Bedtime with my toddler lately feels a lot like World War III. In fact it’s safe to say, I downright loathe bedtime. Delay tactic, upon delay tactic, upon delay tactic, usually ending with me leaving the room to a shrieking toddler. Tonight I was sure the police were going to end up on my doorstep. Her shrieks were that loud.
All of those nice little thoughts of reading a book, saying prayers, followed by a kiss & hug and an “I love you”… HA… visions of fairy tales. If only that were the way it happened with a stubborn toddler. In fact, as I type this right now, my toddler is banging her bunny clock (the one that shows a bunny sleeping when she should be sleeping and shows a bunny awake when it’s time to wake up), probably to the point of breaking it. Again. Yup, she did it last night. She didn’t break it per say. But she did manage to pull the cord out of the back of it, resulting in me having to reset the time and the alarms that wake the bunny up at the right time of day.
So parents of older children, WHEN DOES IT END? If I’m not dealing with a screeching toddler at bedtime, then my infant is sucking me dry as he falls to sleep! (Truthfully, I’d much rather put him to bed lately than my daughter.)
I feel like there was one point in my daughter’s life that bedtime wasn’t so dreadful. Or is that just revisionist history? Was it always so down right torturous? (Now, friends, she has managed to take the face plate off of the bunny clock. Good grief. I’m watching her on the video monitor for those who are wondering how I know this. I really hope she fixes this on her own because if she pulls the cord out again and I have to set the time on that darn thing again… Oh Lord, Oh Lord, send me patience!) I swear there was a point in time where we used to nicely read stories, say our prayers, give a kiss good night and she’d say, “I love you too, mommy” when I left the room. Gosh darn it! It happened! I just know it did.
So then, what changed? I still follow the same routine – potty, teeth, book, & prayers. But maybe I gave in one too many times (an extra book here, another prayer there). Well, mean mommy will now prevail. No more extra stories. No more extra hugs (Now she’s holding the bunny clock over her head, inspecting it. Oh dear… the cord is going to come out, I just know it!). No more extra prayers. It pains me because, really, no extra stories, hugs, and prayers?! What?! Those aren’t bad requests!
But I must stick to my guns (And now the clock just hit the floor. There was a bang too, but no cries for help from mommy just yet.) because if I do, then bedtime is bound to get better. I think…
I’m happy to report that as I finish up this piece, she has settled nicely into her bed. She is now lying down, with her blankets over her as she strokes the ribbon on her teddy bear. Despite the beating the poor bunny clock took, dare I say, she’s finally going to go to sleep. Ahhh. Mommy heaven commence! Oh wait, my five-month-old just started to cry. Here we go again!