Saturday, May 31, 2008

Big Boy Beds

"I don't want a new bed," Christopher Robin insisted on our way home from the furniture store a month ago, van loaded with large boxes of new bunk bed pieces.

"Don't worry," I assured him. "It's not time to change beds yet." The unfinished wood would have to be assembled first, and then coated with three coats of polyurethane, and that would take us a little while.

After "helping" us put the beds together, and several mornings spent playing in the basement with Peanut Butter while My Hero and I sanded and wiped and polyed, Christopher Robin found the idea of sleeping in a bed up high, accessed only by ladder, exciting. He impatiently asked when it would be ready.

Still, last night as he and Daddy ceremoniously carried his toddler bed out of the bedroom, after his new bed was carried upstairs and assembled in its place, he again told My Hero, "I don't want a new bed." Even though he did. He wasn't ready to be rid of his old bed. It is a darling little bed, and he probably would have stayed in it at least a few more years if we had the space for two beds and a crib in the kids' room. Or at least would have passed it on to Peanut Butter when he moved to a twin bed, to free up the crib for their little sister. But we decided we weren't ready to move any of the kids to a bedroom in the basement yet, so they'll share a room for a year or two, the three of them, and putting the boys in bunk beds was the only way that could happen in their little room.

Once the old bed was removed and the boys had a few minutes to climb the ladder and play on the bed "up top," it was clear the excitement and novelty would make the transition and relatively painless one.

Relatively painless. The biggest adjustment is actually for Peanut Butter, who has been used rolling around to sleep against any of the four walls of the crib. Suddenly his rolling around tumbles him off the side of the bed. Cushions on the floor don't eliminate the rudeness of awakening to falling on the floor in the middle of a sleepy dream. Twice last night I heard the thump, and twice I tucked him, whimpering, safely into his bed, close to the wall, far from the edge. Our bodies learn, after a while, to stay away from the edge, but until then I expect a few more tumbles.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just the usual, everyday problems...

During bathtime last night Christopher Robin informed me that he and Peanut Butter were drinking water from the tub faucet to wash the hair out of their mouths. I watched them rinse their tongues in the falling water, and then asked him why there was hair in their mouths.

"Oh, there just is," he said with a shrug. "I licked Tuttles."

Tuttles, our cat.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Every day is fresh, with no mistakes in it.

"Where's the joy?" I asked myself Monday mid-morning as I buttered English muffins for snack time. The day was going well. I'd started right, time spent in prayer and scripture first thing, then time spent planning the day. I was plowing through my list with determination, if not enthusiasm. Wash sheets and towels, clean the bathroom including the bathtub, plan supper, sweep kitchen floor, wash mirrors and dirty windows... I was making good progress, keeping myself going, but still the whole morning felt like drudgery, and the boys felt like anchors around my legs with their whining and complaints and new messes. Why don't I feel satisfied when I'm doing all I set out to do?
Tuesday, yesterday morning, I braced myself. Moms and kids coming for our moms' group at 9:30. Always the pressure is on to get as much accomplished as possible on mornings when guests are coming. Always the extra messes created by the boys are less tolerable on those mornings. Always I misjudge and don't leave myself enough time to get all I want to done before they arrive. Thankfully, my productive day Monday left me with just the basics to do Tuesday morning. Vacuum. Wash the floors. Make a coffee cake and coffee to share at snack time. I relaxed and let the boys be boys while we cleaned and prepared. I smiled at them and helped them and loved them. Christopher Robin emptied the dishwasher for me on his own initiative, chattering cheerfully to me the whole time. Peanut Butter was cooperative and sweet. I did have enough time, and when 9:30 arrived all was ready.
What was the difference between my two mornings? Some days are better than others. Maybe Monday really was just a bad morning for the boys. Maybe it was just a bad morning for me. But I realized that Monday, in all my goal setting and agenda-making, I hadn't left much room for thankfulness. I was so focused I didn't have attention to spare on appreciating the small things. Or giving thanks to my Maker. Abiding in Him and letting Him guide my actions and responses. And I felt no joy or pleasure in the day, no matter how well it set me up for a good morning the next day. I think my priorities were jumbled, and my list of things to do was at the top, instead of honoring Christ with my attitude, treating my little ones with patience and kindness, breathing thanks for all I've been given.
I feel like I KNOW all the right things, but I can't seem to get them right.
I need forgiveness and mercy. Thank you, Lord, for continually washing me clean.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Potty Training

Last night at bedtime I brought up the subject of reverting to diapers with Christopher Robin. He thought I was joking, smiled and laughed, "No, Mommy, I don't wear diapers!" When he realized I was serious he began to protest in earnest.

