Jun 26, 2012

Some Day My Kids Will Fall Asleep Before Ten O'Clock, Maybe

The bedtimes over here are getting ridiculous.  Glennon Melton of Momastery, likened bedtime to the game Whack a Mole, and I can't think of a better analogy, except that we have one little mole who just keeps popping up over and over and over in the same place despite being bopped on the head (figuratively, of course) numerous times.  Our other little mole is stuck in her hole (thank goodness for cribs), but what she lacks in mobility she more than makes up for in volume.

It has been pretty ugly here.  We have tried bribery (hey, when it comes to Mama's down time at night, I'm not past promises of an extra book the next day), and threatening (not surprising it does not help her calm down and fall asleep when we take away stuffed animals or books), and pretty much everything in between.

We talk about bedtime during dinner and why it is so important for a body to get rest.  That it's okay to take awhile to fall asleep once in bed, but we need to stay in bed to give our bodies a chance to calm down and sleep.  That she will feel less tired and emotional (read: cranky) the more sleep she gets.

Last night was the first attempt at the Nanny 911 method.  A friend suggested what she'd seen on the show, just gently taking them back to bed over and over with no verbal exchange at all.  I can hardly say it was a success on the first night (although my husband's hope was renewed), but I certainly stayed more calm than I have on other nights.

Most of the time, before I even had a chance to lift her up and carry her, she would run back to her bed herself as soon as she saw me stand up.  Still, it was a little bit heartbreaking when she'd try to talk with me and ask me questions and I stayed silent.  Especially when she cried a little and told me, "You leave the room so fast!"

When I think about it, we deal with something like this once or twice a year.  Somehow, at some point, there is a major shift and bedtime almost feels impossible.  But I want Hope to have an easy bedtime.  And I want to have time to relax and unwind before they are finally asleep at ten o'clock at night.

I am struggling to find a balance between giving her reassurance and what she needs, and not letting her play me like a cheap little dollar-store instrument.

Tonight is night two of Operation Get This Girl To Stay In Her Bed.  May the sleeping fairies sprinkle a multitude of dreamy dust in the room at the end of the hall.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Bedtime is a bear, but she sure is a sweetheart.


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