Some of you may agree with this, some may not. Confession: we kept our oldest son, A, sleeping in his crib until he was three years old.
After hearing horror stories of children getting out of bed dozens of times before finally falling to sleep, hubby and I decided that A would be in his crib until he learned to get out all on his own. Well, that never happened. I had heard of kiddos climbing out of their cribs (my nephew literally showed my sis-in-law how he did it when he was about 2 ½. “I put one leg up,” he said, “and then put my arms here…”)
We didn’t want to go through that.
When A was three and fully able to understand the consequence of getting out of his new big boy bed (ie mommy taking away his favorite stuffed animal), we figured he would probably stay in it. And he did! However, I don’t think it had anything to do with the threat of losing his animals. He had spent the first three years of his life in that crib, so (we figured), in his mind, there were some sort of invisible bars on his new bed that only he could see. Whatever the reason, it was awesome. Bedtime was a cinch. Kiss him goodnight, and off to dreamland he would go.
Our 2 ½ year old, E, is quite opposite. In fact, as I’m sitting here writing this post, he’s been out of his room – with big brother in tow as backup – a good 10 to 12 times. No joke. He has every excuse in the book.
“My covers are messed up.”
I go in to fix them.
2 minutes later.
Me: “No, you already had dinner. It’s time to go to sleep.”
Put him back into bed.
5 minutes later.
“I have to go potty!”
Me: “Go in your diaper!”
Me, rethinking: No, don’t encourage that, stupid. What are you saying!?!
“Come here, let’s take off your diaper.”
He pees the equivalent of 1 tsp. after sitting there for five minutes (while humming a lovely tune, insisting that I sit on the bathtub to watch him, which I refuse).
He goes back to bed.
“Mommy, E is under my bed!” A hollers from their bedroom. I had no idea A was still awake. E has taken this to a whole new level.
“Get in bed!” I say, raising my voice. I want to stay calm, I really do! By now, more than a half an hour has passed, and the only thing I’m thinking about is the terrible moods these boys will be in tomorrow if they don’t go to sleep soon.
I get them settled and head back to do some work on my computer.
Ten minutes pass. I think they’re asleep.
Creak. Little footsteps on the hardwood floor.
“Hey mommy,” E whispers.
I look at him. Yes? says my expression.
“I need, uh…need, uh…um…mommy, I need, um…something.”
“Come here, sweetheart,” I say patiently. “I know you’re having trouble going to sleep, but if you just lay down with your eyes closed, you will go to sleep.”
“Okay,” he whispers before walking back to his room, where A is soundly sleeping. Five minutes later, E is crying.
“My finger hurts,” he cries. “I need a Band-Aid!”
I get a Band-Aid. “Which finger?”
He studies all 10. “Um, uh…it’s, uh…this one.” There’s not a scratch on it. Now I know he’s milking the situation (which, of course, I already knew, but it’s hard to say to your 2-year old, “You don’t have to pee, your finger doesn’t hurt, you don’t need anything”….cause what if he does!?
So I finally got smart and told him that if he comes out of his room again, he’s going to sleep in the pack n play in my and hubby’s closet (don’t worry, our closet is the size of a small bedroom!).
“Ya, I wanna sleep in the pack n play!” he says. He’s in there now, and, alas! SILENCE. That’s all he wanted. Note to self: Tomorrow night, after (two tops!) time of getting up, that boy is going in the closet ;)