I have read on several different occasions that it’s never a good idea to present too much change to a child at one time. You don’t want them to feel pressured or overwhelmed. You want for them to be able to concentrate on the task/change at hand and master it before adding something else into the mix. Saying this, we somehow accidentally potty-trained and moved our 2-year old from a crib into a toddler bed all about the same time. Don’t get me wrong, the pottying has gone quite well, and the transition to her new “big girl bed” has been easier than I expected it to be, but some naptimes/bedtimes are more difficult than others. And last night was one of those nights.
I admit it. I’m more of a softy than Dan is. Note that I said MORE of a softy, and NOT that I AM a softy. Especially when there is an occasion where Brittain is acting out of the ordinary, I always attempt to figure out what might be causing her out of character behavior instead of jumping to the conclusion that she’s just being hard to get along with.
The thing is, I feel that Brittain is an uncharacteristically well-behaved child. I know…we all think our children are the best at everything, and in every way, but I’m not saying that. I just know that she tends to be on the lesser side of the “terrible two’s.” Tantrums are few and far between, she says “please” and “thank you” on a regular basis, she says “I’m sorry” when she’s done something wrong, and overall, she’s pretty darn good at obeying. So, when she’s not herself, I analyze the situation and try to at least give her the benefit of the doubt.
Moving along with this story, bedtime has become one of Dan and Brittain’s times together. He’s definitely become a pro at taking her to her bedroom, explaining that it’s time to go to sleep, and then appearing again. Most nights he’s able to accomplish this task at a record breaking speed. Last night was different. Brittain’s schedule has really been off lately. She was sick a few weeks ago, got better, and then got sick again a couple of days later. I was juggling my work schedule so that I could stay home with her. We had an extended visit from Aunt CC. Then, we made the trip to Jacksonville for a few days. This week, the preschool is out for Fall break, so everything is swapped around again and nothing is normal. Yesterday I worked all day and Brittain went to Kathryn’s (where she now goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays) for the first time in 3 weeks. I dropped her off at 9 in the morning and didn’t see her until 7 that evening. It had been a long day, and one that she hasn’t been recently used to being away from me. She needed my attention once we got home, but it was close to bedtime, so she didn’t get much of it. Before I knew what had happened, Dan was whisking her off to her bedroom for bed. Ugh…I didn’t get to hold her enough. I sat in the living room and listened to a longer than normal fight from Brittain. She wanted her mommy and she did NOT want to go to sleep. Before i knew what was happening, Dan walked into the living room holding her…and he was NOT happy. I was suddenly put in charge of getting her to bed (since I apparently was the cause of her adamant refusal to GIVE IT UP AND GET SOME REST.)
Once she was calm, we moved to her room to read books. For 45 minutes, we talked, we laughed, I watched her as she threw herself to the floor and screamed bloody murder because “WHAT IN THE HELL WERE WE DOING TO HER MAKING HER GO TO BED AT THE WEE HOUR OF 10:00?!”, then we finally settled down and moved to the bed. By this point I was tired, so I knew that she had to be. I was exhausted from the fight going on within myself.
“OMG. Maybe I AM the reason she won’t go to sleep tonight. I do sometimes let her stay awake with me past her bedtime.”
“Paleeeaaaze. This child is perfect and wonderful and I’m sure that I’ve had something to do with that.”
“But, let’s face it, when he’s home all day with her she always seems to nap right on time at 1:30. When I’m home with her, I’m lucky if we both pass out together on my bed at 4:00.”
“It’s obvious. She is going to grow up not understanding the meaning of rules and it’s going to be ALL MY FAULT!”
Finally, she gives it up enough and lies down. I lie down beside her, both of us on our sides so that our faces are about 2 inches from each other. For the first time there was silence aside from the lullaby music playing. Her eyelids were heavy, but she still continued to stare at me with that sweet smile she has. I can’t help it. I am in awe of her.
I stare at her for a few minutes longer and decide that I can finally leave the room. While you may be expecting that this is the end, it’s not. As soon as the door was almost closed, she sat straight up and started crying for me again. Keep in mind that since she is now in a toddler bed, she can now GET OUT. And, as of about 3 days ago, she can now turn the doorknob. I stood outside her door holding the door closed from the outside as she tried to get out. But guess what? I won! After about a minute of this struggle, she gave up, went back to her bed and covered herself up.
Here’s my thing. I can’t resist her and I’m certainly never going to apologize for that.
See? Could you resist her either?