Flying solo this week

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Starting at 3:00 p.m. today, I’m a single mom for seven entire days.

We dropped Scott off at the airport for his trip to NYC.

And now we are two. (And three furry beasts.)

I joke that these times frighten me, but they’re really not so bad. You step up when there’s just one of you to handle things. It’s certainly easier when you have someone else to help out, but I’ve discovered that I become a bit more organized when I’m solo. I have to plan things out in order to get things done.

The hardest part, I’m sure, will be bedtimes. We’ve gone through so many different phases with this time of day. Babyhood and the toddler years were mostly incident free. Since the escape from the crib last February, though, things have changed quite a bit. We’ve had good times and bad.

We’ve basically overcome the initial problem, which was escape. He understands he needs to stay in his room. Good. He’s also cut down on a lot of the bedtime preamble. His list of things he “needs” after he’s already been put in bed has become much shorter. We’ve worked on fending most of them off; the rest he’s given up on for lack of response.

What he’s been up to lately isn’t truly a bad phase. Just slightly aggravating. We put him to bed at 7:30-ish and he grabs books from his shelf and “reads”…for hours. He’s been up as late as 10:00 p.m., even on nights when he seemed truly exhausted at bedtime.

He used to understand that he’d get 10 or 15 minutes, but he figured out that we can’t really stop him from walking over the the bookcase to get more kid lit. So he rummages through dozens of books and keeps himself awake, then squeals with anger at us when it’s time to get up in the morning. I had to lay down the law the other night. I took every last book out of his room. He was sobbing. “But I won’t be able to go to sleep! I love to read books, Momma!”

How heartbreaking is it to have your kid telling you that he loves to read and having to take away his books? I adore the fact that he’s so smitten with books. And there I am, hauling them out of his room. But I explained to him that we will still be reading bedtime stories, and he’ll still get his 15 minutes with a handful of titles, but he can’t stay up all night long and be exhausted and severely grumpy the next day. It’s bad for his health…and our sanity!

So I have dozens of piles of books in my office until we can work though this. Tonight’s going OK so far. He read for his 15 minutes, then tried to argue with me over lying down and relaxing. But I hear his even breathing in the next room now, so I do believe he’ll get some restful sleep tonight.

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