Caleb has Man Flu. To be fair, he has had a wretched night - sobbing, coughing, groaning, generally keeping us all awake as much as humanly possible - but he sure knows how to milk it.
Parenting has been hard work with our two cherubs lately. Sophie has hit four with a vengeance and to be honest, she could do with starting school. However, the Ministry of Education and I differ in our opinions on this matter (and many other matters, but lets save that for another post ;-)) so I have another year of four-ness to relish before I unleash her quirky fabulousness on Mrs Pester in Room One. The arguing is almost constant, the 'no nonsense' sticker chart has somehow evolved into a a negotiating tool that would challenge the best UN peacekeeper, and she has revealed a temper that has startled more than a few innocent passers-by. Our current sanity saver is Nigel Latta's 'Ladder of Certain Doom' but I'm sure its tenuous reign will soon end.
Caleb is two. Need I say more? He sometimes tricks me into thinking he's older (in depth discussions about poisonous berries and the classification of dinosaurs and insects will do that. It's entirely his fault) but essentially, he's contrary because he's two. I hope. "I will do it MINESELF, thank you!" is a common declaration, but due to two-ness, it often goes badly. He also adores breaking things, and will do so on purpose to get attention when he decides he warrants it. Particularly high on his destruction list are precious things belonging to the female members of the family, due most likely to them giving the most impressive display of negative attention. Of course after serving his sentence, he'll be at his most charming, wheedling his way back into our good books with his tear-stained hugs, kisses, and "I'm so sorry. I really didn't mean to".
Needless to say, there has been a fair bit of barking going on here, and it ain't coming from a dog...though wouldn't that be nice **subtle dig at dog-disliking husband**. I have noble ideas about dealing with Caleb's behaviour, but very often they end up being discarded for the 'easy' option, which is generally lecturing, growling, threatening, confiscating, more lecturing (using longer words), door-locking, etc. Often the level of naughtiness escalates before I have my plan of attack sorted - what started as a sneaky poke in Sophie's ribs as she walked past, turns into a handful of hair being yanked out of her head in moments. Rascal!
So anyway, he's sick. He needed a sleep. I took him to bed, did the usual quiet sleepy time business, and he kicked up unholy Hell. Much screaming, door banging, wretched sobbing etc. I started to threaten and then realised I couldn't be bothered. I walked into his room and a pitiful wee voice said "Just sit with me, Mummy". And I did. And you know what? He was asleep in less than TWO MINUTES.
Perhaps I need to do more 'sitting' with my kids. Maybe armed with a cattle prod to give them a gentle nudge every now and then ;-)