Wednesday, November 6, 2013

High Standards v. Reality

Ever have one of those days, where you are just trying to make it to bedtime with the least amount of crying, screaming, and kicking meltdowns and you don't care how you get to that goal?

That's me today.

My standards have been dropping all afternoon, and right now, I'm pretty much up for anything.

Reagan is making a huge mess shaking the popcorn bag all over the floor?

That's what vacuums are for, and vacuums are much quieter than her screams.

Madison wants to watch the same, obnoxiously boring video over and over, even though even she barely pays attention to it?

Fine by me, it made the whining stop.

The girls are dumping all the puzzles into one big bag of mess?

They're playing nicely and quietly together.

Look, I know all about the "pay now or pay later" strategies. If I don't give in today, I'll stop the battles in the future. I might have to endure some whiny days, but overall, I won't have spoiled, entitled children.

Except some days I concede. It just doesn't seem worth it when you're comparing a great theory with reality.

The reality is that I have a three year who missed a much needed nap because she woke up needing to pee after only 30 minutes. She was clingy and cranky, complaining of being tired but sobbing when I attempted to put her back in bed.

The reality is I have a 20 month old who is dealing with another ear infection and the tummy troubles that come with antibiotics. Although she's on a relatively mild one, the fact is that she doesn't feel quite right. She woke up screaming from an abbreviated nap, while I tried to figure out if it was pain in her ears, pain in her stomach, general crankiness, or the position of the moon. Because she doesn't talk, it's up to me to figure out what exactly I need to do to help her, while she get increasingly more frustrated. I don't know that I ever did figure it out, but I know that eventually we hit on the magical combination of shows, treats, and cups, and it did wane.

The reality is that I took on some great writing assignments, which somehow all ended up being due in the same week (and by somehow, I mean that I have a planner to manage all my writing so I don't say yes to everything all at once, but I don't always use said planner effectively).

The reality is that no one here is in the mood for tough love. For paying now. For setting up lifelong expectations of how to behave.

We're tired. We're achy. We're stressed. We're crabby.

We're willing to pay later for peace today.

Yes, tomorrow we'll have to go back to limits on snacks, and TV, and messes.

But today, we made it to bedtime. Standards be damned.
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