Monday, March 24, 2008

What is the correlation?

What is the relationship between how well behaved your children are when you are out visiting and how difficult they are when you get home? I'd say that there is a very direct correlation for my children.

Yesterday, we spent the early afternoon/lunch with Jason's extended family and then we dropped by my mom's house for a few hours on our way home. The kids were so good and all the older folk kept commenting on what nice children they are and how pleasant they are. And with all this visiting, candy, and presents came the fact that they hadn't had naps. Based on the extra good/happy behavior and all the external stimuli, I should have seen the meltdowns coming.

We finally left my mom's reluctantly at 7pm and they both requested a snack so I gave them a bowl of yogurt, which Caroline devoured and Bryce barely touched. And then it was upstairs for bed prep. But all Bryce wanted to do was play with his new cars and he was not interested in getting his teeth brushed. And hence began one of Bryce's top ten meltdowns. Fortunately, Caroline played along and I got her into bed at 8:30 - which is still a half hour past their usual bedtime. Jason got Bryce calmed down and into bed although he insisted on taking 2 of his new Cars to bed with him. We thought they were fast asleep, but at 9:30, Jason heard Bryce talking which is often an indication that Caroline is up too because if left alone, Bryce generally goes right to sleep. And as guessed, Jason caught Caroline scampering back to her room. And then Caroline did something she wasn't supposed to and Jason rewarded her with taking away some of her beloved bed friends. And hence began Caroline's meltdown of the evening. So finally at 10pm, they were both asleep. I decided right then to let them both sleep in and go into work an hour late. Jason predicted as we drifted off to sleep that Caroline would be up early.

As Jason was leaving this morning at 6:20, he told me that Caroline came down at 5:30am. So she had less sleep than I did and I knew I was tired. When I talked to her about it she said that she wakes up, sees that there's a light on downstairs and she knows it's daddy, so she gets up to see him because if she doesn't, she doesn't get to see him in the morning since he leaves so early. I made her some breakfast and sat and chatted with her while she ate. Bryce actually slept till 7:30 and was up playing with his new Cars and car mat when I got up to his room.

I'm sure they will both be ready for nap time today since I know I could use a nap. But at least before I went to sleep last night I was able to erase Easter from our house by putting away all the eggs, baskets and Easter doodads that were laying around. All the candy is now centrally located and all gifts are put in their new homes. Let's hope that this evening is like the coming of spring, a new beginning.


H. said...

Parents often report that their children are so different at home & at school. It seems they expend so much energy "being good" at school (or in your case, out & about) that when they get home they just don't have the energy to contain themselves any longer. Also, children are much more comfortable 'being themselves' in front of their parents---they know you will love them no matter what!

Katie said...

With my girls, the situation is reversed for each. Emily will often be whiny or difficult in public and be excellent at home-- as was the case yesterday when I tried to take her to church. Lucy, on the other hand, will be excellent in public and fussy at home. Go figure!

I will say that long days and especially holidays, with all of the family excitement, attention, and candy, will usually lead to an unavoidable meltdown.