Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yay for Jet!

Last night I decided that I was Fed Up with getting kicked/elbowed/smacked all night long. I decided that Jet was going to sleep in his own bed. (Yes, I recognize the folly in deciding that my two-year-old son will do anything. I just. Couldn't. Take. It. Any. More. Plus, we'd like to have another baby, and I just don't see that happening with Jet sleeping smack in the middle of our bed.)

The Plan is to get him used to falling asleep in his own room instead of in our laps in the living room or in bed with us.

First, I went through our usual routine of bath and warm milk. Then, instead of reading him a book in the recliner in the living room, I sweet-talked him into laying down in his toddler bed, while I sat on the floor and read to him. He picked his Dinosaur book, and One Fish, Two Fish. We read those, and he was blinking slowly, with that thousand-yard stare. I foolishly thought Wow! This might be easy!

We finished the books, said his prayers, and I tucked him in. I quietly left the room, but stood outside the door. I'm trying to do the the Supernanny trick, where I just put him back in bed. Supposedly, he's getting up because he wants attention. Jo says to just put him back in bed without talking to him or giving him any positive reinforcement for getting up, and eventually he'll realize that I Mean Business, lay his sweet head on his little pillow.

She obviously has never met Jet-the-Stubborn, though I honestly don't think he's as bad as some of the monsters she's had on her show. Usually, he doesn't cry about the whole situation. He just keeps getting up. Over and over again until one of us breaks down and rocks him to sleep or drags him to bed with us because tying him down in his own bed until he falls asleep is considered abuse in some cultures.

Last night, though, I was determined to win. It escalated to spanking, which I almost never do because I don't like it and it doesn't usually work with Jet. Time-outs work really well, but that involves putting him in a chair in the living room, which was precisely what he wanted. Not much of a punishment. I spanked him twice for getting out of bed.

Finally, I enlisted Knight's help because I was so frustrated. Up to this point, Knight was engrossed in 24, which we were taping for friends who are scuba-diving in Belize this week (I'm trying to figure out what we're getting out of the deal -- they go to Belize and come back to recorded 24, and we get.... umm... to record 24. Not that we minded. We watch it anyway.)

Knight went into Jet's room and held him for awhile, then put him in bed and sang to him and patted his back. Things quieted down and Knight came out. Jet followed in about 10 seconds.

I went back in and sang and patted. I even sat down next to the bed. I was In for the Long Haul. Finally, he dozed off. I carefully got up amid legos and trucks and books, trying not to trip over anything or make a sound... and hit the stupid wire-coil door-stopper thing next to his closet door - TWAA-AAA-AAA-AAANG. I dropped my head but managed to keep my dirty words inside as Jet popped his head up and asked, "What are you doing, mommy?"

"I'm patting your back and singing some more, apparently."

He dozed back off quickly, though, and I was so proud of him for falling asleep in his own bed. I glanced at the clock as I came out of his room and realized that the whole ordeal only took about 45 mintues. It felt like an eternity, though.

Knight was supposed to do a big song and dance this morning about how proud we are that Jet fell asleep in his own bed last night. I don't know how well it went, since Knight is not much of a morning person. I think he took Jet to get donut holes for breakfast to celebrate.

Even if he did come in at 3:00 this morning to climb in our bed. Maybe by getting used to falling asleep in his room, he'll do better at falling back to sleep on his own.

Hopefully, this is the rekindling of a long and beautiful friendship between Jet and His Own Bed.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Just keep praying, just keep praying...

It's the Christian version of Nemo.

For those who may not know, Knight and I have realized that I need to spend more time with the family. I have an incredible passion for my job -- so much so that I feel emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of each day of teaching. I love my students, and I love working hard to help them learn and be successful. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to temper this enthusiasm and reserve more energy to serve my family in the evenings when I'm home.

Part of my job this year is helping to bolster our science curriculum. We decided to add an environmental science course for next year, and as I was making plans for this course next year, it was very clear to me that I wasn't going to be the one teaching it. It was strange, really, but all I can say is that I just knew I wasn't going to be a part of the curriculum next year. I knew God had other plans for me.

I argued with Him about it for awhile. I feel that my ability to teach is truly a gift. I couldn't figure out why God would be asking me to give that up just when I was really settling in at my school (this is my second year there). I've spent a year and a half developing relationships with my students; I've said all along that my favorite thing about this school is that I would get to have the same students year after year, teaching four sequential courses. I'd get to really develop relationships with them and see them mature spiritually and academically. I'd get to really invest in them, instead of just teaching them for a few months and sending them on to the next teacher. As I was expressing this to Knight, he pointed out to me that I wouldn't stop teaching. Jet needs me to teach him about billions of things, as will our future children.

Knight and I have always planned for me to be a stay at home mom at some point. We had made plans to get pregnant with #2 this summer, and then I would teach through the school year (like I did the entire time I was expecting Jet) and resign after that. Apparently God has other plans, which, I might add, isn't too surprising. I've heard that saying that goes something like, "If you want to hear God chuckle, tell Him your plans."

Don't get me wrong -- I am completely in love with the idea of staying home with Jet next year. The truth is that if I don't do it this next year, I won't be able to do it. He'll be starting preschool (at least part-time) the year after that.

However, I'm also the type of person who puts her emotions on hold until all the details are worked out. Once I can see a clear path of how the idea can be put into action, I allow myself to get excited. I can handle being disappointed about something if I didn't really get excited about it in the first place. I'm afraid of being let down after I get my heart set on staying home with Jet because it's something I really, really want.

My Grandad Glenn reminds me that I serve a really, really big God. I've been looking at all kinds of options for part-time employment, stay at home work, tutoring, even going back to school for some type of training for a job that I could more easily do part-time. The entire time, I feel God telling me to just trust Him. Be still, and know that I am God. Knight will need to make up about half of my paycheck each month for us to live comfortably. That's about $1000 a month. I almost laugh out loud when I think about what a pittance that must seem to the God of the universe.

So, I just keep praying, just keep praying... for more faith and more patience.


I like you, varmint!

My dad and brother came over today to play with Jet. Jet is still in the parroting stage, where he'll repeat just about anything you say. He knows he usually will get a huge reaction out of us, because he's just so stinkin' cute.

In the process of playing today, my dad did his best Yosemite Sam impersonation and said, "I like you, varmint". (FWIW, Knight and I tried really hard to find a link to an audio file of this, but couldn't. If you find one, email me and I'll stick it in this post!)

Jet, of course, tried to say it back. Only, it came out, "I like you, VOMIT!"