Bedtime Battles

Is this an image you only see in your house after hours of crying, stalling and bedtime battles? Unfortunately, that was the case with our 6-year-old (who now simply keeps asking if he can sleep in our room and begs us to sleep in his room when we say no), and it looks like we may be faced with the same dilemma with Kyle.

Kyle just turned 1, and I just realized that we’ve been rocking him completely to sleep before putting him to bed. If we continue with that routine, we’ll be setting a HUGE trap for ourselves.

After my mother suggested the 3 B’s recommended by America’s Supernanny, I think we’re going to give it a shot.

The 3 B’s are Bath, Brush, Book, and Sweet Dreams. I’m not entirely sure where the “S” is for sweet dreams (maybe the ‘s?), but whatever. If a trained nanny says it will work, its worth a shot.

Here’s how bedtime went with Connor…

  • 18 mos old – He figured out how to climb out of the crib in around 2 seconds, so we bought him a toddler bed.
  • 18 mos – 2 1/2 years old – Connor had severe bouts of bronchiolitis, which led to me sleeping on the floor with him either in his room or the den. (He needed nebulizer treatments every 4 hours.)
  • 2 1/2 years – 4 years old – Quit my job, removal from daycare has eliminated Connor’s health problems. Connor falls asleep in our room and either is moved to his own bed or sleeps with us all night.
  • 4 years old – Current – Connor will go to sleep in his own room, but not without begging us to sleep in our room, or for us to sleep in his. We’re gradually getting him to understand that kids sleep in their own rooms by themselves.

Here’s how bedtime has gone with Kyle in the past year…

  • Birth – 6 mos – Brought Kyle upstairs with me, fed him, changed his diaper and pajamas, and he’d go to sleep very easily after being placed in a cradle next to our bed.
  • 6 mos – present – Bring Kyle upstairs to his room, sit and rock with him until he is asleep, then try to put him in his crib without waking him.

I’m sure you can see that we’re in for major trouble if we keep rocking him until he’s completely asleep…he’ll never learn to just roll over and go to sleep on his own! In thinking about our past bedtime issues today, it occurred to me that parents everywhere set themselves up for years of bedtime battles because (c’mon, admit it…who doesn’t love rocking their baby to sleep?) we get into a routine, stick with it, and the next thing we know, we’ve got a preschooler who can’t go to sleep without hours of rocking.

So, I’ve decided to nip it in the bud while I still can, and get him to the point where he doesn’t mind going to bed without a ton of interaction from either of us. Kyle can’t climb out of his crib yet, so we’re taking on the 3 B’s method. So far, he cries for a while because he’s pissed that its bedtime, then stops and listens, then rolls over and goes to sleep. Hopefully, it improves over time. I’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

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What in the holy hell was I thinking?!

For 5 1/2 years, I’ve been mom to Connor. We had a rough start, with day-care, me working, and an on-and-off illness, but we’ve settled into a fairly nice routine. We’re still having some issues with listening, and following directions at school, but for the most part, Connor is a really good kid. He’s outgoing, confident, a genuinely sweet soul, and very opinionated. I have yet to meet an adult who doesn’t adore him within minutes. Not that any of that has anything whatsoever to do with me, it’s just who he is.

In June of last year, I found out I was pregnant. The timing wasn’t exactly great, but our little family was looking forward to having a little one running around again. Especially Connor – he made it well known that he would adore having a little sister. I figured having another baby wouldn’t be too difficult, as Connor loves to be helpful, and hubby is usually home nights and weekends.

Much to Connor’s disappointment, there would be no sister for him. I had Kyle in February of this year, and although he isn’t the sister Connor was hoping for, it’s very obvious that he loves his new brother. (Yes, that is our den, and yes, it’s very crowded with kid toys and furniture. Don’t judge – it’s gated off and child-proofed, so it’s basically a huge playpen!)

Kyle is now nearly 8-months-old, and Connor is going to be 6 in January. Now, I’ve never been one of those “Oh-My-God-We-Have-To-Be-Involved-With-Everything!” moms. I’ve always been a more laid back, roll-with-the-punches and do what activities Connor is interested in kind of moms.

I enrolled in an online university program in June. It’s an accelerated program, so although there is only 1 class at a time, I’ll still earn my bachelor’s degree in 4 years. I am considered a full-time student.

So, let’s do the math, shall we? 1 Kindergartner (half-days, which is really only long enough for me to blink) + 1 8mo boy + college course work + housework, cooking, blogging, etc. = 1 Very Busy Mamma

Fast-forward to 2 weeks ago, and for some friggin’ reason, I thought it would be a great idea to volunteer for Connor’s school and join the PTA. These all started at the same time. Anyone here think someone slipped me a pill that makes me the equivalent of insane? Yep, I thought so.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, and suddenly hubby’s boss has decided to grace him with more overtime than he can handle (he’s got a physical job, so overtime is great, but it leaves him totally wiped and pretty much as useful as a dirty diaper). Add to that the fact that he’s also got probably 3 or 4 weekends worth of side jobs going on, and I may as well be a single mother with a room-mate who is as helpful as Homer Simpson. Don’t get me wrong, I love hubby to pieces, and he does help out with the trash, dishes, etc.; but make him tired, achy and super-busy, and he basically turns into a snarky version of Garfield the cat on crack. Not a super-fun situation, to say the least.

Here’s what my day looked like yesterday…

  • Get up, get the boys up, fix Connor breakfast, and feed Kyle
  • Give Connor a bath (we usually do this at night, so today is an exception)
  • Try to get Connor dressed in less than 30 minutes
  • Change Kyle’s diaper and clothes
  • Bring Connor to Kindergarten (this recently included a public meltdown, but we’re finally not having those anymore!)
  • Try to get Kyle down for his nap
  • Read the rest of the required chapter for course work
  • Wake up Kyle and get him ready to go
  • Pick up Connor at school
  • Get the mail
  • Get Connor to put his school stuff and shoes away
  • Make lunch, feed Kyle
  • Eat
  • Clean up destroyed den (by now it’s around 1:30, and I’ve been up since 6:30)
  • Get Connor to clean up his dishes from lunch
  • Go through Connor’s JobChart with him, and discuss problem areas
  • Write outline for a paper due at midnight, experiencing something like 30 interruptions
  • Try to talk to hubby (his phone consistently hangs up on people, and our home phones all need new batteries, so it’s quite and adventure)
  • Put in a load of laundry that I now have to re-wash because I forgot about it
  • Start cutting out paper bones for Connor’s teacher (my homework, :-) )
  • Get Connor and Kyle snacks
  • Try to work on my paper, fail miserably
  • Help Connor with his homework (more like guiding – he pretty much gets it)
  • Finish cutting out paper bones
  • Vacuum den
  • Take a shower
  • Eat dinner, feed Kyle
  • Get the boys changed and in bed (it’s 8:30 at this point – how in the hell it got so late, I have no idea!)
  • Finally start working on my paper – couldn’t find any credible sources to use, but thankfully, it’s just a draft
  • Submit paper with 6 minutes to spare
  • Drag my ass to bed at midnight

The above list not only doesn’t include all the bottles and diaper changing, it is exactly why when hubby comes home and says “do you think you can put the laundry away this week?” I want to rip his face off. As you can see, I’m so busy I barely have time to try to complete a thought, let alone dedicate time to the friggin’ PTA! Yes, it was stressful, but I kind of enjoyed having so much to do as it made me feel highly productive – almost like a real outside-the-home job would. Still, at the end of it all, as I lie in bed trying to get my stupid, multi-tasking brain to stop telling me all the shit I would have to do today, I wonder what in the hell I was thinking – and I laugh.

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