Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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.