It’s a nightly battle that wages on. One that has been fought for countless months with no end in sight. Just when it seems like we’ve found a solution to their tactics and victory may be near, they come back with a whole new strategy, keeping us on our toes. It’s the Battle of Bedtime, Parents versus Toddler.
Our battle started after he gained freedom from the four walls of his crib. He was no longer contained, and he used that newfound independence to the best of his ability. More often than not, it was around 4am when he heard the birds chirping. Clearly, that must be a sign it’s time to get up. Nevermind the lack of sunshine Mom and Dad, it’s time to rise and shine.
We battled on, sometimes winning and getting him back to sleep for a little longer. Other times we caved, and it became a slumber(less) party in our bed as he discussed everything there is to know about Thomas the Train. There was a turning point though when we purchased a clock that lights up when it’s time to wake up. We put him to bed with the reminder that he can get up when the clock turns green. It took a couple nights for him to fully catch on, but he did. And we slept soundly until 6am … Victory!
Fast forward, and the Battle continues with our now three year old, only it has changed. He has a new level of smarts and logic and all new tactics. It’s not those early morning wake up calls. He’s coming from another angle now, and it starts the minute we tuck him in. His mission? How many times can he get out of bed before he breaks us? This threenager knows what he’s doing. He starts with having to pee – he knows it’s an acceptable reason to get out of bed. Next, he needs a sip of water. He wants the dog in his room. We didn’t read him his favorite book. His bandaid fell off. He has to poop. He heard a funny sound …
He’s getting closer to victory, and I begin hearing the voice of Samuel L. Jackson reading the fitting bedtime story by Adam Mansbach. Again the door opens. I’m at my breaking point. He comes up to me, hugs my leg and says “Mommy, I love you.” Just like that, tonight’s battle has been diffused and I’m a pile of mush. He gets tucked in one more time and snoozes until the clock turns green.
Rest up Mom and Dad, he’ll awaken tomorrow morning ready for battle, again.