Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mean Feets

Tonight I put e. to bed by myself. Someone nearly passed out in anger or distress. We are lucky that the p-man employ is pretty routine (not easy to come by in lawyer-land) so I can count on him to be home for bedtimes. At least, ever since I got smart and told him that his evenings are no longer for Da Band, or racquet sport du jour, etc, etc! What did that take me like 6 mos. of parenthood to figure out or something?

Butidigress, sort of....

So, anyway, he was away tonight and yet I did do it myself. This is no mean feat for the following reasons:
1. My mean feet. Yep, in week 36 of the pregnancy I turned my ankle and I am not entirely up to the strength requirements of toddler wrastling.
2. I am now 37 weeks + and nearly useless at many things like, general baby hauling, extended periods of patience, uhm, sustained persuasive rationalization of any kind -- of either the internal or external kind. SHIT!
3. With only one month to sibling arrivalry we decided to take the world's best sleeper and shake it up with a new bed complete with newish papa-man routine. (Insert something worse that SHIT here please.)


While we have shaved the negotiation on sleep expectations by at least 45 minutes in the last week or so... and are now coming in at the more ideal 8:15/8:30 knockout I am not happy. The very intrusion of negotiation into what used to be non-negotiable is really pissing me off.

Also, I ask you to consider this; the disdain and disobedience of the child went as follows:
When trying to lay her in bed... Child response, 'No pushing' -- well you can't really argue with that can you?
When saying, nigh-night Mama will be outside, you go to bed... Child response. 'No. No please. Please do not go out there. Close the door please.' Be sure to roll this one in multicoloured sprinkles and sanding sugar in you mind to replicate the tone of this plea.
When asking for a hug and kiss bye-bye.. Child response.. all manner of renewed energy coming out of left field.


Intersperse all the sucking up with a few huge crying jags well seasoned with 'Leave me alone' and baby Garbo is too much for me? Well, maybe not. I don't know. We have spent sometime in the kinder gentler sleep training mode, or at least p-man has. That system involves laying on the floor and setting a good sleep example. Has its attractions for sure. But I don't entirely buy into this sort of 'system' too high maintenance for me. A month ago you put e. in her bed said bye-bye, night-night, see you in the morning light and left. That is my goal. I really can't buy in that the girl who could do that is as washed up as Jenilee Harrison!

Tonight I tried it a bit different and am a bit more comfortable. But I am still trolling for information/ideas people. Really, the first week was great but something went of the rails. Help! Help! What I tried tonight was to keep focussed on this being bedtime. After bath, zippo toys kiddo! Uno story thanks. Diaper and pajamas in the lovely friendly bed. Child, physically relaxed, might stay in bed? Well, no way. After about 5 minutes she is out. I put her back. She's out. Angry, going to lie on the floor. I put her back. Getting angrier and angrier. Going for the books to get me where it hurts. I put her back maybe a half dozen times. She is flipping out. We step out of the bedroom and do a relaxing circuit of good night to the cats, chairs, rooms, etc. She leads back to her room... near but not in the bed. Looks promising but noooooo, you are hooped motherwoman! A couple more distractions and bed putting exericises. Really only 15 minutes have elapsed.. so I don't think it will be too freaky if I play my trump card. Bye-bye. I step out.

This is what we used to do. We used to leave. For the first week the door might open on us 1 or 2 or 3 or maybe 5 times but whatever. This is what I want to get back to, right? The hard crying subsided pretty quick and within 5 minutes she was calmish. The door opened. I asked, 'May I come in?'. 'Yes' she says nicely and then she does agree with me it is time for bed. I escort her bedside but don't put her in. She flops her head and shoulders on her bed and looks sleepy. I briefly rub her back and wish her a good night. Then I retreat to the door. I am trying to depart. But relent. I lurk near the door, tell myself 10 minutes should do it. She is inching up into her bed one inch per minute it seems. In the ten she is up in bed, obviously comfortable and mostly in the seven mile stare.

My massive 37/4 preggo frame is bearing down on my crappy foot. It more than stings. I am dying to get out of there. I shift my weight. She shoots me a look. I smile and nod. I ain't afraid of you baby girl, I tell myself. I am a selfish mother! I step toward the door bang on minute 10. Another look. I step out. She sleeps still.

