Get back in your bed, child! • The bedtime struggle with a toddler •
If you're a parent of tiny people, listen up. I feel your pain. I know your every struggle. At the end of the day (literally because we have had a long day) we just want them to eat, let us rinse the shampoo out of their hair (without acting like we are killing them), and SLEEP IN THEIR BED!
The bedtime struggle goes like this :
The bedtime struggle goes like this :
1. Goodnight Sweetheart
When bedtime begins there are books being read, prayers being prayed, a recap of our day and gentle snuggles with silly voices. But we all know this is only phase one.
2. Mama loves you, but get back in your bed
Phase two is still sweet, but a little more firm. So they know we are serious. Along these lines..Mama loves you, but you better get back in your bed! Please don't get up again. It's time to sleep. And no you can't have anything to drink. And no you can't help me do the laundry. And no that's not Oreos under the blanket. I would never eat those without you. *walks dear child back to room, tucks said child in for the 2nd time*
3. I CAN SEE YOU HIDING. GET. BACK. TO. BED.
At this point your are done counting phases..you are done with hiding your big people snacks and almost being caught eating them...and you're just done. For us, at this point, children usually start to lose their mind..and we do too. There's pleading and begging and pleading and more begging...and that's from me just desperately asking these tyrant toddlers to STAY IN THEIR BED. Then the negotiations start. My kids should work for the FBI and negotiate with criminals. We would win everytime. We typically come to some sort of conclusion along the lines of I'll make whatever you want for breakfast, yes we just MIGHT fingerpaint tomorrow (knowing good and well it aint happening) and yeah we may even have popsicles for breakfast if you GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW. *tuck child in with a smile, but so over this* GOODNIGHT CHILD DO NOT GET UP AGAIN. One more round of prayers and the prayers begin to have a DEAR LORD PLEASE GIVE THIS CHILD SOME PEACE IN THEIR SPIRIT AND MINE TOO CAUSE WE BOUT TO FIGHT. AMEN. kind of feel.
4. FINAL DESTINATION
Phase four is all we have. We are out of phases. We've gotten up too many times. We. Are. Tired. We no longer care to finish our parent shows. We no longer care to fold the late night laundry. We don't even have another bedtime story or prayer to pray. In our house this is time for you find a satisfactory spot to sleep that is NOT MY BED and you park your tail there. This is your final destination for the night. I better not hear you breathing, rolling around or humming a tune. You may sleep on the couch, you may sleep in the chair you may sleep on the floor JUST STAY OUT OF MY HAIR!!! After so many Dr Suess stories I feel like I was him in a past life.
We all finally drift off to dream land and what do you know...
It's late. Late late. Well actually super early. And I hear someone breathing. It's not an intruder. It's the SNEAKER. Do yall have a 3 a.m. sneaker? This is a child who decides every morning at approx. 3 a.m. to find their way to your room and to your spot. Because really... the spot you sleep in is theirs. And the middle is theirs. And the blanket is theirs. And your face is to warm their feet. And before you know it you are barely hanging on the edge of the bed. And before you know it you look like you're trying to spell your ABC'S with your body. Waking up the next morning you feel like you fought off a mama kangaroo from stealing your babies in a nightmare that wouldn't end..waking up the next morning you need all the coffee and a few ibuprofen. Waking up the next morning you say NOT TONIGHT. NOT AGAIN.
Waking up the next morning it looks like a Toys R Us frat party in the living room.
But you know what...we slept. We all slept.
I've edited to add every night is a different story. For example, tonight we are all having a slumber party on the living room floor watching Disney Movies and eating popsicles at 10:30 cause they'll only be this little once. Last night I slept on the floor beside my little girl who was battling a stomach bug all evening because that's what mamas do. The night before that both kids slept in our bed cause we all just needed a little more love than we were able to give during the day. Every night isn't a bedtime disaster, but when it is you just want to sleep!
Love those babies and know however you do bedtime and however it works for you is your business! Do you!