He has been potty trained for nine months, with occasional bed-wettings sporadically occurring. But every night for at least a week he has soaked his sheets around midnight, waking us up with wailing, forcing us out of our comfortable warmth to change sheets, change undies, change pajamas. The night before last I vowed it was the last time. Pull-ups would surely not be more expensive than all the extra laundry we were doing. A talk with my mom convinced me it might not be a bad idea. Bed-wetting runs in the family, and may last until he's 6 or 7 or older. That's a lot of midnight sheet-changing. And I truly don't think it's a behavioral issue. Christopher Robin sleeps deeply, and doesn't always realize what's happening until it's too late. I've been careful, amidst my midnight grumblings, not to scold or blame him, although I think my frustration has been clear.

But I did wonder if it might be something he could control. The night before last only his pajamas were wet, not his sheets, as if he had stood up out of bed before wetting. He has a fear of fire alarms that keeps him from going down in our basement by himself, and at night sometimes keeps him in bed when he would like to get up and come to us. Was that keeping him from coming out to use the potty at night, too?

I explained to Christopher Robin that the diaper was just for the night, just so he wouldn't have wet sheets or wet pajamas if he peed, but he absolutely hated the idea. I wasn't surprised, but I thought he could adjust. My Hero pulled him into his lap and explained gently again, that we knew he didn't try to wet the bed, but sometimes when he's sleeping it happens, and wearing a diaper was just to give Mommy a break from changing sheets, undies, and pajamas every night. "I won't have wet undies tonight," he kept promising. It broke my heart to see the anguish in his eyes at the idea of wearing a diaper.

"What do you think about giving him another chance?" I asked My Hero. "Maybe he'll want to wear his big boy undies strongly enough to keep himself dry at night." "It's up to you," My Hero said, even though it's both of us who wake up to change sheets and pajamas in the night. We decided to give it a try, and I explained to Christopher Robin that when he woke up at night needing to go potty he should jump out of bed, come get Mommy, and I'd help him go to the bathroom. And that if he wet his bed again, he'd have to wear a diaper the next night.

Ten after midnight last night I heard his door open, jumped out of bed to meet him in the hall, and helped him use the potty. "My undies are dry. I don't need a diaper." He said as he relieved himself.

That's right, little man. Maybe reverting to diapers is even scarier to this boy than fire alarms.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

thank You for...

64. Baby leaves bursting from buds on the fingertips of each branch of our maple.

65. Lilies coming up in the patches of ground where I planted them in full bloom last year. My first taste of the miracle of perennials.

66. Progress...a patch of brambles slowly giving way to cleared ground as I prepare to expand my garden.

67. A fire pit, designed, dug, and built by My Hero on his own initiative. A work of pride and skill. A place to burn the branches we clear from our yard.

68. Snuggling on the couch with a fever-hot forehead pressed against my cheek, reading library books to the three year old who would rather do nothing else.

69. Noticing every day new words forming in toddler boy's mouth, coming out unexpectedly.

70. The two month long face to face sit down lecture from my Heavenly Father as I read His gospels... His chastisement to me for not bearing fruit like a kingdom daughter should. Hope, that since He cares enough to deal with me about this, He plans to change me, teach me, form me.

71. Health, energy, strength to be a mom and wife again, as the little girl inside me assures me of her own health and strength with every kick.

72. Friends. A group of couples to care for and pray for, to help and be helped by, meeting weekly to learn and challenge each other, to honestly lay bare our struggles.

73. Sons who are brothers. Learning give and take. Learning compromise. Learning to outfox the other. Learning that together is more fun than alone.