Ever since the disaster that was Wee Camp week before last, there is full fledged separation anxiety at my house. Led by the eldest with this freakish high pitched screaming like nothing I’ve heard. Lately, as in the past several days, this piercing sound is now being put to use in an assortment of situations, including not getting his way and going to bed at night.
Now, I realize two things. One, if you give into this behavior and do whatever it takes to stop the screaming it will continue until he goes off to college (or so they say). Two, a bedtime routine should be followed and if I start getting him out of bed then the other two will employ the same technique which will result in utter chaos and no alone time for me and Bray at night. With all of that sound parenting knowledge firmly ensconced in my mind, I decided to completely and utterly ignore it last night. In my defense, the screaming really is terribly sad-sounding, and it’s almost bad parenting if you DON’T do something. Additionally, poor little bit could not get to sleep because the eldest was doing the screaming whilst standing over her crib.
Regardless of all that, pros and cons, I have to say I don’t regret grabbing him out of his crib and hanging out with him for over a half hour in the play room. I had already turned on Design Star (don’t you just love all the HGTV/Food Network Star shows, it’s the only thing I watch these days) and poured my glass of wine to settle in for an hour of peace. But rescuing him from his 22 month old horror, whatever it was, to cuddle with mommy was pretty blissful for us both. I let him watch t.v. (gasp! no, they’ve not seen t.v., I’ve tried to wait until after they turn 2), and lounge in the big leather chair with his feet propped up on my knees. We took turns giving each other sidelong glances and then bursting into giggles. He scrunches his head down into his neck and laughs so big that his face just cracks open and this dimple appears under his eye. He must have given that performance over a dozen times. It made me crave alone time with the kids. It made me realize how little we have had of it. And it made me see how better behaved they are when they get it. Not one single solitary instance of disobedience after these last few wretched weeks of testing their limits.
So bad mommy or not, I’m going to take the opportunity one night a week to let someone hang out with me for an extra half hour. These days, it’s the only time we can carve out for some one-on-one. They don’t have to go to work, they can sleep in – and I can sleep more soundly knowing they are confident that they are loved as individuals and not just as a group.