I'm proud of my children.
We went on a weekend excursion to the state of Michigan, following last weekend's excursion to Maryland. Any sort of vacation with children involves a large amount of routine disruption for them and very little actual vacation for their grownups.
We have really worked hard to help the kids feel good about going to bed and just being responsive to us in general, and it has paid off handsomely. That's why last weekend, Little Bear was able to go to sleep with the disruption of the rest of his family in the room, with only a little reminding. Quite a change from the last few times we stayed in a hotel together. This weekend was similar. And even The Boy slept well.
When we returned home today after a long day, they were cranky. Really cranky. But the older ones were saying that they were tired and wanted to rest. Rather than fighting with us and being completely defiant (beyond their crankiness, that is), they did their bedtime things and went to bed, happy to be home.
I'm so glad that we have put our emotional connection with the kids at the forefront. We usually know why they are doing what they do (even if the reason is "because he is 2") and we have a good handle on pumpkin time. You know what that is, if you know kids. It's when the fairy tale ends for the afternoon/evening and you just get them out of there before they turn back into pumpkins.
We have boys. We love them. They're awesome. But they are WORK at this age. It's an investment, though. Mamas with boys--you do all this work now so that the teenage years are easier.