Yay! ...... I think???

What do you think people? How long might it take doing this before we can just walk out again? I am still havin' her be the boss a'me with this sort of plan? Any tricks, tips? Should I put her in her bed or it better for her to get in herself?

I'll share one tip myself. If you are going to take your kids crib away for another kid do it well outside of the last four weeks of your pregnancy. Better for everyone, of this I am sure. -- It probably isn't even the bed is it?



Blogger Granny said...

You asked, I answer. Feel free to disregard. The girls had a 7:30 bedtime until the last couple of years when we moved it up to 9:00 (shooting for 9:30), at least during the school year. I'm much more flexible in the hot summer weather.

It seemed to help when I gave them a warning about 15 minutes ahead of time (even when they were much younger). Like finish that chapter or that drawing and then it will be bedtime.

At least it got them into the bed. Sleep was another thing. The excuses they can come up with never cease to amaze me.

I think they're on number 743 and counting.

6:07 a.m.  
Blogger Crunchy Carpets said...

Oooooh...sorry about ankle and sorry you are dealing with this.

We switched Adam to the new bed around Christmas, and made a big deal out of it and so on, and that gave us about 6 months of easing him into things.

We got a regular twin bed with a baby rail. The rail seemed to stop the urge to get up all the time..but the yelling would be loud some night. We also did the bad, letting him fall asleep with us in the big bed and carrying him to his own bed.

Then we switched to laying in bed with him.

By 3ish we kept and still do to going to his own bed and getting one story.

We did find that the earlier bedtime start the better...we started the routine right after dinner angling towards an 8 pm night night.

It MOSTLY works. At four he has rebelled and we hear breathing at the top of the stairs a lot...or he just goes right to the screaming about trolls in the room and needing mamma.

I have gotten a thick skin about this....when you are fried and need some 'me' time.....nothing cracks my steely exterior.

Be really rigid about sticking to a set routine. Do the night night and walk away. Don't come back in unless things are really bad. If she comes out...walk her back....again and again.

I know you are totally shattered by now so hopefully P-man can step up a bit more..

Because once No. 2 is here it worked best for us to have Pat spend more time with Adam so I could rest and deal with baby stuff.

Hang in there.

8:52 a.m.  
Blogger stefanierj said...

I'm just going to go ahead and say "Whatever Mary P. says" because she is my first line of defense with toddler sleeping.

I've heard of getting a baby gate for the door and insisting they stay in their rooms (with a blanket and pillow by the door in case they fall asleep there), but I think mostly, it's probably just a test of 'how much can I get away with?' Maybe she senses changes are afoot and wants to see what this might mean for her?

Of course, I did the heartless CIO at 14 mos because I was a zombie, and that has worked well 98% of the time for us. We do the extended remixed routine, put him in bed even if he's not sleeping, and leave. He cries, but often not for long.

So as I said before, "Whatever Mary P. says." :)

Good luck! And I have money on the nuthatch coming on my birthday, which is the EDD, right? 7/8?

12:08 p.m.  
Blogger J's Mommy said...

I am dreading that moment. My daughter is still in a crib and she is 3. I haven't moved her into a big girl bed and she hasn't tried to hop out yet so I'm milking it for as long as possible. I know that when we do switch, it's going to be a nightmare. I wish I had some advice for you.

7:30 p.m.  
Blogger kittenpie said...

- as above, I have read the advice of babyproofing, installing a gate, and looking at their room as a sort of enlarged crib.

- have also heard of starting out sitting beside their bed as they fall asleep, but not interacting, then gradually, over a week or so, moving further towards the door, back to them, until you are right out the door.

-with my sis, we used to read her stories in bed and give her a backrub to get her nice and settled, then leave a cassette of stories or music on for her softly.

-I am putting this off for another year. I'm a wuss.

10:13 p.m.  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

After reading this I'm thinking of keeping Chicky Baby in her crib until she's 16.

(as a side note: I think you handled it as well as it could be handled while still holding on to a shred of your sanity.)

6:30 p.m.  

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