Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The War of the Wills

As I've mentioned before, Jack is killing us slowly by waking up at 4:30 AM almost every morning and not going back to sleep. It doesn't matter when he goes to sleep, he still wakes up at 4:30 AM, like clockwork. He never eats much at dinner so I think he's just starving. At this point in time my main hope as a parent is that one day I will actually convince him that eating and sleeping are good things.
He's just got such a strong will, and he is in that phase where he's going to do what he wants, no matter what. It amuses me when I ask him if he wants to do something that I know he wants to do, like have a treat, but his first reaction is no, just because he can never be seen as going along with what I want. He quickly corrects himself, but really, I can see he's dying to say no. It's just how he rolls, and it is exactly how Max was at the same age. I don't know where this "terrible twos" thing came from, because for both my kids it truly was the "terrible threes."
When he got home from preschool yesterday he put his head down on the couch and I could tell he was tired, so I told him he needed to take a nap because he had woken up so early. Of course he started crying, all red faced as if I had just taken away his favorite toy, but I told him we were doing it, end of discussion. I carried him upstairs, screaming all the way, and then sat him in his bed. He said he wasn't going to take a nap. I said he was. I laid down with a blanket and a pillow on the floor by him and told him we were going to go to sleep now, and here is the sequence of events that followed:
  1. Lots of fake crying. You know, the really shrill kind that only a parent can hate.
  2. The negotiations began, trying to tell me he wasn't tired. He could see that I wasn't buying it.
  3. The sweet little "Mommy, can we be done with our nap now?" ploy, complete with the batting blue eyes.
  4. Sitting up with his eyes closed, tipping constantly to the back and side, but always catching himself.
  5. Leaning to one side on his arm.
  6. Finally, this:
The kid never stood a chance, but let me tell you, I find these tantrums one of the most exhausting parts of parenthood. Even more than waking up at 4:30 AM.


mirjam said...

i feel your pain. lovis has decided to sleep from 8pm to 11pm and then take a loooong break from sleeping before getting back to bed. great. "luckily" we will be getting on an airplane next week again to mess up every bit of sleep anyway....