Or how many times I said, “please use listening ears. Mommy doesn’t want to yell or repeat herself. Please listen.” I can count how many times Quinten was in time-out…three. And how many times I found him on the deck, going down the stairs, or in the grass…three. By the way, it was cold and rainy all day. Not a good day to play outside, even though we all wish it were.

Sometimes at the end of a long day, happy meals are the only answer. In an effort to feed them before they got hangry {hungry + angry}, I stopped on the way home and used it as a distraction. It’s a little out of character for me and maybe the second time I’ve been involved in them getting happy meals. It did result in a couple of cute brother moments, but only because Maximus didn’t complain {this time} about Quinten sharing his chair. I also didn’t have to threaten to put Quinten in his highchair during that meal! Maximus was also pretty nice when he offered the rest of his sandwich to Quinten {who had been asking for more sandwich.} Unfortunately, it didn’t buy me as much quiet and togetherness time as I’d hoped. In fact, it resulted in one of the Quinten escapes into the grass.

I know there’s a learning experience all kinds of character building in the 2-year-old and 4-year-old ages, but some days it’s hard to make it through a day without raised voices. Not that they help any. It doesn’t seem to matter if I talk quiet or loud or repeat myself many times, those little ears are not into listening right now. So I take the Starbucks as they come, try to sneak in a couple of minutes of reading, and be calmer the next time I’m repeating myself for a second and third time.

These moments help