Friday, July 18, 2014

Toddler bedtimes and self righteousness

A short blog post this morning about a little reality check we had at our house this week. Two weeks ago we moved The Babe into her new "big girl" room in advance of the arrival of Baby Macaroni. She loved it! She had picked the wall colour, the ceiling light and her dad made her a chalk board she can draw on whenever she likes. We bought some jungle animal wall clings and she picked out a bunch to put on her walls. We approached the first few nights cautiously, awaiting the anticipated wake ups, walks back to her room, tears and fights. But to our surprise, the transition was extremely smooth. When one night she said her room was scary, we picked an animal cling to place on her night table to protect her and voila, problem solved! Looks like all the prep work and conversations we had worked like a charm. We gave each other high fives and revelled in our parenting awesomeness.

Naive. Amateur. That's what that was. Turns out she was just waiting two weeks  to lull us into a false sense of security before she showed us her true colours and dropped the hammer. The last three nights have seen bedtime stretch out over an hour and a half and could be easily compared to dinner and a show. We were taken off-guard and our defences were down. We didn't know how to react and were scrambling for effective techniques that do not involve a sleeping bag cinched tight at the top to avoid escape or holding her door handle closed for two hours. Two nights ago I awoke to a sound at 4am. When I rolled over, she was standing on her dad's side of the bed, perched on the bed frame, staring at us and asked to come into bed. It was one of the more creepy moments I have ever had and I may have screamed a little bit.

After repeated nights of hallway dancing, requests for water, screaming and flopping around like a rag doll, it became clear we may need a little help. Luckily, our friend is an amazing sleep consultant (note: this is not a sponsored post - she doesn't even know I'm writing this right now) who owns Sleep Stars Consulting and she gave us some great tips for having a united front. Last night we approached the situation strategically - having a team mentality and staying consistent. It still took an hour to get The Babe to sleep, and she did wake up once in the middle of the night screaming about monsters, but she stayed in her room until 7:30 this morning. Sweet relief!

We are not going to make the same (silly) assumption that we have tackled this stage completely, but it sure feels nice to be on the same page. And if we're going to be spending the evenings for the foreseeable future running defence in our hallway, we might as well get a sense of humour about it:

That one is going in her wedding slideshow for sure.

~ H