You know that saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions...yeah well...
Today was *I*'s first night in the big boy bed. My plan was that he would get tucked in, snuggle under his new favorite blanket and I would read to the boys. I expected him to get up a few times, maybe make some noise...I was so not expecting the evening we had...the roomies (8 and 5) were in and out of bed, talking away while I am trying to stop *I* from climbing the ladder, crawl under the bed, climb the gate at the door...not much reading got done. I tried lying next to him, saying The Lord's Prayer and singing Jesus Loves Me, our usual nightly routine. He was covering my mouth while I was singing...I'm no Nichole Nordeman, but I'm not that bad. When the big boys started bouncing around and hanging off their beds and when the 10 yo came out of his room to say "Mom, I know what to do..." I admit it...I raised my voice..OK, I yelled. While this is new territory for the 2 1/2 yo, the routine is old hat for the big boys so pipe down, stay in bed and just let us be.
I apologized for yelling (hate yelling, especially at bedtime), then I gave up, let the other boys get some sleep and took the beastie downstairs where he whined to go back to bed. Within 5 minutes he fell asleep standing up with his head on the couch. He's in bed now, snuggled under his Thomas blanket, lovies within reach. And he looks so very sweet...as do the other sleeping boys.
I feel badly. I didn't have totally unrealistic expectations, but I am sure I could have handled it better. My intentions and plans for the way the night would go were good...but I felt like I was in....you know...
For tomorrow, I need to find a better plan. Or a better way to get *I*'s cooperation. He's definitely in a strong-willed phase. I know that if I yell during this battle of wills between a 2 yo and me (even if I'm not yelling at him, but at the interrupters)..well I'm clearly not showing control or confidence. Sigh. Mommy fail.
I think about the kind of parent God is... He is pretty clear and strong in his reactions (There are some pretty extreme examples of his displeasure when people don't follow his directions in the Bible.) Jesus talks about asking and giving forgiveness. I asked my kids for forgiveness when I yelled tonight and I asked God to forgive me as well, because I certainly wasn't being His hands and feet when I was feeling flustered and frustrated and just plain ticked.
Tomorrow is a new day. We will try again with the big boy bed and eventually, *I* will get it...and so will I.