Yesterday was a rough day. It started beautifully, with a trip to the gym while Ben was in preschool. Logan was great in the nursery. Things fell apart in the afternoon. I put Logan down and spent an hour or so reading and playing with Ben. Then I needed Ben to have some quiet time in his room so I could get some stuff done. Unfortunately, he had figured out how to defeat his duct-taped child-proof door handle. Then, Logan woke up crying after only 45 minutes. Logan was sad, Ben was bored. Bad combination. The day started rainy, then sunny, then rainy, then sunny, then rainy. Ben wasn’t necessarily hurting Logan, just constantly aggravating him. A poke here, a gentle shove there. And Logan, super sensitive for some reason, would cry and cry. After the 200th time of telling Ben to “control your body” and “respect your brother”, I lost it. I smacked Ben upside the head, and there is no other way to describe that. He was crying, Logan was crying, and of course I decided that would be a good time to call Christopher and say something like, “Stop at the store on the way home and buy a lock for that kid’s door because I need a place to put him when he is out of control and keep us both safe for a few minutes. You know what? I’ll just go to the store myself and get it.” To which Christopher said, “No, I’ll get the doorknob. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Which, of course, spurred me immediately to action. When Megan and Gavin walked in the door, I left Logan with them and took Ben to the hardware store. He just about fell asleep in the car. I was back in 20 minutes, and had that lock installed 20 minutes later.
And you know what? Ben was much better behaved today, and I didn’t even have to use the lock. Just knowing it’s there is a huge deterrent for him. And knowing that if he gets out of control, he can have some safe, quiet play time alone in his room makes me feel better. Locking a kid in their room sounds so abusive (and by the way, the smack on the head didn’t even leave a mark, so it was just good old emotional damage), but for Ben, I think he needs to be able to collect himself, alone, with a stack of books and a few toys. Even if he doesn’t, I need it, and the family does.
I could use some ideas for Ben, though. He’s bored with ALL his toys. The train tracks, cars, blocks, marble run, and action figures don’t hold his attention. He’s so over Playdoh and coloring. We’ll jump on the trampoline or ride his scooter in the cul-de-sac (even in the rain), but he’s still bored. Any ideas? Two I came up with in the last day are dominoes and watercolors, to give you an example. Inexpensive and unique (something he doesn’t already own). He never gets tired of being read to, so at least there’s that. I cannot WAIT until he can read on his own. Audiobooks, maybe?
So after an early bedtime, Logan started running a fever. No wonder he was so sensitive. I gave him some Motrin in the morning and we went for an early walk. We ended up at the pond near our house and that was fun for them both. Logan stayed in the stroller. He went down for an early nap and slept FOUR hours and woke up with a temperature of 103.7. Ben didn’t nap but he had 45 minutes or so of quiet time in his room and seriously, that made a difference. The big kids got home early and I helped Megan with a project due Friday while Gavin played with friends. Megan had activity days (yoga and Zumba at the church). Early bedtimes again, although I don’t know how well Logan will sleep tonight.
Here are some pictures from the pond this morning, and one method I tried before I bought the door lock. And one of Logan with his burning fever, eating lots and lots of his favorite food, “bupple” (applesauce).