I need to vent a little....
I have been so frustrated because lately I feel like all I have been doing with Everett is policing his actions. Either with Nolan (please don't lean on him, please don't hit him, please be gentle) or with our dog Jedi (please stop pulling on him, please don't hit him) or around the house (please don't stand up on the chair/couch, please put that down) or with his toys (it's time to clean up, please don't throw that, please don't hit with that). I have been trying to turn the "no" into "yes" by showing him something that he can do, for example: "If you want to yell and scream that is perfectly fine if you are outside. Would you like to go outside and we can scream and yell?" This works out okay some of the time, but there aren't always alternatives to things that he is not allowed to do.
When I ask him to stop it's pretty much a useless gesture. I try to explain to Everett why he shouldn't be doing whatever it is that he is doing (usually because he can get hurt) but I am not really sure that he understands. Sometimes when I ask him to do/not do something he just breaks down into crying and/or screaming and I just feel like I am playing "mean mommy" all the time. To be honest, he really does not have that many "boundaries" and can pretty much do whatever his little toddler heart desires (as long as he is not hurting himself/others or destroying property.) Since I have some serious OCD going on I have to consciously remind myself several times a day that Everett is a toddler who likes to have fun and explore the world around him and that everything can be cleaned up later.
Another reason that I have been frustrated is that Everett is ridiculously cranky all of the time. I think that this boils down to him not getting enough sleep and also probably a little of having to share mommy with his brother. Since Tyler gets up for work so early, we all go to bed together anywhere from 9- 10 pm and Everett usually wakes up by 7 am at the latest. He used to sleep until almost 9 am every morning but not any more. On average I'd say he gets around 9 hours of sleep a night sometimes more, sometimes less. This would be a fine amount of sleep if he were to be taking a nap during the day but he has given that up. Yes, you read that right- my two year old refuses to nap. I had him napping really well before Nolan arrived but once he got here that went right out the window. I know that I need to work with him again on taking naps but I am still adjusting to life with two babies and haven't gotten around to it.
Since we figured out that Everett wasn't getting enough sleep, Tyler and I have started getting into bed with around 8 pm (or earlier if possible) and "pretending" to go to sleep so that he will fall asleep by 8:30 pm. If we have things that we still need to get done we can do them after he has fallen asleep (for example: blogging, unloading the dishwasher, picking up the house, etc.) So far this seems to work out well and his mood is actually starting to improve. We are working on napping again as well.
I am so desperately hoping that this funk that he and I have been in for the past six months or so goes away soon because I want to enjoy this time and not rush through it. I want to be able to look back and smile not shudder at the memories. Have you ever felt like this? I would love to hear any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions that you might have. :)