Before I had kids, there were a million things I SWORE I would never do. You know how it goes … “When I have kids, I will never (insert that thing you will never do here).”
I said I would never spank.
I have spanked.
I said I would never give them junk food.
They have had junk food. Lots of junk food.
I said they would get baths every night, and have a strict bedtime, and not watch a ton of television, and a million other things that I have since had to eat my words about – because the thing about parenting is, until you are doing it … you have NO IDEA how you’ll do it.
One of the things I had said I would do – and was actually succeeding at – was making the boys sleep in their own beds. From an early age, we put the boys in their beds, kissed them goodnight, and walked out of their rooms. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been met with resistance from time to time, but for the most part, they have been champs about going to bed.
Until they hit 2.5 years of age. Then, the game completely changed.
I’m not sure what happened, but my sweet boys who used to go to bed without a single peep became screaming, tantrum-throwing, wild little men with the ability to stay awake whining and crying for hours. HOURS! It’s worse than when they were babies! Suddenly, their room is scary, but only if they are sleeping in their beds. So, we slept on the floor. Then the floor became scary. But only if we slept on certain blankets. So we switched blankets. Regardless of what I have tried … they always win.
They are masters of manipulation, and my need for sleep wins over my ability to outlast their latest whim.
See those sweet, sleeping faces? Don’t let them fool you. This photo was taken after an hour-and-a-half battle which included lots of screaming, whining, and crying – along with many, MANY under-my-breath curse words uttered by me. What you can’t tell from this picture is that they are sleeping in my bed – which might as well be their bed since I usually end up sleeping on about an inch-and-a-half of mattress at the bottom and my husband (who has given up completely) just sleeps on the couch. This whole family bed thing really isn’t working for us. Maybe we just need a bigger bed …
In an effort to get my boys back to their own room to sleep, I have read, researched, and read some more. We tried the Love and Logic method of letting them play in their rooms for an hour or so before bedtime and waiting for them to fall asleep on their own. Yeah … that didn’t work. They turned their beds into trampolines, and not once did they get sleepy and put themselves to bed like the website suggested they would do.
We have tried allowing them “quiet time” in their room before bedtime. Yeah … 2-year-olds and “quiet time” don’t really go together. At least, not my 2-year-olds.
Currently, we are transforming their room into their “Big Boy” room, complete with new beds built by their Papa, new paint, new bedding, and a new reading tent. I’m hopeful that once they get to moved into their new room, they will stay there.
There is a tiny part of me, however, that doesn’t really mind that they refuse to sleep anywhere but by my side. Like every other phase of their little lives, this will be all-too-fleeting – and sooner rather than later, they will be posting KEEP OUT signs and locking the doors behind them.