Re-drawing the lines of Battle

I’ve written many many many times about the struggle to get our kids to bed. Now that the school holidays have started, the war has entered a new phase and it’s getting harder and harder. I’m having trouble actually getting the boy ready for bed. Ned is relatively easy, because at the end of the day I can tuck him under my arm and carry him up to the bath. Fifi, by and large, sort of does what she’s told (as long as it doesn’t involve picking up stuff).

But the boy? Oh boy…

He has redrawn the battle lines and now it’s almost impossible to even get him to acknowledge it’s time to get ready for bed. The other night I called and called him for his bath but didn’t get a response so I had to go downstairs and haul him back upstairs for his bath. While I was brushing the teeth belonging to the other two kids, he snuck downstairs and didn’t respond to calls. This eventually wound me up a bit because I had to go down to get him, which meant Ned followed me, which in turn meant Fifi followed Ned as she didn’t want to be upstairs on her own. While I hunted the boy down, Ned went foraging for snacks, which meant I had to brush his teeth again, and Fifi generally got in the way.

I found the boy kicking a beach ball style football around in the sitting room. He completely ignored me and had what I refer to as the “smirk of not going to do what you’ve asked me to” plastered across his face. He didn’t respond to a word I said, so I snapped. It had been a long week, it was very hot, and I was tired and fed up. I don’t often lose my temper but I did. I grabbed his football, dug my fingers into it and ripped it almost in half.

Good grief.

The hat: tactically an error

The tantrum that followed was astonishing and went on for almost two hours. Apparently that ball was the best toy he’d ever had and he loved it so much he’d even given it a name. I may have made a tactical error by appearing in the doorway to his room wearing the football after a hour or so but I couldn’t resist it.

Eventually wifey had to tell him that the neighbours were going to call the police if he didn’t stop the racket and that seemed to do the trick.

Poor little Ned- during the shouting and screaming, I kept on checking on Ned and he was huddled under his covers. He kept on saying sorry, as though it was his fault, which it evidently wasn’t.

The next day I popped into Wilkos and bought three similar balls for a quid each, which seemed to do the trick but long term it’s not going to help me get the kids upstairs for bed is it?