I know I’ve complained about bedtime woes before and I hate to be redundant but dude, bedtime is killing me.
Last Thursday night, the Bean figured out how to not only climb out of her crib, but also how to manipulate the baby proof door knob covers. That was really annoying, but she went to bed and stayed there after about 20 minutes so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Then we shipped the kids to my parents Friday and Saturday night where Beaner was a perfect angel and slept in her crib there all night without an issue. After I picked the kids up yesterday, we talked in the car on the way home about the sticker chart I made her and how she has to stay in bed to show us she’s ready for a Big Girl Bed. Beaner happily agreed with me on all points so I went into last night with relatively high expectations.
I am clearly an idiot.
It took 57 minutes, countless returns to her bed, some yelling (both of us), lots of tears (both of us), some hitting (all done by her to me), and two time outs (one for both of us) before she finally, finally went to bed. When it was all over, Scorch was still wide awake so he came over to me, gave me a hug and said “Wow- she was really rotten, wasn’t she?”
Tonight I had a new battle plan. First, I started bed time an hour earlier. The Bean is getting up at 6:15 now (vs 7:30 before she learned how to climb out of bed), so she’s exhausted which is making things a lot worse for everyone. Secondly, I gave her clear cut rules- she was allowed 2 trips to the potty and one time to say goodnight to Scorch and that was that. Third, I talked up the sticker chart to high heaven and we looked at Big Girl Beds on the computer so she could see what could be hers if she went to bed properly. I knew this was going to work- I mean, it couldn’t be as bad as last night, right?
Again, I’m an idiot.
53 minutes tonight. I stopped counting how many times I put her back to bed after 12. I did, however, adopt Nanny Jo’s (from Supernanny) philosophy of silent returns- meaning, I didn’t talk to her, I just put her back to bed and that did help a lot. The Bean didn’t get out of bed any less often, but I refused to engage her so that did seem to cut down on some of the tension at least on my end.
Needless to say, my frustration level was sky high tonight. When I finally lost my cool and raised my voice to the Bean, I felt badly about it and told Scorch as much as he was brushing his teeth. I told him that yelling at them makes me feel like a jerk and that I really don’t like doing it. So then Scorch asked me why I didn’t just shut the Bean’s door to make her stay put? I told him it didn’t matter if I did or not, she can just open the door up so the only way to keep her in her room was if I locked her in. About 5 minutes later, Scorch was on the phone with the Hubs (who had to work tonight and missed all this fun) and I hear him say: “Mommy says the Bean is a jerk and she’s going to lock her in her room tonight.”
At least one of my kids is keeping me amused!
Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better evening. In the meantime, I’m all ears for tips on keeping your kids in bed.
Eeeks. You are having a tough time! One of the reasons I am kind of motivated to start Brighton now is that she can’t open the door yet. Also, (contradictory to popular approach) she hasn’t yet climbed out of her crib – though she is physically able – so I am hoping to catch her before she thinks of bed as something to escape from. My brother and his wife waited til my nephew was almost 3.5, because he hadn’t climbed out yet either, but they are having as rough a time as you are.
I’d love to know what you wish you’d done differently in starting the whole process, as you mentioned mistakes in your comment on my blog…
Honestly, I don’t know what we could have done differently. The Bean is just a force to be reckoned with. Any earlier and she wouldn’t have understood what stay in bed means (not that she listens now). I think we should have talked it up for a long long time leading up to it- that may have helped some. Perhaps also having a big girl bed to put her in would have helped too- the novelty of it may have been more overpowering then her desire to roam. Either that or lots and lots of Benadryl before bed.*
*I kid. Sorta. 😉