Joanna, I am working on 3 hours of sleep

Steve got in yesterday morning from a red-eye.  To sound very junior-highish, and to repeat something that I have said before, red-eyes suck!

The kids were at school yesterday, so Steve had the house to himself all day.  He only slept a couple hours after he settled in.  He called me in the afternoon and told me this.  I was expecting the evening to be wasted since he would be so out of it.

When we got home, Steve had already run 3 miles, and he was mowing he grass.  So far so good!  After doing our normal evening stuff, he put CC down and must have been on some high from his run, or something, and started to really straightened up the house. 

While Steve was cleaning, I was in the toy room watching Dirty Dancing, and Ben was in the family room watching Blues Clues while eating tortilla chips.  He gets his loves for all things salty and crunchy from his mama.

Give a 3-year-old a bowl of chips and crumbs are bound to happen.

Steve saw this...uh-oh! 


I have made it very known that I am controlling.  So, I want to be the one to parent the kids, but I know better.  When Steve is home I really try my best to let him parent the kids to balance out our roles.  If I feel it necessary I will whisper something to Steve and give him a suggestion on this or that.  Usually, he is pretty responsive to it.  After all, I am really the one with the kids the most, so I know what works and what doesn't work.  When I whisper suggestions, it is because I want to cut right to the "it works" approach. 

We follow the Love and Logic approach.  For anyone looking for parenting advice, I HIGHLY recommend this!!  I am serious.  The basis is to let your kid make choices, while within your boundaries.  I could go on and on about it, but I won't right now.  I know it works and I use it as much as I can, and Steve does it sometimes.  I am consistent with it, he isn't always.  Not to raz him, but it is totally a function of me doing it every single day, and Steve doing it when he is home.  So, he is out of practice a bit at first, and I have to remind him.


Steve started to clean up the crumbs.  I told him to stop.  Ben made the mess, Ben is a big boy, and Ben can clean up the mess. 

Steve looked at Ben and said something to the effect of "Ben, clean up your mess before Blues Clues." I whispered "give him a choice."  I knew, from his tone, that Steve was not in the right mindset to work through this issue. 

Steve looked at me and said "Joanna, I am working on 3 hours of sleep here."

And I just told him that I would take over, and he can go put lime on the grass.  Parenting is a tandem thing, and if one of you is off the other is probably on.  And Steve was off due to the red-eye, so I had to step in.

Ben made the choice of cleaning up the crumbs with the vacuum, over a dish rag.

He then watched one more episode of Blues Clues, and then Daddy tucked him in for the night. 


  1. I love the tortilla chip example in reference to your son. He has made a mess. OK. Rather than shame him and make him feel like he is in trouble, you made him recognize what he had done. He made a mess. So what. Nothing wrong w/ that as long as you take responsibility for your mess. Rather than making cleaning up seem like a punishment you made it a responsibility by not giving a choice in whether or not to clean it up but rather a choice in the method he would use to clean up the mess. Not only did he not get in trouble, he also took on responsibility and was empowered along the way.

    Thanks for the example! I hope I can remember to use this and be so patient when its our turn to parent!!

  2. right on! This is the love and logic approach, and it really works. he thinks he is in charge since he made the choice of the vacuum, but really I am still in charge. Who cares which way he does it, as long as he does do it.

    Responsibility is HUGE to me with these kids. Since Steve is on the road so much I refuse to not have them pitch in.

  3. I think this is my problem, and why I'm completely spent. I like a "picked up house"', and the kids haven't been required to do their share.. I'm going to check out the book. Thanks for the advice.. It makes perfect sense and will create responsible kids. Now for the change, I'm afraid it's going to be ugly.


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