I don’t know how to raise children. Sometimes I like to talk like I’ve figured it out, like I know how to put the kids to bed, or smear Desitin on a squirming child, or get a 3-year-old to eat his dinner. But we all know it’s just a funny joke because next week the kids are going to come up with new ways to procrastinate bedtime, the squirming child will be able to move in different and surprisingly determined ways, and the 3-year-old will decide it’s not worth it to fight about dinner, but I won’t realize that until I’ve already put up my defenses. Haha! Funny!
Our current games include, but are not limited to, Manchild 1’s naptime and Manchild 2’s eating/nursing schedule. They seem to thwart my every effort at regulation, predictability, and reasonableness. Or maybe it’s me that is doing the thwarting. Because, you know, I like to have some quiet time here and there and if I happen to let M1 sleep for three hours in the afternoon and he stays up until 11:00 that night, poking his head out of his room every 20 minutes to ask what we’re doing, who’s fault is that? And if M2 needs to nurse at 3am, I can’t argue with him. Mostly because I’m still asleep.
It’s so tricky. M1 still needs a nap. I’ve tried to keep him awake until dinner time with miserable results. Wake him up too soon and he’s cranky all afternoon. Too late and he’s up until 11:00pm. M2 is an entirely different beast. I still think of him as a little baby (despite the fact that he’s been walking for a month) and I have a hard time convincing myself that the mid-night feeding does more harm than good. Then again, maybe I’m right. Maybe it does do more good than harm.
This is really just another way of saying: I don’t have a clue. Which is, I believe, one thing I’ve got going for me. Because at the very least I am on my toes, open to somebody else’s success story, ready to change directions with a moment’s notice. Except for when I’m lazy, tired, or confused, and then I’m probably going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope the kids figure it out somehow.