Bedtime last night wasn't until 10:00, but I think that's largely my fault. I think 1) I tried to make too big an adjustment to the schedule, and 2) I didn't take into account the nap at school (he only sleeps about 30 minutes, but still, it's enough to make bedtime later). I put J in the bath at 7:15. When you're used to a bath between 8:30 and 9:00, 7:15 is a big switch - I should have aimed for 8:30, then gradually moved it back earlier. D'oh. He was in bed by 8:00, but didn't go to sleep until 10:00, and the in-between time involved stories, a round of wanting to sleep in my bed, potty break, milk, rocking in the rocking chair, and finally falling asleep in his own bed. Note to self: Drastic changes will not work. LOL So tonight I'll be a bit more reasonable about it, and work on moving bedtime back *gradually*.
I'm serious about sticking to this, though. I saw such a difference in J's behavior yesterday after just one night of solid sleep that it's worth the effort to make this change if it means better sleep and better behavior all the time. He only whined a little when I told him he couldn't have candy at the video store - this would usually have gotten a screaming jumping-up-and-down fit and a pissed-off mama. He was pleasant and happy and (except for the drawn-out bedtime) a joy to be around.
Now, if I can just convince K of this....
J has started in saying he doesn't want to go to daddy's this week, he doesn't like daddy and A's house, he wants to stay with me all the time. I *think* that the problem is Chuck the damn hamster. (I am never, ever getting a hamster. If I'd ever wanted one, I don't after hearing about Chuck. So much drama for such a small rodent.) After I asked him several times what he didn't like at daddy's, why he didn't want to go to daddy's, J finally told me Chuck is in his room and makes noise, and the noise hurts his ears. He also said that when A's 6-year-old (with whom J shares a room) was with his daddy, they moved Chuck to the game room. I talked to K this morning and pointed out that that's a lot for J to adjust to, a relatively unfamiliar place he's only at every couple of weeks, sharing a room with another little boy, not having anyone sit with him or sing to him or anything at bedtime, *and* a strange animal making noise, and I suggested they might want to consider moving Chuck while J is there. K said he's fought that battle already, that A says no special concessions. I tried to point out that it's not a concession, it's not forever, it's an adjustment, and that J has never had the flexibility to deal well with changes in routine, and K just said he wasn't going there again. I bit my tongue and didn't say that while I see A's point about not treating one child specially (although would she feel differently if J were a child with a quantifiable "special need"? Why can't difficulty adjusting to change and sensitivity to sounds be treated like any other need, and accommodated accordingly until J adjusts? Does she know what's best for my child? I think not), I don't agree that J should be plopped in the middle of one big ball of "different stuff" and basically told to deal with it, especially knowing he's not (and never has been) one of these kids that can "go with the flow", and I think she's being unreasonable to not allow some modifications while J adjusts to the new environment, and would K like me to talk to her. If J keeps having problems and keeps insisting he doesn't want to go see daddy, I *will* talk to her. J is my son and if I don't stick up for him, who will? I don't want to cause problems in K's marriage, but I also don't want my son miserable at the prospect of going to see his father, and I don't want him feeling like his feelings and needs don't matter. So that was a delightful way to start my day. If I hadn't gotten a good night's sleep, I'd have been very bitchy about it. (Sleep makes a world of difference - I no longer feel the need for Wellbutrin, at least not at the moment.)
J suggested earplugs himself, and I told K I'd get a pair and we could try that, if A is insistent that no changes be made. But if those don't help, if it becomes a battle royal every other weekend to get J to go see his dad, something will have to change. I don't want to force J to go somewhere he clearly doesn't want to go, I want him to be able to enjoy his time with his father.
I've told K that I saw a world of difference in J's behavior yesterday, after he slept so well on Sunday night. You'd think better behavior would be a pretty good incentive to help J get a good night's sleep. But if K and A prefer the drama, well, then, leave the effin' hamster right where he is.
Yeah, it irritates me. I know this is hard enough on J, and I'm sure K feels caught in the middle, between what J really needs, how A wants things to go, and how I'm telling him I'd like to see things go. When it comes down to it, I personally think taking care of J is most important. K and A are together every day, J is there two days out of every fourteen. Me, I don't see it as complete upheaval and chaos to move the hamster. I don't see it as letting a four-year-old run the show. I don't see it as special treatment. I see it as doing what needs to be done to help J be comfortable in strange surroundings. It feels like I'm the only one who does, though.