If you give a Sean a blueberry…

It’s nap time. Well, a bit past nap time really. But for once it was not too hot and we were playing outside and I was getting some weeding done and everything was going so well!

Eventually we wrapped it up and came inside. We washed our hands. Then Sean decided he wanted an apple. We did have an apple but I didn’t want to cut it up just to have him not eat more than a few bites, meanwhile missing our ideal window for starting nap. I offered; raisins or blueberry instead? He picked blueberries. So I got some out and brought them with us so we could eat while we read stories. We started to read ‘bear book’- his current favorite (Berenstain Bear’s Nature Guide) and eat our tasty blueberries.

But then he wanted more. After a bit, he didn’t even want to read anymore, he just wanted him some berries. I knew that he was getting tired and cranky at this point and maybe we could just move on to milk and bed and be ok. We switched gears to milk, but he still stopped every few seconds, popping off the breast to tell me- “More berries….” followed by a little contrived sob… “Sad.”  Aw.  He was being unusually persistent so I decided that maybe this once it might work out if I just went to get him some more and then I fulfill his simple wish and after that he’d happily go down for nap.  Right?  Hm.

I told him I’d put him in his bed and go get him a few more berries. Alas, if you even offer give a Sean a blueberry, he negotiates to come get it with you. If you pick him up to take him with you, he starts to renegotiate what you are going to get.  “Apple? Raisin?”  If you say no to these requests, Sean will start to reconfigure the whole plan. “Go…playroom? Sit…tiny chair? Eat raisin…berry?” When you don’t give in to these petitions, but head back to his room and put him in bed as originally planned, then you get a lovely meltdown.

You have to give the kid credit for persistence.  Still, he tries to figure out a new plan with you- “Milkies? More milk? Pick up? Read bear book?” As easy as it might seem to pick him up and just give him some more milk, this approach has about a 50/50 ‘success’ rate- that is, if the goal is to just get him to stop being unhappy about the prospect of you leaving. Because you’re not leaving now, see? But usually, giving in to Sean at this point just starts up the cycle of renegotiation again.

So, I reminded him that we’d had our milkies already, that we only went out to get a few more berries, and that I was going to leave them  on the bedrail in case he changed his mind and wanted them later.  I told him that I knew he was sad and that we could get more food after nap and that I was sorry to have to leave him while he was still upset but that it was nap time now and I was going to go out.  I gave him a kiss.  He turned away.  =(

But at least he got his berries? I sometimes feel like a horrible mother when I leave my poor kid crying in his bed, but as he had already shifted into playing just 5 minutes into writing this, I don’t feel too bad right now.  I have learned from past experience that staying in to try and soothe him is the more likely option to end up an hour later with both of us frazzled, no nap at all happening, and the rest of the day off kilter.  Now, it’s rest time for momma!

Ah, sweet, sweet nap time.


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