:: NOBODY IS AT THEIR BEST WHEN THEY ARE TIRED AND HUNGRY.
There is probably an excellent quote somewhere I could use for today's pearl. I don't have time to find it though. We all know it's true. Even I struggle when I'm tired, or hungry. Put the two together with the poor impulse control of toddlers and you've got a fun time on your hands.
I'm going to direct you to Aunty Leila again. Like I said previously, we differ a bit philosophically on discipline but I love the way Aunty Leila writes and she is so pragmatic (she has raised a good many children into lovely responsible adults, and who can argue with that?). Her post is about dealing with whining and she gives a great checklist to work down, the first two being make sure they're getting enough sleep and enough calories.
Today: I dragged Charlie about with me all day. Time in the city really is exhausting on the kids. This was compounded by a late bedtime for Charlie (and me!) last night. He held it together pretty well, but there was a lot of laying on the floor. I can tell when Charlie is too tired, he will just lay on the floor, doesn't matter where we are, usually right in the middle of somewhere inconvenient, like where wait staff need to walk.
Anyway, come bedtime Charlie was just too far gone. Getting pajamas on was an epic struggle. I tried a raised, stern voice, I grabbed him and tried to make him listen, Mum and I held him and tried to manhandle him into his pajamas. I know I would have smacked him if I hadn't been consciously trying to not do that. I ended up shutting him in the next bedroom just to get a break and snap him out of thinking it was a game. That made him cry. The light was off, I didn't mean to do that. Mum turned it on and went in with him still trying to get his pajamas on. I gave Mia to Mum and took over. Once Charlie starts to cry I can usually get somewhere with him. I didn't try and get his pajamas on, just sat on the floor with him and let him climb into my lap for a cuddle. After a minute he was crying because he wanted his pajamas on. I put his top on (Mum had managed to get the bottoms on) and then he sniffed that he wanted to go to bed. Mum was surprised by the turnaround.
So we had a struggle, but I'm feeling good about it. I didn't get all worked up. I managed to stay calm. It didn't really push my buttons, maybe because I was expecting it because I knew he was past it. I remembered, he wasn't giving me a hard time, he was having a hard time! Yay for the win :)