The fascinating truth is that when I put the kids down and my foot as well, it works. A week ago I was lamenting the need to pull the family’s sleep habits back from the abyss. I knew there would be tearful protestations, and there were, but they were few and fleeting.
I started putting both the boys down for a nap right after lunch. At first Salty fought the nap, climbing out of his crib and disgorging all the contents of his dresser. But he quickly accepted his fate. Now he either reads books in his crib for quiet time or joins his brother in afternoon dream land. Everyone is much happier.
Sure all three of they kids are still totally shocked and affronted when I call bedtime. How they continue to be so surprised and horrified by something that has occur every day of their lives escapes me. And sure, all three of them are apt to suddenly discover how desperately they are in need of more food and drink and a snuggle in my covers when the bell tolls, but they get over it. I may break out the Tot Clock again now that the boys are old enough to get it. The timed changes of color for bedtime and naptime really work at dissipating some of that toddler outrage–or at least diverting it from me.
Buoyed by recent success in the sleep category and an inspiring post on The Motherlode, Kent and I are recommiting to unpickifying the boys’ eating habits. Even Fluffers who cheerfully choked down grasshoppers and Afghan hot sauce in her time has developed the dreaded clairvoyance to predict how yucky and inedible foods will be without ever trying them. Eye roll. It has come to a point where I consider it an utter waste of my talents and energy to cook a family meal because when I do, I cook, serve, battle, surrender, and then cook and serve go-to’s. Kill me.
I am not looking forward to this dinner time reclaimation, but the biggest hurdle has been crossed: I can see the goal, and I have accepted the cost. This ain’t gonna be pretty, but it has to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. My kids are allergy-free and medically well, so theoretically, they are capable of eating a family meal. As long as I keep letting them refuse, however, they will keep refusing.
I hope like the sleep thing, that the execution of this plan proves easier than the dogfight I envision.