Tonight was a sum’bitch…
Sure it started all Leave It To Beaver-ish, but somewhere around 9PM it turned into the Twilight Zone.
As a bit of background the younger of our twins is as physical a toddler as we’ve ever seen. He’s an odd little man, so powerfully strong yet very sensitive and until recently sort of a pushover for his older brother. After the better part of a year being sort of afraid of the inappropriate displays of affection from his older brother (biting), he has recently discovered the power of the push. He sees his brother coming for him and proactivly pushes him away. Usually it’s a gentle shove, but on at least one occasion he has toppled his older brother backward.
This little man has for the last few weeks had very erratic night time bed times. He gets put to bed at the same time every night (8:30PM) but he rarely falls asleep before 9:30PM. On a couple occasions that stretched into a 10 or 11PM (with a stop downstairs). All of this is part of a power struggle, which we don’t intend to loose.
This evenings 10PM episode of crying (he had not been to sleep yet) the youngster received a visit from me and mom. There was story reading and such, but then there was the visual I had been dreading and my wife had been avoiding. Up went the foot over the top of the crib and next thing you know he’s half in/half out of the crib. I’ve seen this coming and said, “We need to get them in beds.” While acknowledging that we should start looking for beds, my wife I think secretly hoped they would stay in cribs until somewhere around their third birthday. Given their increasingly monkey like exploits I knew this was wishful thinking.
Now we have the youngster, who is relentless in solving a problem, mere minutes away from unlocking the great mystery of toddler-hood and we are totally unprepared from a furniture perspective. I blame myself; I knew that my wife was being overly optimistic and that putting them in beds was going to open a whole new can of worms. The problem is that can is now open…
Long story short, there is one child with a gate in front of his door (we discovered that the doorknob was no match for his determination), his crib mattress on the floor, and who was MIGHTY pissed about the situation. The bed thing wasn’t what upset him, it was the gate. He could not comprehend that he was not going to have full wandering privileges. The good news is that these little behavior training exercises only take a day or two of consistent implementation to have the desired effect.
My desired effect – Go to your room at bed time, stay in your room, and put yourself to bed. So far this evening we’ve got the stay in your room part working; everything else has been a challenge.
He’s sleeping on the floor next to the mattress, but that was his choice. Maybe tomorrow he’ll choose to sleep ON the mattress…