Saturday, December 09, 2006

12/9/06 Gabriel's yes/no game

This would normally be the weekend that we'd drive up to Black Road Christmas Tree farm and pick out and cut down our tree. But visiting Kristi's house last weekend for the holiday party reminded me of what happened last year: The tree we cut down browned up and died before Christmas! So, on Kristi's recommendation, we went to Home Depot and got the lushest, most gorgeous -- and cheapest -- tree we'd ever had. Kristi's tree this year, once again a Home Depot special, reminded me of that episode.

I love our annual outing to the mountains, and the boys would love it too, but there's no denying it: we'll get a better tree here in the flatlands. I think we're going to brave Home Depot tomorrow for our tree. Then again, the crowds there might be enough to drive us into the mountains after all.

Gabriel and his yes/no games again tonight. What can we possibly do? Tonight the final impasse was about water before bed. Do you want some water? NO. OK, time to go to bed. YES I WANT WATER WAHHH!! OK, take some water. NO. OK, then time to go to bed. YES I want water WAAHHHHH!!! Repeat, repeat, repeat. Obviously, we should cut him off right away -- one chance and that's it, right? Doesn't matter: whether we offer him water again, or insist he to go to bed, we're mired in an impasse, one that can take all night to get him out of. It was never about the water, he's perfectly capable of pouring himself a cup of water.

And, of course, it could happen again the next night -- it's not like he'll learn a lesson and it will curtail this behavior if we do the SuperNanny thing of putting him back in bed again and again and again for hours until he gives in. Which is just not practical when you have two other kids to take care of too.

I didn't like how I got him out of it tonight, losing my temper and shoving a cup of water at him so it spilled and got his pajamas wet. But that's what it took. He finally got scared and backed down and cried and said "Mommy, I want you to be nice to me." But Mommy and Daddy were also dealing with Julian having just thrown up and having to change all his bedding and Mommy had little room for Gabriel's games 45 minutes after he was supposed to be in bed. After he finally stayed in bed, I went up and talked to him quietly about being nice.

Actually, we just moved the boys back upstairs out of the living room, but put Julian to bed in the living room again tonight. Partly, Gabriel wasn't letting him sleep, and partly, all Julian's bedding was in the wash, and partly, we know from past experience that he should be closeby if he's throwing, I just got interrupted by Julian crying in the living room. Now his ear hurts, poor thing.

Thank goodness one of our children actually went to bed with no trouble at all. Gold star for Katrina.


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