A Toddlers fight for Independence from Bedtime
In my last blog I told you about how Kiki was testing his limits at the bed and nap time, if you forgot, you can read about it here.
And now what you have been waiting for:
So as I said, this night was going to be different!
We did everything TCB says that will help with the complete night of sleep. As soon as he came home from his daycare, we got on the “he will sleep better tonight” wagon.
We gave him all the attention.
We gave him all the choices in this world.
We took him to the park and played the evening away in the hopes of getting his tired tank full.
Things were working as planned.
But you know , exactly how they show in the movies, when things are going as planned, trouble is right around the corner. And the protagonist is always caught off-guard.
I mean, seriously? You can see it coming from a mile!
Well, we finished the bedtime routine without “noooo’s” and tears and in my mind TCB had done it again! We will once again have 2 hours of me-time after we put kiki into bed.
We tucked Kiki in, kissed him good night, switched off the lights and walked out.
Then Kiki got up, got out of his bed, switched on the light, got on his bed again and started playing with his trucks!
You knew this was coming, din’t you?
That night we went in multiple times, trying to convince him to switch off the light and sleep, but he won’t budge.
All his happy smiles turned into tears and howls once again.
And mine into anger, anxiety and exhaustion!
He fought with all his might until 10pm AGAIN!
Much to my surprise and shock, TCB does not have a chapter for this behavior!
I was once again armourless!
I resorted to a mom’s group for help(thank God for the internet!!) and found a post which was so similar to my situation, I could have written it!
People had poured in advice into that post. One theme that stood out was, don’t fight toddler’s power struggles.
It did not make much sense to my tired brain.
I bookmarked that page and went to sleep.
Next day, taking advice from that page, I thought about a common ground between us and installed a reading lamp into Kiki’s room.
His sister has one too, she reads by that lamp every night.
That’s how I sold it to him. He was a Big Boy now and that’s why he got his own reading lamp.
Once again we followed TCB’s advice and sang and danced to Kiki’s tunes.
We switched off the lights in his room and read by the lamp.
He told us to leave it on when we tucked him in.
This time we did not fight and left the reading lamp on.
The controller in me did not want to leave it on, but Vicky literally pulled me out convincing it would be ok!
We watched him through the baby monitor, singing songs and playing with his trucks and hugging his Gaffe.
And then, something amazing happened!
He got off his bed, switched off the reading lamp, walked back to his bed in the dark, tucked himself in and slept!
I was awestruck and filled with so much relief and admiration for this little dude who was trying to exert some independence in his world.
Maybe he just wanted a say into his nighttime routine.
Maybe he was actually big enough to read(play) by the reading light before he dozed off.
Or maybe it was just so novel and exhilarating that he had independence to operate a night lamp.
Whatever it was, it worked!
Now I know very well , what worked tonight may not work tomorrow, but for now, I will bask in this glory. All hail TCB and tired mom’s group everywhere!
We are in this together!
If you have strong willed kids at home, just know you are not alone! And if you are going through a particular defiance phase in their life, my complete sympathies with you!
These little dramatic phases make for amazing stories later in life. And also for hilarious newsletters 🙂