We’ve been fighting the good (ack!) fight: a mobile toddler in a real bed, who would rather do anything but go to sleep at night. We’ve tried being really stern, tried closing the door, opening the door, offering bribes, giving him an owl light he gets to keep if he stays in his room (he now brings it out, turns it off, and puts it away…), snuggling, not snuggling, letting him cry, ignoring him, the Super Nanny method (maybe I don’t have the patience for that one yet, the stubborn bugger), but it continues to be a fight weeks after we started. He’s a very active 33-month-old who would love to stay up late and sleep in (maybe, or get up at 5:45 because “It’s a little morning outside!”), just like his daddy.
One night purely by chance I put him in bed, turned my back on him and stood there, and he was silent. No complaints, no whining, no getting out of bed. Success! But part of me was sooooo not interested in waiting with him until he falls asleep because people! I have things to do after he goes to bed! Back to the above list of Stuff That Isn’t Working until I gave in and sat with him one evening last week, when it only took an HOUR for him to fall asleep. Maybe less, but that’s what it felt like. Fast forward to two nights ago when I decided Okay, I’m tired of the fight – the anger the tears the tantrums (often mine) – I’m going to embrace his desire to have me sitting there in the room with him AND do something for myself, so I grabbed a sketch pad and some pens and started doodling the letter A, inspired by this, and my need to do something creative (please Universe, now that I have a studio but I’m again too tired after above said trials to enjoy…!).
Well, it worked. After a few inquiries (“What you doing, momma?”), and having to put the owl light by me so he would stop playing, he went peacefully to sleep. Worked again last night, too. He still wakes up in middle of the night and comes upstairs to find me, but one battle at a time, please. Considering I could barely see owl light, the light of day revealed some fun letter forms develop more fully – yay!! Tonight I’ll play with C’s (must remember to skip a page if I use Sharpie again).
Eventually I’ll have an Abecedary under my belt. Hooray for multi-tasking!
If you have any toddler-to-bed tips, or lettering tips, please pass them on. = )