Park Throwing Sand

What Would You Do? Sandbox Edition

My kids were playing nicely in the sand at the park the other day, when two young boys came over to join them. As children do, they all began to play some randomly made up game together and things were going well. That was until one of the boys, a four year old, began lightly shoveling sand onto his brother’s lap. The brother didn’t seem to mind at all but his mother asked him to stop doing it. The young boy decided to tempt fate and shoveled one more scoop into his brother’s lap, at which point the mother walked over, leaned down, grabbed a handful of sand and threw it in the four year old’s face and mouth.

I have to be honest, I was shocked at the choice of punishment for such a minor crime but I really had no idea what to do, so I continued to just stand there, stunned, pretending everything was cool. The tactic backfired as well, as the boy wiped the sand from his mouth and stated with glee, “Mmmm, I love sand in my mouth!” At this point, I gathered up my children and we started the walk home.

It’s easy to judge parenting methods, so I try to keep my nose out of other people’s business and don’t typically write about the things I see but this one struck me as odd and it didn’t end there. Nothing was said about the incident as we walked home but as soon as my four year old daughter got home, she went running to her mom and explained the whole sand throwing story. We then spent the next few minutes trying to explain why it was a bad idea for the mommy to do that and telling her that she shouldn’t ever throw sand in people’s faces. Like I said, I stay out of other people’s parenting business…until it affects my ability to parent my children.

That brings me to my question. What would you do if your child was the one throwing sand at the park?

There Were Two In The Bed And The Little One Said, Roll Over!

Alright, I’m not sure I can keep this bottled up anymore. I am a human being and I need sleep. Not a couple hours here or there, but a whole night’s sleep!

Since my first child was born, four and a half years ago, I think I have had about 20 good sleeps. I’m sure you can do the math on that one. I’m talking about going to bed and not waking up until my alarm says it’s time to wake up, sleeps. Although I know it isn’t true, it feels as though my children have set out to take turns waking up from one night to the next.

There’s really no rhyme or reason to it either. My son would wake with night terrors, even though we are very strict about what the kids watch on TV. My daughter seems to just wake up screaming for no reason, and then falls right back to sleep. As you parents know, even the act of waking up from your sleep for 3 seconds can severely hamper your mood the next day.

We’ve tried what feels like a thousand different ways to help them sleep and so far we haven’t had much luck. My son seems to sleep through the night more and more as he gets older but my daughter has started coming into our room at least once a week, wanting to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.

I’m not someone who can turn down a sad child, so we allow it but it means almost zero sleep for Mommy and Daddy; which also means more friction between Mommy, Daddy and the kids. My wife and I have discussed me going into my daughter’s room to sleep but that solution seems unfair to me, considering my wife runs a daycare, which I consider to be one of the toughest jobs in the world.

As you can imagine, four and a half years is a long time to go with minimal sleep and I can start to feel it catching up to me. I tend to be irritated a lot more than I used to be. I snap at the kids at times, without putting much thought into why. By the time 6 o’clock rolls around, I am basically ready to check out for the day and it’s a terrible feeling to know that I am letting my family down.

So I turn to you, my good readers, to ask if you have any sleep tips to pass along. My daughter is 2 and a half, won’t nap anymore and is generally a disaster by the time supper is done. With a daycare running out of the house, forcing her to try a nap isn’t an option as she’d keep all the other kids up.