I shared my bedtime woes with a good friend of mine, and she imparted some get-your-kid-to-go-to-sleep wisdom. And, no, it doesn’t involve any direct form of torture or physically attaching your child to the bed. Incidentally, I’d been spending my free time trying to concoct some sort of invention to do just that, especially since Robbie is no longer in a crib and can roam freely.
Once Jill shared this wisdom with me, it made so much sense. It seemed so simple. This was, obviously, why it had not occurred to me. Bedtime became an emotional struggle; the time of day I dreaded the most. Although now I still face it with some trepidation, it has improved. Jill said she went through her whole bedtime routine and tucked her son in, explaining that it was time to go to sleep and she would see him in the morning. She then positioned herself outside his door, waiting for the eminent escape. The first time he made a break for it, she went through the whole tucking in routine again. Any time after that, she simply picked him up and put him in bed without saying a word.
I didn’t buy it at first. After all, I would be up all night returning Robbie to bed with this method. But, seeing as how the child put a dent in my newly painted walls throwing books out of his room when I had a baby gate in the door, I figured it was worth a try. The first night, it took 45 minutes. The second night, 30. And the third night, it just took one tuck in. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had relapses. And don’t even get me started on the night Justin deviated from the schedule to watch the high school seniors announce their college selections and let Robbie watch it with him (Justin is typically not allowed to make an appearance at bedtime because he is too fun and the child uses him to get his way).
Most recently, I used the technique at nap time. We haven’t had a good nap at our house in weeks. Months, even. And. It. Worked. The kid was asleep within minutes. Of course, this may be because he’d been out running on the beach like a fool for three hours, but it may also be my impressive parenting skills. I’m going to go with the latter.
And so, as I close, it is almost time for another bedtime. I’m not sure I have enough energy to face it, but I know the fall out will be greater if we deviate. I think I can; I think I can; I think I can.