We’ve hit a snag in the Higgison Home of Laughter and All Things Goodness Related.
Our daughters? They have ceased the listening.
And, to add insult to injury, they have increased the arguing and the sass and the talking back. It’s…exhausting. Just plain exhausting in every way.
I try very hard to see this as a ‘stage’, to employ all resources at my disposal and properly parent my way through this. But I gotta be honest…that shit ain’t flyin anymore. It’s incredibly frustrating to repeat yourself over and over and over again and then to try to talk over a yelling four-year-old without yelling yourself. And the repetition…oh god if that girl says things once she says them twelve times, always rooting around for the answer she’s looking for. It’s all I can do not to just turn around on my heels and slam the door. (which, I may have done on occasion. Shut it.)
I don’t GET IT! We try everything! We talk about feeeeeeelings, we acknowledge their personal struggle, we listen to them, we talk calmly, we explain, we explain, we explain a-fucking-gain-zomg-kid-what-are-you-not-hearing?? It seems like we’re in this frustrating holding pattern of trying to stick to our guns and them pushing back at every turn.
Example. Let’s set the scene: it’s last night at bedtime, we’ve given them a warning that it will be time for bed soon. We’ve done the whole routine- meds, bottles, blankets, pjs, book reading, snuggle time in Daddy’s bed, yadda, yadda, yadda- they settle in. For like 10 milliseconds. Then Bella is up talking about a mystery mosquito bite that no one can find & a weird rash on her shoulders…that somehow hasn’t bothered her until right now. Mae has come bounding down the stairs and chased the cat into the basement. Nik is crying about…oh, pick something. Ryan gets them all settled again, Bella in her room, the younger two together in our room. All is calm. For like 10 milliseconds. Giggling, yelling, banging on walls- all signs that no sleeping is about to occur.
It’s so…exhausting. It just is.
The constant fighting back and disagreeing just grates at your nerves when it’s gone on for too long. And it’s gone on too long here. Now we anticipate what’s going to happen and we’re barely ever proven wrong. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s a 100% chance that bedtime will never go smoothly from beginning to end. End being: all three fall asleep.
So what’s the answer? Do we put on more resistance? Do we just keep on keeping on, explaining and talking and a few louder-than-usual GOOD NIGHTs? Do we change up a routine, start the process earlier (which really I don’t want to do because then we’d get like 2 hours with them at night and 1 of those is eating dinner)??
I’m asking you, literally. Does this happen in your house? Do you see a pattern with it? Is it just happening with some weird weather or time shift that I’m completely missing? And if you say this is ‘just a phase’ I might junk punch you. I know it is, but how do I get THROUGH it with all my hair still intact is the question.