The (Most Recent) Bedtime Battle

Okay, so a few people asked me on Twitter how I was “laying the smack down” on Elizabeth’s bedtime in the last couple of nights.  If I haven’t complained about it enough already, Elizabeth has been having some trouble with bedtime lately for way too long for the last two months.  We had it down to bedtime taking about ten minutes.  We went upstairs, we read a story, we sang a song, I put her in her crib, I rubbed her back, I left, she went to sleep.  Ten minutes.  Then she started stalling and stalling and stalling.  And all legitimate stalling too, so there wasn’t really anything I could DO about it.  Finally, after having to go back into her room three or four times every night and sing the song again and rock her in the chair and etc., I snapped.

So, two nights ago, I used my Mean Mama Voice on her and didn’t allow any of the stalling, not even the legitimate stalling.  (And let me tell you, it is difficult to refuse to give a toddler diaper rash cream, even if you are 99.99997% sure they are just stalling and not really in pain.)  I didn’t let her out of my lap after I started reading the story and I used my Serious Voice all night. Normally, I try to avoid getting into battles at bedtime because Elizabeth is oddly sensitive for how rough and tumble she is and if she gets upset at bedtime, we all pay for it.  For days.  Sometimes weeks.  (Please see the story of the nightmares about the smashed glass, which were actually even more dramatic and long lasting than that post indicates.)  But I was Over the Edge and I no longer cared if we fought an epic bedtime battle, Something Needed To Change.  (Yes, a lot of capital letters.  I was thinking in capital letters at this point.)

I also told her that once I put her in her crib, I was not getting her back out again and I was not coming back in.  I told her that after bedtime, I would open the door and tell her I loved her, but that I was not going to come back in the room and I was not going to get her out of the crib.  (I used my Serious Voice again.)  So I told her that she might as well just go to sleep.

And, oddly and unexpectedly, she did.  She just put her head on her pillow and went to sleep.  I was astounded.

Matt and I think it is hilarious that this was apparently exactly what she needed to get back on track.  It’s kind of out of character for her.

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Also, check out Style Lush today and see who their new writer is.  (Hint: ME!)