Friday, January 8, 2010

Dare I Say it... Success??!!

At the risk of condemning myself to another vicious cycle of terrible bedtimes, I'm going to go ahead and say it: Houston, we have a sleeper.

Last night was no miracle. I think Noah finally drifted off to sleep at around 10:30pm.

But he didn't crash the gate.

He didn't rip his backwards pajamas off.
He didn't bounce himself off his bed or ricochet off the corner of any piece of furniture.

He didn't bleed, pee, vomit, or cry on anything.

Of course, he tried the usual tactics:
"I want anudder story!"
"I want a bath!"'

And our usual (arguably cruel response) of "And I want a unicorn!" was met with a rebuttal of "ACK! Ack! ACK! No UNICORN!" but he quickly realized his Napoleonic demands would go unheeded.  

It was actually NOAH that called out "Close your eyes, no noise. Good Night!" to us instead of the other way around.


So my hubby and I headed to bed while he was still chirping to himself at 10:15. We left both the doors wide open in case he executed an escape plan.

Instead, he sang himself to sleep:

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear POTATO, Happy birthday to you!" Whatever makes you happy, my son. And whatever gets you to sleep. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Conquering Bedtime, One T.I. at a Time

We're doing it, folks. We're conquering bedtime.

The 7am drag-Noah-out-of-bed by his footed jammies technique is successful!!!

Of course, I'm not going to lie and say he's going down without a fight. But he IS (for the most part) remaining in his bed while tossing out verbal commands/complaints at his parents in the other room. We're responding only to those that require immediate attention. Such as a T.I. And we had a doozy of a T.I. last night.

"T.I.?" you ask. "What's T.I.?"

T.I., my dear reader, stands for "terrifying incident".

Anything that involves uncontained bodily functions, projectiles of any sort, damage to furniture, or threats to life or limb can be defined as a T.I.

Last night my husband stayed out to watch the Junior's gold medal hockey game. I took our son home between the third period and overtime as he was getting dangerously cranky and overtired. Besides, it was almost 9pm, his new bedtime!

We did milk, brushed teeth and had story time. Noah went down without too much of a fight.

I thought maybe, just maybe, he'd go to sleep without a fight. Until I saw his diaper flying out of his door and heard it land with a thud on the hardwood. I knew then that I was in trouble. The scary part was, Noah didn't make a sound.

I went into his room and found him sitting in his bed, on top of the new quilt his grandmother had bought for his second birthday, pretending it was a commode. He just looked at me, smiled, and said "I pee da bed, momma."

Thankfully, it was ONLY number one, which is everyone's first choice when you think of the cleaning up the alternative. I know my son is barely two, and there's a possibility he didn't do it on purpose, but I really do think he planned his assault that evening. I suspect my darling angel had the foresight to plot this particular T.I. 

Realizing I would never know if he had really done it on purpose, (but if he HAD, a major reaction would only reinforce the behaviour,) I worked in silence. And I must admit it took everything in my power NOT to react expressively to his display of suspected defiance.

In about 2 minutes, I:

~Stripped off his top.
~Rediapered him.
~Stripped off his sheets.

~Folded the offended quilt into said sheets.
~Disinfected the plastic-covered crib mattress.
~Replaced sheets with Noah's second favourite set (For future reference, Noah, that's what happens when you pee on your car sheets!)

And then came the challenge. How to keep the diaper on my naughty Noah in the first place? 

I never had to answer, because my husband walked in the door. He saw Noah standing in only a diaper, a pile of bedding sitting on the hardwood next to a half-torn used diaper, and me with the weariest of looks on my face holding a set of pajamas up while wondering if they can be donned backwards.

"Hi honey," Kevin tiptoed in the door. "Need a hand?"

Why yes, I did. I needed two. I handed my husband the sleepers, and climbed out the baby gate and into the hall. "Our son needs to get dressed. Backwards. Have fun."

And, being the amazing hubby that he is, it was the last peep I heard out of my little monkey until I saw him bright-eyed (and backwards-sleepered) this morning, bright and early at 7am. I got a giant toddler hug and a big slobbery kiss. "Good morning Mommy!" he grinned.

I smiled, and kissed my little monkey on both cheeks and hugged him back with all my might.

"Good morning, Noah! Did you have a good sleep?"
"Um... yes!" Noah replied. 

Well, good. One T.I. down, one well-rested little boy. Come on, 9pm bedtime. We're ready for you. Bring it on, Noah. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Putting Your Toddler to Bed: Pure Unadulterated Evil.

I could blame our parenting style, our lack of early holiday bedtimes, or I could blame my son for his refusal to sleep.

Instead, I am going to blame Monday. It seems like an easy target, and a guilty one at that.

This Monday began in its usual evil way: I had a caffeine headache, and was not thrilled to hear the alarm go off at 6:15am. I dragged my carcass out of bed, and with one eye open proceeded to drag myself (arms extended like an authentic zombie) towards the coffee machine. 

I managed a few sips before my hubby reminded me that Noah needed awakening. Hmm. "The same Noah that was up giggling in his bedroom until midnight, a mere six hours ago?" I asked, feigning confusion.

"Yup, that one." Kevin winked as he left me to the task.

It's not that I don't love seeing my frizzy-haired little munchkin first thing in the morning. I love his his hair is squall of chaos at the back of his head. I love how his chubby little baby cheeks smell when I smother him with good morning kisses.

What I DON'T love is dealing with a two year old teenager who won't be awakened. I like it only slightly less than getting him to sleep at night. 

Last night was a prime example:

9:00pm ~ warm soy milk, story, brush teeth, tuck in. BAM. He should have sunk like a rock into dream land when his head hit the pillow at 9:15
9:30pm ~ Not a chance.
9:45pm ~ Really, not a hope in heck.
10:00pm ~ he  stripped his pajamas bottoms off, threw his diaper across the baby gate and into the darkened hallway. For good measure, he announced "I poooooooooooed! Daddy, I poooooooooed!"  

Thank God he was lying. But he struck fear in our hearts for those few seconds after we spotted the discarded diaper but before we gathered the courage to switch on the light.

10:30 ~ "I want water! I so dirsty!"

10:45 ~ I all wet! (Intentionally dribbled his entire sippy cup all over himself)
10:46 ~ Momma says "Too bad! Noah gets to sleep like Nemo tonight!"
10:49 ~ Momma feels guilty and changes him into fresh pajamas
11:00 ~ a little voice cries out "Good night Momma! Good night daddy!"
11:13 ~ a little voice cries. And cries.
11:14 ~ Momma says "What is it, honey?"
           "Momma no watch scary movie. I cry and cry."

Well, we were watching a movie... but nothing with a hail of bullets or a string of expletives. There were less sirens than he hears in real life on our busy street.

We switched the captions on, the sound off, and watched while holding our breaths in case our existence in the nearby room bothered him.

11:17pm ~ Daddy? Momma? You dere? You watching Nemo?"
Oh for the love of clownfish. 

12:01am (on Monday MORNING) ~ he finally sleeps.
So you can see, Monday mornings are not my favourite day of the week. I'm currently reading "The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" and am finding we've tried (and failed miserably) at most of the solutions offered.

Our tactic is to get his booty out of bed before 7am, so that he has a good nap at daycare, and is tired enough to sleep at a half decent hour (say, before 10pm).

That might work for us tonight- except that this morning Noah fell asleep drinking his milk, and passed out again in the car on the way to Grandma's. I don't even think he was fully awake when I eased his shoes off of him at 8:45am.

Oh well, we tried. And if he's a monkey again tonight, at least I can blame it on the Monday.