Beyond the Brink at Bedtime
If you are a parent, you know the bedtime struggle. Normally we can get our kids into a general routine and the bedtime routine isn’t terrible. But the other night was a struggle-bus!
During the summer we try to push back our kids’ regular 6:30/7:00 bedtime to closer to 8:00. We don’t always succeed, because they are tired. Their routines in the summer are thrown out of whack, and sometimes they just need more sleep. Two nights ago, we missed the cues that Marsh-man was just totally DONE. He was fisting his hands and kicking his feet when he didn’t get his way. Hmmm….parenting 101 says that those types of tantrums usually mean the child is tired and/or frustrated. He was both. He couldn’t find one of the books in a set that he has and melted down for a good 15-20 minutes. THEN when we sent the kids down to the basement to collect their stuffed animals and blankets for bedtime, Marshall encountered a bug.
Total Bug Out
This bug was one of those centipede type things. I’m not a bug expert, it was about an inch long and had lots of legs…and didn’t belong IN the house. Well, Marshall tried to play with it and ended up crushing the back half. Oops. No big deal, mommy was going to put it outside or throw it away anyways. “BUT HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND AND I KILLED HIM!!!!” “I MISS MY BEST FRIEND.” “I WANT TO PLAY WITH HIM AND TALK TO HIM!” This went on and on and on. For FORTY-FIVE minutes! The screaming and wailing was enough to make anyone crazy.
We tried to calm him down for 45 minutes and it just kept the tantrum going. I even fished the
half three-quarters dead bug out of the trashcan to show him he was still “alive” and then “released him to his family outside.” Almost as soon as we closed the door and left the room he settled down and I retreated to the shower, where I realized: at least we know he has a conscience! Anyone that gets that upset over hurting a bug surely must have a conscience, right? RIGHT?!
In hindsight, we should have just reassured him for a briefer amount of time, and then left him in his bed to calm himself down. Being alone seemed to help him, and perhaps that’s because he could find a way to distract himself on his own, without being reassured over and over by us. Have you encountered a similar response from your kids nearing bedtime? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below or head over to Facebook or Twitter to share this with your friends.