Callan is, for lack of better metaphor, a weeble--At least when it comes to bedtime. I've written about his night time routine before, but tonight his ability to bounce right up after we put him down in bed showed real determination. Even after doing the entire routine of picking up toys, taking a bath, getting snack, playing a quiet game, reading scriptures, singing a song, saying prayer, brushing teeth, reading two stories, and telling a mouth story, Callan still spent an hour and a half getting out of his bed. He used every excuse in the book. He was hot , cold, hungry, bored, scared, and at one point wanting to sleep on the floor. I was pulling weeds in the backyard for most of this, but when Melissa came out into the backyard to inform me that Callan, who I'd put to bed nearly an hour earlier, was still up , and it was my turn.
In Bedtime for Francis, the mom and dad badger have the same problem with there little one, but I'm not sure I like their method of handling it. After Francis has gotten up for a drink, and been scared of the wind, and scared of a monster that turned out to be a pile of clothes, and a half dozen other reasons, father finally threatens Francis with a spanking if he (or she? come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever figured out if little Francis is a boy or girl?) doesn't go to bed. The book ends with Francis hearing a noise that reminds her of spankings, or something like that, and she opts for bed rather than getting a swat.
I'm not sure my method was much better. I'm trying to teach Callan appropriate (what does that word mean anyway, and who decides what fits the definition? Me? Yikes), and as far as I am concerned kicking and screaming because he doesn't want to go to bed even after we've done the full bedtime routine is not appropriate. Tonight I decided he would go into time out (sit on his stool in the bathroom with the door closed) if he lost control, and he was welcome to come out as soon as he was ready to act civilized. I reiterated several times to him that I was not mad and that I loved him and that I wanted him to express his feelings to me in constructive ways. After several trips to the bathroom for a calm down time out, He finally decided to lay down (on the floor with no blankets because he said his bed was 'too hot') and relax. I laid down next to him and talked to him about how he was feeling and then he fell asleep a few minutes after I left the room.
Nolan is more like a bobble head than a weeble. Since his mobility has increased, his willingness to lie still and fall asleep has all but disappeared. We used to set him in his crib and he would lie there with a stuffed animal and fall asleep on his own. But now that he can sit up and crawl around a bit he rolls over as soon we set him in the crib and even if he's half asleep he'll crawl over to the edge of the crib and either pull himself up, or find the crib bumper tag to play with or suck on his blanket. Three times tonight I came into his room to find him sitting up, half asleep, head bobbing up and down, trying to play with something. Three times I put my hands over his eyes and helped him lie down, and three times he got back up a few minutes later. I finally had to bring him into our bed and lay down next to him until he fell completely asleep. Then I carried him back in my room. He fights sleep as hard as I do, insistent on finding something to do with himself besides get horizontal.