You even look pretty when you go to sleep

Lately Bean has been asking me to talk in my "sweet voice; the way (I) talk to Miss O".

Because O still doesn't talk a ton, I find myself using that exaggerated, smiley sing-song voice I used when both girls were under a year. It's not like I have to carry on 15- minute conversations with Miss O about why vultures eat dead things, where the higher-pitched sing-song voice is impossible to sustain, so O still gets the "sweet voice". She's also, ahem, not four, an age that takes my capacity for a "sweet voice" and beats it down, relentlessly, then kicks, hits and scratches it while it's lying there, twitching.

But fabulous fourness aside, it's a valid point, one that calls attention to how frequently my tone with Bean is either annoyed or exasperated, because I feel like I'm never listened to and I never get a moment's peace. And even when I talk in my regular voice, it's not like it's a high-pitched voice. Is her take-home message that I'm just sweeter and gentler with Miss O?

To compensate, I have started talking to Miss O in my regular voice. I just need to 86 the 'sweet voice' altogether, because for some reason "Vultures eat carrion, which means dead things. Can you say carrion?" just doesn't seem like something that should be said in a sing-song voice ...

I also made it a huge chunk of time before yelling today, and handled her major in-home meltdown by holding and rocking her, just letting her scream in my arms. We had a fabulous few hours after that, but then she flipped out at Lakeshore Learning when I told her I wouldn't buy her anything (not because she was 'bad', but because I'm not dropping $30 on another dozen horses for no occasion. I told her she could put it on her Christmas list). She was screaming and even walked uo and kicked me in the shin. *That* actually made me laugh, because for some reason it was really damn funny to see her brassed-off little self stalk over and kick my shin. I immediately curtailed the trip, and we left with her screaming at me the whole way.

When we got to the car, I realized she had left her talking Baby Cheerilee in the store, but there was no effin' way I was going back for it. When she said something, it just served as an easy way for me to drive the lesson home. I never once yelled or raised my voice, tho. Only when we got home, and O wouldn't nap and kept screaming at me and Bean of course couldn't sleep and I just wanted that time for *me* did I oller at them to go to sleep. Which is absolutely assinine, in case you ever wondered - yelling "go to sleep!" really doesn't help them calm down and close their eyes.

(For the record, I never claimed to be a smart mom. I believe I just say that I'm a "hot, single" mom.)

So I reassesed what it was *I* wanted (a little down time) and other ways I could get it. Which turned out to be letting them sit and ooze out a few more IQ points on the sofa while watching a "My Little Pony" movie. Meanwhile, I got some Facebook time, a few minutes to blog and a few minutes to just read email and drool on myself.

Camile, I love the "nap box" suggestion. She's not expected to sleep, but she is expected to STFU so the kids that want to nap, can. I'll try to put a small nap box together with quiet stuff. They do send her to other rooms sometimes, and actually she's usually quiet and sleeps in those rooms, go figure. I'd swear she just doesn't want to cooperate with these teachers for whatever reason ...

You'd think that there would be a quiet time room or something for the kids who are this age and a little older to go to. Mine can't be the only non-napper, but they probably just don't have the staff or the plan to accomodate that. Unfortunately, Bean's a sharer, so having a cool new book or coloring stuff will tempt her to talk about what she sees and does. But maybe there's some way to convince her to wait until the kids are awake to share with them.

It sounds like the Ponies have saved the kittens, rainbows and puffy hearts, or whatever it is pastel ponies do, so my time is drawing to a close. I hope everyone's having a fab 3-day weekend, and surviving the Fours.


Running and Knitting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Running and Knitting said...

The wisdom of the bean... I definitely do relate to parts of this.
Laura (deleted my original comment since I forgot to identify who I was... duh!)

Julia said...

Surviving the way of putting it. Yes, surviving in deed. I count 10 more months of survival to go. Have you heard 5 gets any better? I have, but I assume that is because of kindergarten, right?

Eclectic Mama said...

Well, it may sound harsh, but the way to convince her not to wake up the others to share her treasures is just to make that a deal-breaker. If she wakes up the other kids, then no Nap Box the next day. Harsh? Maybe it seems so. But remember that you'll have had the big discussion that the Nap Box is for the express purpose of creating a way for her NOT to have to nap while letting the other kids sleep.

And here's a candid admission. My oldest was excessively high energy. (Can you say, "Tantrum King"? Make sure you use your Sweet Voice.) I found myself looking for things to gripe at DD for, since I was always yelling at him--I didn't want him to think that I liked her better, ya know? And hey, he shouldn't have all the fun, right?

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