Friday, March 07, 2008

YES!

I have good news... it's better than good news actually :D OK, for John and I it is. NO I'M NOT KNOCKED UP, don't even think it!

Toi toi toi, evil eye, evil eye!

Yes I'm in a weird mood, and no, I have no idea what I just said. :P

Since birth, Emma has been stubborn, opinionated and rigid. She fits right in. ;) Not to be unkind, let me explain what I mean. Besides head butting me on a regular basis when she was crying or upset about something, she also liked to head butt me when she didn't have my full attention... as in me trying to type with one hand while trying to get her to sleep. Another interesting thing about Emma was the fact that even though she eventually got used to sleeping in her crib for naps, and even though it only took us about a week to get her to go down without us being in the room with only her Fisher Price birdies to lull her to sleep... she would absolutely have a meltdown and refuse to sleep in her crib at night, even though she went down for a nap in her crib several times a day without a problem. At night, she wanted to be in bed with mom or dad. We had to take our mattress off the frame and put it on the floor, and one of us has to lay with her until she went to sleep, then we would slip her into her crib, and she would wake up after a few hours and we would have to start all over again sometimes. We are talking 3-4 months here folks... Yes, she was THAT stubborn at that age.

Then at 11 months, she moved from her crib to a full sized mattress on the floor and shared a room with her sister. We still had to lay down with her until she went to sleep, usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours. A few frustrating times, it even took almost 3 HOURS!

Again, we got her to lay down for naps pretty easily, only now she was in bed instead of her crib, and she still had her birdies to comfort her to sleep. BUT... still at night, she wanted mom or dad to snuggle with her until she fell asleep.

Eight months ago I tried to get her to go to sleep on her own, and she cried hysterically. It was heart breaking, so of course I couldn't go through with it. John and I trade nights putting her to bed, so it was guaranteed that you were going to have your patience tested while she climbed out of bed when she thought you were sleeping, had her poke you in the face while she thought you were sleeping, and even had you patience tested when she did these things after you actually fell asleep before she did... out of exhaustion or sheer boredom.

Well my friends, her 3rd birthday is quickly approaching. Believe it or not, Anna at this age was just as stubborn, only it was about potty training. At this age, Anna was just finally potty trained while Emma has been now for about 3 or 4 months. And at this age we were still trying to get Anna to sleep on her own, but didn't succeed until just before Emma was born. After Emma moved into Anna's room, Anna declared that it was not fair that Emma got to have snuggle time at bed time and she didn't... so one of us would snuggle with her and the other with Emma. Sheesh.

Over the last few weeks I have been brainwashing encouraging Emma to sleep on her own and said that she would be a big girl like her big sis if she could go night-night JUST like she does at nap time, and that bedtime is no different from nap time during the day.

Last night was John's turn to put her to bed, but Emma wanted mommy. I told her it was daddy's turn and she started to cry, "I don't want daddy. I'll go to bed by myself."

Instead of making it a big or negative deal out of it, I talked excitedly about what a big girl she was and how this was a big, exciting deal! And just when I saw a glimmer of doubt in her eyes I did what any desperate good parent would do...

I bribed her with money. Daddy took my cue and talked animatedly about how she could save her money and get those toys at the store she was always asking for but we never buy (cuz we are po', and we are mean like that).

"Yay! Toys! I want money, I want coins for my bank!"

John and I grinned at each other. mean while, it was my turn to snuggle with Anna at bedtime. After John spent about 10 minutes snuggling with Emma and getting her settled in bed, he went downstairs. I explained to Anna that I would be going downstairs too. While her not yet but almost 3 year old sister (most likely) lay quietly in her bed, playing with a stuffed animal... not making a peep, Emma's now 7 year old sister was weeping like a baby. I explained that it wouldn't be fair to Em for us to stay the usual 1/2 hour to 45 minutes with Anna, and that we would snuggle and say prayers and then I would be going down stairs.

Anna amped it up a notch. Again,I did what any desperate good parent would do and I threatened to take away computer privileges for the whole weekend if she cried loud enough to upset Emma, and make her cry. I also explained that the usual ratio of night time activities to snuggling could still occur, it would just have to happen before bedtime.

Good lord, people... it was if I had killed her puppy, Hannah Montana and Zac Effron all in one horrible and tragic dog walking hit and run. Really.

To make a short story longggggggg, Emma slept through the night after complaining only twice (about being hungry, and her belly not feeling good), and after consoling her then giving her medicine she was good.

What a gift this is... to have back 2 hours every other day. John and I can actually have comprehensible/adult conversations, we can enjoy watching movies together again. We can have mommy/daddy time again, which , when you think about it, hasn't really happened since the 2 1/2 months before Emma was born. Two and half short months of time together, which doesn't really count because we were stress and exhausted from being preggers.

the down side? At least an hour of work per week will be going to the kids for bribes/allowance LOL! Yeah, that's how little I make right now.

I'm wondering if 20 years from now we'll be sick of looking at each other (slightly annoyed at the very least) and wish to have those little boogers back to snuggle with.

I bet we will. ;)

4 comments:

MAGGIE AT COFFEESHOPMAFIA said...

Oooh the joys of toddlerhood. I spent my son's first year on the couch with a stiff back and a arm dislocated because of his big fat head just so I could get a little shut eye. He was a fussy one. I would have to sit/lay on the couch with him cradle in my arm just to get some winks. and people say you spoil them.... I swear he came out that way.

Pamela said...

I've just been trying to figure out how much money I'd make if I showed up and you had to bribe me not to snuggle with the two of you.

Not So Anonymous Michelle said...

OMG, I just can totally relate!! You know it too! We re-did Emma's entire room to get her to sleep in there but she does it! However, getting her to fall asleep still requires me sitting in there with her until she's at least dozing off. And there's no sharing that duty with my hubby...I WISH! Frustration is not a big enough word to explain this kind of thing. It's nice having our bed back but I already sometimes miss cuddling with the little peanut. We're doing well on potty training too, Emma still sleeps in pull-ups but wears undies all day and evening an typically has one pee accident a day with an occasional poo accident (ICK) otherwise she's doing well!

I fully believe bribery is ok sometimes, necessary for sanity in fact!

Daddy Forever said...

I'm still waiting for my son to go sleep in on his own. Heck, sleeping in his own bed would even be nice.