January 13, 2011
Getting My Two Year Old to Stay in Bed at Night.
Myer has been coming into our room at all hours of the night demanding to sleep in our bed- like a wretchy troll who has us wrapped around his finger and whatnot- so I decided it was time to put the foot down. I'm all for early AM snuggles every now and again, but if I wanted to share my bed with a thrashing loud-breather all night long every single night, I would have just bought a dog, you know?
Sooo. One night last week I'd had enough. I put the foot down. That night, I had to keep putting him back in his bed one million times between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00AM. Oh! And during that whole process Myer decided to spice things up by screaming "Mamma! Mamma! Mamma! Mamma! Mamma!" over and over and over and over again for three straight hours until I thought that maybe I was just trapped in a really bad nightmare instead of being awake and perched outside his door in the bleary, cotton-mouthed hours of the morning.
He fell asleep at 5:00AM and then woke up, ready for the day at 6! What a sweetie pie.
Anywho, there were really only two nights of that, but now he is sleeping much better in his own bed since I made it pretty clear that if he wanders into our room in the middle of the night saying "Mamma? Mamma?" he will not find his sweet mom there in that bed, but a glowering banshee instead! With crazy hair and angry eyes!
But this little toot, he is a clever one, so what he has been doing the last couple of nights is army crawling... no, really, ARMY CRAWLING on his elbows (so that I don't see his head over the line of the bed) into our bedroom and curling up beside Chris' side of the bed- right on top of the pile of dirty painting contractor clothes that he throws there before falling into bed, exhausted, each night. (We're working on this latest development now... I'm thinking I'll just replace the pile of clothes with a pile of... oh, I don't know... gardening tools? Try to sleep on THAT, Myer! mwa ha ha!)
I probably wouldn't even notice this latest sneaky ninja-style covert 'Infiltrate Mommy's Room' Op except for the previously mentioned loud-breathing and thrashing that accompanies his sleep at all times. And also, his 'jingle blocks'- which are his comfort objects that have little jingle bells in them- causing me to be able to hear exactly where he is and what he is doing at all times in the wee hours of the morning. (A blessing and a curse.)
Here's a before and after of the jingle block situation, by the way:
This is what happens to cute stuffed blocks after they have been carried and dropped and slimed on and fondled all night long for two whole years. Only one of the jingle bells still work. (We had three blocks still until a couple of weeks ago, when the 'E' went mysteriously missing into the depths of the one of the church's nursery rooms.)
(I was slightly relieved when that happened, though, because now we only have TWO blocks, which coincide nicely with the fact that he has TWO hands and now it's not so much like a juggling act every time he wants to transport the things anywhere.)
(Also, I contemplated replacing the missing jingle bell in the other block, but then I realized that it would only make things LOUDER in the middle of the night, duh, and so I decided against it.)
(THAT was a close one.)
I guess that all of this parenthetical rambling is just my way of saying that I am SO glad things are improving in the night time arena, since we have a squirmy newborn on the way who will sleep for no longer than 2 hour stretches at a time every night and will... shall I say... only complicate this mess a wee bit further?
I am always amazed, when it comes to stuff like this, how kids actually DO respond to consistency and firmness, and I always wonder why I didn't just do it sooner. It's hard to put the foot down sometimes, but when you know it is for the health and benefit of your kids and your MARRIAGE and your sleep and your sanity, it's the only way to go! I think sometimes I just forget that, hey! I WEAR THE PANTS AROUND HERE and YOU LITTLE PEOPLE AREN'T THE BOSSES OF ME! (So neener-neener!)
It's good to remember that every now and again. I am here to shape them and train them in healthy ways, not make their lives peachy-keen and rainbow fluffy 24-7. We'll all be much happier in the long run if I can just hold my ground on some things- even if it's so much easier to give in in the moment.
(End note: Is parenthetical even a word? It sounds like some magic spell or made-up animal from Harry Potter. Or something.)