Tonight it's just me, Jack Hamster, Titus Treefrog, the tap of the computer keys and the roar of the air conditioner (and the neighbor's obnoxious home fireworks, which will probably wake the girls momentarily). I turned on the air conditioner in hopes the roar will drown out the bangs.
My husband and boys went to watch fireworks and catch fireflies. They sit in a grassy parking lot in a nearby town, with two sets of aunts and uncles and all the first and second cousins (my dad's side of the family).
I'm not there...again this year. Two tired children I can handle. But four? I simply don't have it in me, folks.
Let me tell you about Mary, age 4.5, who misbehaved her way out of the festivities.
A few times in her short life she's had sleep issues. The past year or so though, we've had smooth sailing. Her pattern has been to fall asleep around 8:15--within fifteen minutes of being put down. She wakes up between 7:15 and 7:45 AM., and even with all the summer exercise, she hasn't seemed overtired.
Four days ago, she started getting up to draw or play with her stuffed animals, while I was in another room with Beth. This delayed her falling asleep, which makes for a frustrating night at our house, because my next task, after putting the girls down, is to go to the playroom and read to the boys.
When everyone falls asleep on schedule, I can do this whole routine on my own without too much stress. Husband has worked nights for so long, I'm used to it.
Cue the stress, with Mary's new issue. The worst was last night. She was still awake at 9:30 PM....her eyes indicating exhaustion.
Last year, at age 3.5, Mary went to the fireworks. I simply put her to bed a little early, and then husband got her up at 9:00 pm and took her and her brothers to the festivities.....while I stayed home with Beth, who was then 18 months old.
Tonight, since she fell asleep so late last night, I bathed her and put her to bed at 7:00 PM, telling her if she got out of bed and played, she wouldn't go to the fireworks later tonight.
I heard a little noise in there around 7:45 PM, so I peeked in, finding her mattress at a weird angle, and several things on the floor--indicating she'd been playing. Fixing her mattress and putting her back in bed, I told her the disobedience cost her the fireworks.
Sharing with her how frustrated I was with these sleep issues, I asked her why she was disobeying. She had no answer, other than she was looking for a long-lost stuffed animal. (That's tonight's excuse). Next, I told her she had to ask her Heavenly Father to help her obey....explaining that it was too hard for her to obey on her own. We all have to ask for His help, I reminded her.
She's stubborn, that one. It took a few minutes to get her to say..."Lord, please help me to obey." She's also very sensitive, being crushed in spirit and weepy for awhile, when we have to speak to her about behavior. For the most part, she's been an easy child to handle....up until now.
Her sleep needs couldn't have changed this drastically, in a few days time.
There is a bonfire at my aunt's house tomorrow night, but our family goes to church Sunday nights. We told the boys Daddy would take them to my aunt's after church, Mary included. I'm sure someone will have some kind of sparkler at my aunt's, so Mary will not completely miss the Fourth of July wonder.
I plan to come home after church and put Miss Beth down, missing the bonfire. It's hard enough with her on Sunday nights, coming home from church at 8:40 PM, and not getting her down until about 9:00 PM.
It doesn't bother me to miss festivities and crowds right now. There's so little quiet time here........I kind of like it. :)
Plenty of time left in my life for fireworks, God willing.
Next summer Beth will be 3.5 ( it's only with sniffles that I can type that). Old enough for fireworks, with just a little fussiness the next day.
So, what about you? Anyone staying home with littles this weekend?
Here is a wonderful incourage post about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Happy Fourth of July!