the boys

May 7, 2008 · 5 comments

I watch them playing together and I am thrilled. I couldn’t ask for much more than for them to be friends. But then, I find myself getting frustrated with Matt and I say things like Please answer your brother. Your brother is talking to you! Matt! Please answer Preston! Preston has looked up to his big brother since birth. When Matt ignores him, my heart hurts. While Matt loves him immensely and seems to enjoy being with him, he’s also reaching the age where he realizes that Preston can’t do everything he can do. And maybe, just maybe, he’d rather be alone instead of with his baby brother.

I also see Matt getting bigger. He is mentally beyond his physical age – 4.5 going on 7 sometimes. Not to mention that he listens like a teenager – that is, not really at all.  And it’s our fault. They are spoiled.  And while they are pretty nearly always awesome in public, that doesn’t really make up for the non-awesomeness they display regularly at home.

I find myself saying STOP! and GUYS/BOYS! in increasing loudness until I just want to scream at the top of my lungs.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that they aren’t afraid of me at all, and while I don’t necessarily want them to be afraid of me 24/7, I would like to be able to give them a look or word that gets them to stop and shut up and start listening instantly.

Part of the problem is that I find them both to be hilarious.  And laughter by mom does not equal authority figure.

We have been wondering for quite awhile if Preston waking in the middle of the night is due to fear/loneliness.  Matt mentioned the other day feeling left out/lonely because of Preston coming to our bed, so the discussion of them sharing a bedroom to maybe ease those feelings started again and tonight, with excitement from both boys, we moved Preston’s bed into Matt’s room.

At about 7:40, they both came up and wanted to go to bed.  After reading book choices from each of them, all the while Preston being goofy and generally hyper, things started to go down hill fast.  I agreed to 2 more books, but P was either so excited to be near his big brother or not really sleepy or both, that he was a total goofball.  Matt was silly for a little while, but eventually calmed down and was ready for sleep.  Preston got increasingly more wound up, tossing pillows and blankets to the floor, singing loudly, jumping on the bed, etc. Matt and I tried to ignore him, but like I said, he’s quite hilarious and I was having a hell of a time keeping a straight face the 40th time I threw lay him down back in his bed. Over an hour after we started this bedtime “ritual”, he sat on the edge of the bed, kicking at me and the book I was reading.  When the book got shoved into my face, I stood up, said “That is it!!” and kicked him out of the room.

I finished reading Horton to Matt and left him to go to sleep, coming down to find Preston in the big bed with Mike – quiet! and nearly asleep!!

Is this going to work? Who knows.  We’ll give it the weekend and see what happens.  Preston may still want/need us and we might be quick to bring him to our bed just to keep Matt from waking up.  Or it might work out really well.

Anyway, I’m working on responsibility charts for both boys.  It’s time to kick this parenting thing up a notch and make them understand that we’re not doing everything for them forever.  Yes, they’ll be age appropriate.  🙂  My goal, honestly?  To teach them to be helpful and caring and considerate.  And to let the dog in or out when we ask instead of saying “Um, can you do it?”.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

liv May 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

I think you should work on responsibility charts for all three boys. Split the chores in 3 and then go have a drink. The End.


phenom May 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I used to be so fond of liv…


Michelle May 8, 2008 at 7:26 pm

You go girl!! Life with little ones all seems like one big experiment sometimes and I too have the same challenge with my youngest. Rose seems capable of gearing down and actually going to sleep when it’s time and Grace often will jump up and down (thank GOD she’s still in her crib) I swear just to make Rose laugh. Sigh… and they’re so darn cute you just don’t know what to do. But keep on keeping on cuz! And may the force be with the both of us!!


Tabatha May 9, 2008 at 3:16 pm

I think the responsibility chart sounds wonderful. I might try that with Alexis. She does good “helping Mommy” but I have to keep telling her what she is supposed to do. Good luck with the bedtime issue! Anytime you want a break, just bring those cuties down to Tennessee and I will keep them for ya! 😉 Maybe Alexis could teach them some of her VERY COUNTRY accent! lol..


above average joe May 9, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Good luck!


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