Toddler Bedtime Battles: The “PLEASE Sleep in your own Bed!” Saga Continues…

Tonight (and every night) we are desperately trying to get 2.5 year old Miss M to sleep in her big girl bed in her big girl room. She was doing so well for months but then approximately one month ago, she decided that she will only sleep in our bed and there is nothing we can do to convince her otherwise. While eating dinner, I asked her if she was going to sleep in her big girl bed tonight. She politely looked up at me and said “No thank you, Mommy!” When Hubby came home, he asked her the same question, “Are you going to sleep in your beautiful big girl bed tonight?” She replied “No! Swuggle!” This little lady is fierce, determined and knows what she wants. She is exhibiting incredible leadership skills already. She is a force to be reckoned with. I’m pretty confident that she is going to be the President of the United States of America one day… Which would be an incredible achievement given that we are Canadian.

Miss M was delirious. She had refused to nap yesterday. She didn’t settle until after midnight last night and we had to wake her up at 7am to take her to daycare this morning. She refused to nap at daycare today. She’s exhausted but incredibly strong-willed and is running her own wake-a-thon. I’m convinced that she is a toddler activist! Tell us your cause, little one! What is it? Dessert for dinner? A later bedtime? Your very own iPhone? A puppy? A pony? A unicorn? An Elmo tattoo? Tell us what you want and we will make it happen if it means we can sleep!

After dinner, I ran upstairs to put a load of laundry away. When I turned around, Miss M was standing in the doorway of Mr. C’s room asking for “Swuggles!” When I crossed the hall to put her laundry away in her dresser, she threw a fit. She wouldn’t even enter her room. She stood at her bedroom doorway screaming “Swuggle!”

Because she was exhausted, I decided to skip her routine bath tonight. I undressed her and put her pajamas on. I scooped her up and cuddled her in Hubby and my bed while Hubby hung out with Mr. C downstairs. We read a couple of books and then I figured she would fall asleep right away. She didn’t. She was lying in our bed quietly but wasn’t going to sleep. Hubby and I had already decided that tonight was THE night. She was going to sleep in her bed. I rocked Mr. C to sleep and put him in his crib. This took a little longer than normal since he is fighting a cold but he was pretty excited to have my essential oils diffuser set up in his room to diffuse peppermint and Thieves essential oils to help him breathe. He was quickly mesmerized by the glow of the colour-changing base of the diffuser.

Then I returned to my room, scooped up Miss M (which took a lot of agility and strategy since she knew what was coming so would scoot to the opposite side of where I was standing as I ran to either side of the bed.). I carried her kicking and screaming to her bed. She was hysterical. I got her to calm down a bit as I said goodnight to each of her dolls and stuffed animals. “Goodnight Giraffe! Goodnight Duck! Goodnight Caterpillar! Goodnight Dora! Goodnight Puppy!” By this time she was still sniffling but was content… Until I said “Goodnight Pink Monkey!”, at which point she instantly burst into tears and screamed “GREEN MONKEY!!!!!” I quickly sprung up, throwing off the blankets, frantically looking under pillows for the green sock monkey. It was nowhere to be found. I jumped up to discover that I had been sitting on it! phewf!. Crisis averted.I held her on my lap and read her a story as she ignored it and whimpered “Swuggle!” I told her I was proud of her for sleeping in her bed, kissed her goodnight and then walked slow enough that it didn’t look like I was bolting for the door but fast enough that I could close the baby gate behind me so she wouldn’t escape.

