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Last night when it was time for the boys to go to bed, Mikey was ready, but Pierce wasn’t.  We put him down and he screamed like a newborn for 15 minutes.  We sprung him from his cell and let him play some more for a while.  We’ve recently really gotten into the Mad Men series.  We have been catching up on all four seasons, so this is what we were watching while the little man played around the coffee table with cars, drum sticks, the cat, etc.  At one point he is standing right next to me grinning like fool and rolling his arms like crazy–that motion that looks like your pedaling bike with your hands?  Daddy and I were cracking up, because just the night before Greg was trying to get Pierce to mimic all his gestures from patting his head, to his cheek, to his belly, then trying to get him to do the rolling motion with his hands.  He could do all of it except the rolling one.  That one looked pretty awkward, but true to his mechanical nature, his body figured it out in 24 hours.  And he was feeling pretty smug about it, too.  Next in his evening’s repertoire was teasing the cat very gently with a little plastic drumstick.  Flanders would grab it and play like it was a cat toy and Pierce would go into hysterics.  Ultimately, uncoördinated from full body giggles, I think he teased kitty a little too hard and Flanders made a hasty exit.  After playing for a bit, Pierce, returning to snuggle with me on the sofa, finally looked sleepy, so I asked him if he was ready for bed.  Off he toddled to his room to stand next to his crib and wait for me to put him in it.  He snuggled down against his pillow with a smile and his blankies…all was well.  So we thought…  Twenty minutes later, he’s screaming his head off again.  By now it’s 9:40, we’re in the second episode of Mad Men, and we need to decide what to do.  Since there were several of these episodes (of Pierce losing his mind) I can’t remember if we let him cry this time for a while or what.  At a certain point we surrendered and wrestled him down on his changing table to get him to take Tylenol, thinking his ear either hurts or he’s cutting two-year molars.  He has taught himself very well to spit out any medicine we administer, which means he doesn’t feel better, and we’re out of ideas.  He acts sleepy, so I sit and rock him for about five or ten minutes, and as soon as I carry him to his crib he lets out his signature angry squeal.  Of course I hurry with him back to glider and try frantically and angrily rocking him some more.  As you can imagine, it was terribly effective—I really mean terribly–same result the second time.  At this point, I resist the urge to throw him into his crib on his ear, and I just sit him in there.  Over his hollering, I tell him, “You’re on your own.  Figure out how to get to sleep!”  Pretty soon, Greg can’t stand the caterwauling from across the hall, so he tries his hand at consoling; which worked beautifully until he went to put him back in his bed.  Returning to our bedroom as frustrated as ever, closing both Pierce’s door and ours, saying a prayer that the neighbors can’t hear him screaming, and going to bed ourselves.  I’m sure we were asleep before the “terror!”  Not to rest too easy though, our lack of sound proofing alarmed me awake at 5:15 to the same thing we fell asleep  too—that is, unless he was crying all night long and it just now registered.  GOOD MORNING!!!!

As I unhappily tried to get him to sleep (or rest) a while longer, we found ourselves having breakfast at 6am.  Michael joined us a bit later, and our preparation for school began.  Not good, though…  He started in about not going to school, and all the things he was going to do to avoid it.  Going to his room to lock his door is the new action he’s taking.  After doing this three times, I removed his door.  It’s still lying against the bookcase in the office.  Meanwhile, every time Mikey locked himself in his room, Pierce would whimper and whine in the hallway outside. Two different times as I was working on my laptop in the living room, and out of the corner of my eye I see Pierce’s head followed by his shoulders, torso and finally legs slithering into view.  I guess in his rage, he was too weak to walk, so he lay down on his back and proceeded cry and push himself down the hall with his feet.  It’s was like watching a “baby” snake slowly and hypnotically sliding into view.  It was good comic relief in the middle of a rotten morning.

I won’t even go into the struggle to get Michael to school.  There have already been a few versions told, but I decided today that I needed to stop prolonging the inevitable and dropped him at the curb.  It’s time for him to assume his responsibility in going to school, so I asked one of the teachers to help me get “unattached” from him.  I kissed him, told him I loved him, and drove away while he cried and walked with his P.E. coach to the cafeteria.  I waited all day for a phone call, and none came.  When I picked him up, he was happy and enthusiastic, and I got a good report from the teacher.  We’ll see if he conjures unnecessary dread tomorrow morning…