At the beginning of the year we bought our son a bed, not just any bed, a cool red and yellow fire truck bed with a compartment in the front for all his books. I thought he would kick and scream and hate it immediately. I was wrong, he loved it. He thought he was such a big boy and slept in it happily watching his iPad. Between the ages of 18 months and 2 we made the horrible mistake of letting him watch the iPad before he went to sleep because it was so easy and we were so tired. Don’t judge us! We are new parents and will never make that awful mistake again! It was great until he was going to sleep at midnight and screaming when we would turn it off. It’s like a drug! I had enough one day and told him no iPad, we were going to read books. He went through a brief withdrawal period and then was a happy boy sleeping in his bed and reading his books. For about 3 or 4 months my husband and I have been able to sprawl out on our bed and actually, sleep.
Sleep. It’s crazy important. I love sleep, I could sleep all day and night and still be tired. I’m pretty sure that means I have some kind of disease now that I think about it. My husband on the other hand, doesn’t need much sleep. When he has to work, he wakes up crazy early and powers through the day, often times not needing a nap. While I on the other hand, plan my days around nap time. I never used to be like this though, I used to be a super night owl, up at all hours of the night, doing who knows what, I don’t even remember. In retrospect, I haven’t got a clue what I was thinking trying to be one of the cool kids and staying up all night, I should have been a nerd. I digress.
The point I am getting at is this…Why is it becoming INCREASINGLY hard to put my toddler to sleep?! It seems as though, the closer it gets to bed time, the more energy he gets! As a parent for a solid 2 years now (yay me!), I know that sleep is the difference between a mildly mannered child and a savage beast who tears through your house like a hurricane screaming and crying that he wants to eat an entire ham while being carried through the himalayas.
All of this leads me to believe that my son has obviously not inherited my sleeping genes, or, he has and it just hasn’t kicked in. PLEASE KICK IN! My son is hyper to put it mildly. He talks A LOT, I am not exaggerating when I use those words either. Ask anyone who knows my little family, the kid can talk for days. Whether he is talking about his new toys, or asking you what and why you are doing what you are doing and how it affects him. And now, he has memorized the books we read to him and wants to read them to us! So what used to take 10 minutes of reading, is now a long and drawn out 30min of him looking for a story and “reading” to us, while throwing in his own colorful commentary. “What is that mommy?…a beaver?…what the beaver doing?…why he pushing the log with the bunnies on it?… what the bunnies doing?….who’s trixie?…who’s daisy?…which one thumper?… why thumper in the tree?…” I never knew anyone could have so many questions.
To add to the frustration, I think the novelty has worn off on the bed because my husband is scrunched up against the wall, and I am waking up with feet in my face. Yes, he is back in our bed. So, what once took us 20 min to get settled and sleeping, is now taking 45min to an hour of coaxing. “Get in your bed…Should we through the bed away? you don’t sleep in it!… fine just lie down and listen… no you can’t read tonight…mommy wants to read… ok fine, daddy will read…trixie is the brown bunny…the bunnies are stuck on the log…yes, bunnies like to hop…yes, they like to eat carrots…ok, time to sleep…stop putting your pillow on my face…STOP!…STOP PUTTING THE PILLOW ON MY FACE! GO ON YOUR BED!…go to sleep. no you can’t sleep that way…because I don’t want to smell your feet…”
I have tried it all, waking up early, no nap, early nap, short nap, long nap, waking up earlier, good breakfast, eat what you want, don’t eat I don’t care, you need to eat because you’re a monster when you don’t eat, play a lot, don’t play, go to the park, run around, do some errands, stay at home, snacks, no snacks, books, no books, iPad, routines, no routines.
In the end, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what I do, I will never get a good nights sleep in my own bed ever again. It will be 20 years of feet in my face and falling asleep before my child, waking up to him next to me wondering what he did while I was sleeping.