In a spare moment yesterday, I was reading an article in a back issue of Parents Magazine, which is kind of like my bible. The article was talking about the importance of consistency: regular bedtime, naptime, mealtime, playtime, etc., to ensure that your kids are well-behaved.
Seems logical enough.
Then I thought about it. In the past three weeks, my kids have slept in 7 different beds in 5 different houses in 3 different states. They've visited 2 different emergency rooms. They've eaten too many fast food meals to count. And not enough vegetables. We're a walking disaster over here. These days, we're all in a hotel room with two beds, so the boys are sharing a queen-sized bed. Or rather, not sharing. Last night, after a pitched battle over the sheets, Shay gave a mighty heave and tossed Aidan out of the bed. Aidan, my accident-prone little Aidan, bashed his head into the nightstand and split his forehead open. Fortunately, no stitches were necessary.
Tonight, as I type, they are still awake, threatening to punch each other in the face. It's ten p.m. Just two short months ago, ten p.m. would have been painfully late for bedtime. Now, it's business as usual.
Kyra is asleep as of 15 minutes ago. She had her own troubles today: she's still an awkward walker, and she fell into the coffee table, splitting her eyelid. Again, no stitches necessary, but a bit of trauma. I'm waiting for Child Protective Services to come whisk my children away from me and find them a better mama.
What has happened to this crazy family of mine? Back in the springtime, I was a poster child for Parents magazine, truly I was. A healthy dinner on the table by 6. Bath, book, bed, every night at 8. Maybe it didn't always happen, but that was the goal, and we came pretty close. Now, however, all of the rules have flown out the window - thankfully none of the kids have flown out yet.
We're trying our best to keep some modicum of sanity at this point, but I have the not-so-vague sense that we're failing.
Still. The house is clean and empty, and our earthly belongings are on their way to Beijing - even if we aren't. We're trying to take advantage of the lull and do some touristy stuff when Bart isn't at work. On Sunday, we took the kids to a Nats game. On Monday, we went for a hike on Roosevelt Island, looking for pirates, finding deer instead. Today, we walked the Asia Trail at the National Zoo. The pandas were cute, the fishing cat was cool (if unsucessful at catching prey), the sloth bear had a stare-down with Kyra.
We're trying to make this parenting thing work as best we can in a small space with short tempers. But if the editors over at Parents Magazine could see me now, I'm pretty sure they'd revoke my subscription...