Bedtime. Bedtime can either be the most glorious time of day for you or the most dreaded depending on your child's sleeping habits. Personally, it's glorious for me. So glorious that most naps and nights, I shut my son's door and let out a sigh of relief that the day is done. I know I won't be going back in that bedroom until the next morning. Mommy is off the clock! Part of me thinks we just lucked out with a great sleeper. Part of me thinks he inherited my passion for a good night's sleep. Part of me swears the advice to read this book was the reason we started out awesome. Whatever the true reason, my son has been a rockstar sleeper from day one. The past few weeks, our schedule has been out of whack and it is starting to rear its ugly head into my son's sleep patterns. My son has been pretty resilient to the late nights. He can stay up with the best of them and will even entertain those who are burning the nighttime oil with him. Skipping naps is another story. The past weekend proved that with our neglect to make him nap on the 4th of July. Oops.
So tonight as I am getting him ready for bed, I step into our routine: attempt the potty, brush teeth, read books, prayers and off to bed. Post victory on the potty apparently was code for "run naked". He took off while I was getting the bathroom back in order. He ran directly into the living room where my husband had already cracked into an adult snack. Busted.
I had to run after the naked baby, scoop him off the couch, and break his heart that he was not sharing any of that chocolatey goodness with his father. Sheer devastation! Screams. Tears. Kicks. All of it. Sure, it would have been easy for me to just let him have a little bite. But frankly, I'm sick of that game. I said no. I meant no. He didn't need a treat before bed. He needed to get his pajamas on, brush his teeth, read books, say prayers, and get to bed. The pajamas eventually were on but the little narcissist kept watch in the mirror while his tears fell all while I got him dressed. The more he watched his pain, the more it reminded him about how his life wasn't fair. My attempts to reason with him didn't matter. The rule is if you don't brush your teeth, no books, and for a bookworm kid that is torture. But since he was so distraught about the treat he wasn't getting, there was no more room for negotiation.
So to bed it was. No treat. No brushed teeth. No books. Lay him down and walk away. Pretty soon, through the sobs, I can hear "One book. *sniff sniff sniff* One book. *sniff sniff* One book." When it gets to that point, he knows I meant business and is willing to cooperate. I go back in there and scoop him up. I wipe his face so he can't see his tears before going back to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Luckily, he's forgotten about his father's dessert and willingly lets me brush his teeth. He even manages some deep belly laughs at my "gross" face as I wipe the boogers off his nose. We are soon reading books and saying prayers. I glance at the clock and think, "Well 30 minutes for all of this wasn't that bad."
But as I lay him down again, the tears resume, this time because I didn't read the caterpillar book. This time he just had to cry it out. Gah. Mommy can't win.