Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Yesterday, after dinner, I chopped a branch off of a tree in the backyard. It was mostly rotted through, so this was the sort of thing that was a "cut it before it fell and landed on a child" activity. After, I cleaned most of it up and mowed the lawn. I'll get the rest next week - there's just a handful of materials and sticks that need to be picked up. I might bribe the children - every five sticks gets a piece of chocolate. We'll see.

I got inside to hear two of three children crying. The Baby was crying because... well, he's a baby. That's what they do. Little Bear was in his room, quietly playing with his train table. The Boy was sitting on the floor of his room, screaming at the top of his lungs. The Wife told me that he dumped the lincoln logs on the floor, played with them for a minute, then walked away from them. She requested that he picked them up, he told her no and left the room. So, she took the lincoln logs and his Trio blocks away from him until he cleaned up his room. He responded by falling on the floor, wailing, rending his clothes, and gnashing his teeth.

Not literally on the rending and gnashing. I just wanted to get dramatic, to see how it felt.

I went into his room, sat near him, and waited until he stopped crying. "You want to tell me what happened?" "I was playing with the lincoln logs and stopped playing with them and then Mom took them away!" After a little while and some prompting, he acknowledged that he could get the lincoln logs and Trio blocks back if he cleaned up his room. "Daddy, will you help me?" Well, yes, but I was sweaty and gross and covered in grass clippings and sawdust. I advised him two simple things to do, and he kind of did them while I cleaned myself up.

Afterwards, I directed him around his room, cleaning things up, and we had some fun with it. By the time we were done, he had forgotten about the building things. Bath time followed, then stories and bed. After he went to bed, I went downstairs and finished cleaning the dishes before I had a snack (lowfat cottage cheese with grape jelly, and a glass of juice). I came upstairs to hear him reading a book to himself and to find our bedroom door closed. Apparently, he came down the hall, told my wife that The Baby had woken him up, and closed the door to minimize the sound.

(This from the kid with hearing aids. Wiseacre.)

Honestly, I'm not sure if he fell asleep before I did last night. Probably not, judging from the big black bags under his eyes this morning. I did go in and have a conversation with him after the door closing; I let him know that, if he was having trouble sleeping, it was okay. I told him that I usually solve my sleeping issues by reading a book for a little while. He was happy to hear that. I don't particularly care if he wants to stay up reading on nights where he's having some trouble. Lord knows I've had enough sleepless nights spent with a book or with a good movie.

The other two boys had a decent evening and night. Little Bear did what Little Bear usually does, although he had a couple of 1AM wakings last night, unusual as that is. The first one, I took him to the potty, the second one was for a drink of water. He wasn't really awake for either one. He went to bed without any issues, as he usually does.

The Baby had a really good day yesterday. He's really good at pulling himself to standing using the coffee tables, although he's not sure how to dismount from them at this point. He likes saying "Da! Da! Da!" when he sees me, which makes coming home a true pleasure and joy. He was awake about four times last night, which wasn't fun.

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