Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Mama needs some help up in heera!!!!

Dh just got 2 older boys to bed, baby went down about 45 minutes earlier, and I just got done cleaning the kitchen after dinner. I am pooped. When I say pooped, I mean mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. I don't know what is going on with bam bam (14 mo. old) but he just seems to go from happy to screaming in a millisecond, and then he screams until you figure out what exactly he is wanting. It doesn't matter how productive my day has been, at 5:00 pm, all HELL breaks lose at my house. Dh doesn't get home till 6:30, usually, so we don't eat until around 6:45. The baby acts like he is ready for bed at 5, but I can't put him down then. He has had to adjust to just one nap a day in order to be up in enough time to pick up Lancelot from school at 3. I love to express my creativity in the kitchen, and have this vision in my head of how it could or should be. I always try to hold off tv until that time period, so the kids are out of my hair (except baby who is usually screaming at my feet). But even then, I play referee for the two oldest who are playing ninjas WHILE they watch tv, and inevitably, one of them gets kicked in the head, but what do you expect when you are playing ninjas???? How do you like that run on sentence? I am so tired, I'm not even going back to correct it. I have burned more things in the last 6 mo., than in my whole life. I never get the table set like I want it; it always looks so thrown together. Dh and I always said we wanted meal time to be a time of communicating and connecting, but I my nerves are literally so shot by the time I sit down, that I don't even taste my food. I just sit there thinking about how long it is going to take me to clean the kitchen. Dh has bed duty after dinner, so I don't mind doing clean up, usually. We have everyone clear the table for me, which helps. Dh thinks I should just feed baby early and put him down at 7. I guess he is right. I want us all to eat together, but it just isn't working right now during his phase. DEAR GOD, I HOPE THIS IS JUST A PHASE. You would think that because I have gone through this 2 times already, I would know that it IS just a phase, but I don't remember going through this. On top of that, it is such a beating to get my kids to eat their food. I am no short order cook, and I am committed to eating healthy meals. I don't make them eat salad yet, but they do get the same things we eat. My oldest prayed that I would make more pizza and french fries. hahaha. Any advice to get through this would be appreciated. I am starting to dread mealtimes, which breaks my heart.


nicole said...

First of all, give yourself a break!! It is hard to do all those things. I think it is okay to put Bam Bam to bed early if he is ready. let's face it--he's not exactly contributing to the conversation and might be distracting the rest of you from getting that time together that you want. As for food battles, I don't have much to offer. When I cook dinner (a much too rare event these days) I put a little bit of everything on their plates. They have to try a bite of each. If they don't like it, that is fine, they don't have to eat it. They will not get anything else to eat though. They do have to stay at the table until we excuse them. For us this works with relatively little resistance. Sometimes they don't really eat dinner, but that is their choice and they are not starving by any means. As for the activity level and the witching hour--I have nothing at all. We go through it too most days. The only thing I can say is to prepare for it mentally by maybe saying a quick prayer for peace, or accepting it will happen and letting it go.
It will get better!

weavermom said...

It's just hard when the little guys drop a nap! I think it's just a phase! My hubby doesn't get home until 6:30 either and some days that is later than others. :)

You might try put your little guy down for a nap a little sooner and see if he will take a longer nap in the time you have?

Have you thought of having the older boys help you? I do this when my kids get too wild just to channel the energy. It seems like it would be a nightmare when they are wound up, but for us it has worked. If they are being wild in the kitchen, I take away letting them help for a couple of minutes. My kids love it, so that works. :)

Maybe the baby could eat a little early, and then he could go to bed right after your meal. When I fed my little guy early then he stayed in his high chair or booster and had a toy during dinner.

Maybe you could have one of your older ones feed him. The other one could help you in the kitchen - my 3 yr old loves to put butter in the pan, he can stir things (I even let him stir rice-a-roni on the stovetop now that he understands "hot",) he stirs things, pours canned peas in the little pot, gets things from the frig, etc... My 6 yr old can do all those things, and she also likes to peel potatoes (crazy girl!) I don't let them use sharp knives, deal with boiling water, or take hot things out of the oven - but there is a lot of the rest that they can help with. Another advantage is that they are much more likely to eat it if they have helped fix it.

And I do the same as Nicole with the food wars. We say "it's ok if you choose not to eat with us, but you need to sit with us and remember no food (and no whining about it!) until the next meal.

It's a super hard phase!!! I hope it gets better soon. :)