She screamed “Mommy! Swuggle! Mommy! Swuggle!” at the gate. Hubby came in from outside and reaffirmed that “tonight is the night! She has to learn and we have to be tough!” and said he would take a shift. He laid on her bed and attempted to read her a book as she screamed hysterically to the point she was almost hyperventilating. I tried to intervene but Hubby insisted to let him take a turn. Fine

I peeked in on Mr. C who was now sleeping soundly in spite of the chaos across the hall and then went downstairs to anxiously pace around the living room listening to my daughter scream for me as my husband tried to console her. It was heartbreaking. Hubby told her that he was here with her and that “Mommy was busy” and that “Mommy wasn’t available right now” which broke my heart even more and I made a mental note to tell him not to say that. I am ALWAYS here. I only leave to go to work. It’s unfair to say that because I am ALWAYS here and if I’m going to basically be under house arrest, my kiddo needs to know that I am here for her. I will always be here for her when she needs me. We need to work on our bedtime “please sleep in your own bed!” script.

I went upstairs and peeked in her room. Hubby was calm, singing “Paddy Cake” to her and Miss M was a hot mess, standing over him screaming “Mommmmmmy! Swuggle!” at the top of her lungs. Hubby gave me the look and the hand gesture to “Get Out!” so I did.

bedtime protest

I poured myself a glass of wine and went upstairs and sat on our bed resisting the urge to intervene. After a solid 20 minutes of her frantic crying only escalating, she screamed out “Mommy! SWUGGLE!” Hubby told her that “Mommy wasn’t available to swuggle her right now. (Swuggle is now a real word in our household.). I couldn’t take it anymore and told Hubby that I wasn’t going to let her carry on any longer and to please let her come and swuggle with me. “She will never learn if we give in!” yeah, well… I can’t bear to listen to her despair any longer so please just let her come and cuddle with me. Thank you for trying.. Hubby uttered no words but obviously agreed/had no fight left in him because the baby gate opened and I heard the thud! thud! thud! of my 2 year old’s feet racing across the hall to see me. She cuddled up on the bed, put her thumb in her mouth and was instantly relaxed. She pointed to our television and said “Spickey Mouse!” No Honey, No TV shows. It’s bedtime! “Dora? Diego? Bonnie Bear? Guppies? Elmo? Spickey Mouse?” Seriously kiddo… I wasn’t looking for other options. You have pretty impressive negotiation skills….and for the record, it’s MICKEY Mouse!

She laid down quietly resting her head on my chest. Hubby came upstairs looking flustered from the failed bedtime attempt and said he was going to go out for a beer if that was okay. Sure! I haven’t left the house since 2012 except for weddings and funerals but yes, you go right ahead for the third time this week. I’m sure you need it more than I do!. I honestly don’t mean to be so dramatic and awful and usually regret the words I’m saying as they sputter out of my mouth but the stress and the tension and the sleep deprivation all manifest itself in CRAZY ways. Hubby sees my “crazy” and ups it to a new level. He says that I can go out too and he will just call a babysitter. I see he is bluffing because we don’t even have a babysitter to call so I agree. He says “Fine” and then proceeds to pace around our bedroom making phone calls that may or may not be pretend. I can’t say for sure. The stress, the lack of adult time and the sleep deprivation are getting to us. We don’t have a solution to this issue just yet but I really hope to laugh about it someday.

Hubby leaves to go out for his beer. I momentarily think about locking him out of the house but then realize that I am just tired, delirious, stressed and Jealous (with a capital J) so I take a deep breath and cuddle up with my beautiful little girl, reminding myself that one day I am going to be begging her to swuggle me. Someday I will sleep. Until then, I will survive, savour these sweet moments and enjoy the endless swuggles

Moments later, Miss M is perfectly content, tucked into our bed. I sneak away to put a load of laundry in the dryer and then sit on the couch for a moment to regroup and enjoy the solitude of being alone in a silent room. My mind drifts off and then I realize that Miss M hasn’t called for me. Interesting. Apparently she doesn’t really care if Hubby and I are in bed with her or not. She just wants our room and our bed. It looks like a tradesies might be in order. I tiptoed upstairs to peek in at her. She is sound asleep like a little angel. It looks like Hubby and my room is about to get a whole lot pinker.

Goodnight!

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andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on Facebook. Thanks for reading! Xo

 

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