Bed time for Ellie has been relatively easy for awhile now. After her bath, we read her a few books, put her in her crib, give her a hug and kiss, and say goodnight. She’ll look up with a big smile and say “BYE!” while she waves. But somehow, somewhere, she started hating her crib and not wanting to fall asleep alone. So that meant me or Aya, or both of us, would end up on the floor with her. How did this happen?
The new bedtime routine includes her having a bath, then refusing to read any books and then lying on the floor. Then she demands her blanket, or as she calls it, her “book.” And then she twists and turns and whines for another blanket. Then she flops around some more. She’s like a dog circling around trying to find that perfect comfy spot. But not only does she want that comfy spot, she wants you to have one too. She’ll lie down on a pillow and look up at you with a cute smile and pat her hand on the pillow, saying, “Come on, come lie down, it’s cozy.” And if you don’t? She grabs your shirt and pulls you down. “I said come lay down next to me!”
So there you are, eye to eye, and all you want is for her to fall asleep so you can leave the room. But you can’t because you’re being held hostage by a night time bully. Don’t let her fool you, she can be a bully! She smiles and starts pointing at your nose, then your eyes, then your mouth and giggling. It’s really cute, by I know she’s stalling. So I threaten to put her in her crib. “Nooo!” she says and lies still. And after a little while, we repeat. And then she tries to stall again by saying “poop” while grabbing her crotch. But when you go to change her diaper, not only is there no poop, there’s no pee. She smiles slyly and giggles. I know better now. If I don’t smell poop, there’s no poop.
After a lot of back and forth with her manipulative stalling tactics, it always ends with us asleep on the floor. When I fall asleep putting Ellie to bed, I’ll wake up after five or ten minutes, put her in the crib and head out. But when Aya falls asleep in there, she falls asleep. I’ll come in the room to check on them and there are two people passed out on the floor. Usually one of them snoring. I won’t say names but her first name begins with the letter “A.”
How did we get here? It happened so gradual it’s hard to pinpoint when things derailed. How could we go so quickly from her falling asleep alone in her crib to her demanding we sleep on the floor with her? We needed to break this cycle and get things back on track. And I thought since she was rejecting the crib, maybe it was time to convert her crib to a toddler bed.
After I made the switch she marched into her room super excited and proud. You could hear the Pomp and Circumstance March playing in the background when she walked in. She crawled in, jumped on the bed, even lie down on a pillow and put the blankets over her! Whoa! You graduated, you did it! This was gonna work! We thought…
It’s been just a few days but things aren’tgoing exactly as planned. After much struggle, we can get her to stay in her bed, she just won’t fall asleep. But at nap time the other day, things almost went perfect. She lay down on the pillow with the blanket and fell asleep as I read to her. No squirming, no whining and no stalling. It was just on the floor, not in her bed. That’s progress, right?
Well, she may have officially graduated to the new big kid bed, but I’m not throwing her a party just yet.