Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who knows?

Here's Lillian "helping" Tyler fold laundry. Let's just say that for her, when Cars is on, there is no multi-tasking.

A while back, we went to go visit my friend Emily in Surprise. While we were there she said, "I'm at varying degrees of not knowing what to do with each of my children." (She has 3). Me too. Now that Nora isn't crying all day every day, I've got a little better handle on her. It's the other one that I want to strangle.

Mom informs me that I gave birth to an Austin clone. The latest variation on that theme is our bedtime routine. Pre-Nora, Lillian was fabulous at going to sleep and staying asleep. Just put on jammies, brush teeth, read a few stories, then lights out. No problems. As soon as we brought Nora home from the hospital, she started getting up and coming into our room in the middle of the night. "What are you doing up here?" I would ask sleepily before poking Tyler to take her back to her bed. This has become a nightly ritual. Then, she didn't want to go to bed. Last night, it was an hour and forty-five minutes from the time we started the bedtime routine to when she actually fell asleep. During that time, she got out of bed probably 25 times, asked for water, asked for one more song about 10 times, complained of a tummy ache, complained of an ear ache, couldn't find lambie, couldn't find Toby, asked for her pacifier, and was upset that her toy airplane was parked in her room (which is where it goes). While I was making a desperate call to Mom, she was crying so hard, she threw up all over herself and her bed. Arg.

Here are things that I've tried, and why they did not work:

Putting her to sleep with music. She was really curious about the ipod and would climb up her dresser to fiddle with it. Or, she would request the Bee Song (Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz) by the Laurie Berkner Band) and be so upset that she had to listen to lame lullabys that she would cry and scream.

Locking her in. Lillian has two doors to her room, one locks on the inside, the other on the outside. Much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, Lillian learned how to unlock the inside door and would just let her herself out.

Bribery. She's a little too young for this, so I'd say something like, "I'll give you _ (be it ice cream, a new toy, a chocolate chip, more TV time) if you stay in bed" and she would think I was offering that thing right now, and then get upset that I didn't give it to her.

Punishment. This just upsets her more.

So, what we're doing now is just consistently putting her back to bed. As Mom put it, this is a fight that we, as parents, must win.

Other possible solutions:

Mom also suggested that we buy a hook-and-eye or some such lock to put on the outside of the door (this is what she did with Austin).

Tyler thinks that she's just not tired at 8 o'clock and that we should try to put her to bed at 9. My fear with this is that instead of starting at 8 and ending at 9:45, like last night, we'd start at 9 and not end until 10:45, which is 15 minutes past my bedtime. So, I wouldn't get any non-kid-relax-and-watch-Chuck time.


Bridget said...

I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Miriam is doing the same thing. And since my two girls are in the same room, she's waking up Magdalena, too. It's driving me crazy.

So good luck with all that.

Rileigh Anne said...

We use the "brewer method". Let them cry for five minutes, go in there for 1 in a very business like manner."Jocelyn, I love you it is time for you to sleep. I will see you tomorrow.", the cycle repeats until she stays asleep. Sometimes it works the first time. Sometimes it takes 4 (like last night, I blame teething, light dinner and a temperary roommate) I think Super nanny does something similar. Its about consistancy and not staying in there more than a minute. That is where they get you. You can do it.

Allison said...

I'm with Rileigh. Be business like and put her back in bed with a firm, "Lillian it's bedtime. Don't get up anymore." *kiss* and goodnight. Even if you have to do it 25 times. Because what's the alternative??? Letting her stay up? Giving into to the tantrums? One other thing... maybe you could cut her nap time. (sorry) Some kids just don't need as much nap time, unfortunately.

krissiecook said...

I don't have anything constructive to say, just a whole lot of sympathy and a very real wish that you get your Chuck time back. Everyone needs their Chuck time.

Amanda said...

I'm not opposed to letting her cry herself out. In fact, I've done this on more than one occasion with both my children. I should also mention that I don't give in to her requests for one more anything. Believe me, Tyler is in no mood for coddling after, say, the 2nd time she gets out of bed (he likes his Chuck time too), almost to the point where I want to remind him to take a deep breath before he goes in there. The problem isn't the crying (except when she throws up), the problem is that she's not staying in her bed. I just take comfort in the fact that one day she'll grow out of it. I mean, what teenager wants to crawl in bed with their parents? Gross.

Jill said...

Oh boy... do we have the same thing going on with Ryan. What we've just barely started doing is giving him a flashlight. He can have it if he stays in bed and hopefully play until he falls asleep. We have a wind up one so we won't go throught batteries like crazy. Good luck.

Cheryl said...

my 3 small pieces of advce,
1) cut nap time. We've done it with Ashby and she goes to sleep better than...well better then ever realy(except when she still slips into a nap and won't wake!)
2) Let her have something to play with only if she'll stay in her bed. It has been known to work with Ashby.
3) have patience :) Good luck

Emily said...

Heck if I know-but I loved being mentioned. Good luck.

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