just like the anti-zit medicine. only not.
remember back in march when we conducted this little experiment and put the boys in a toddler bed to free up the crib for #3? well, we had been progressing nicely for several months, the boys were learning to climb up on their bed as exhaustion began to set in (therefore passing out in bed rather than all over the place). it looked like the experiment was working wonderfully.
there's always a but, isn't there?
over the past few weeks, playing themselves to sleep began to look more and more like pandemonium and actual sleep time began to move later and later past our theoretical "bedtime." and, of course, morning still came at the same time. so my over-tired little guys have recently turned into cranky little monsters -- no more sweets & joy & joyness around here. (on a side note, i find it ironic that exhaustion in small people tends to lead to less sleep rather than more, thus compounding the problem -- hurrah).
yesterday i had had enough. it was time to get proactiv.
like the zit medicine's mission is to seek out & destroy unsightly acne & to restore a healthy complexion to the teenager, mine was to seek out & destroy pre-sleeping pandemonium & to restore peace & order to the bedtime universe.
i wasn't sure how it was going to happen, but i knew i had to try. i started by firmly placing the boys back in bed every time they crawled out. they had a blast for the first 15-20 minutes, let me tell you. lots of giggles. i held my ground & didn't say a word or even make eye contact. finally, they realized i was serious & stayed in bed. when i left the room, however, it took about 3.5 seconds for them both to land all 4 feet on the floor & take off to find a toy. so in their bedroom i decided to stay. every time a toy was tossed to the floor, it was removed from the room. there were many attempts to flee and even more tears. but, in the end, we achieved sleep...and after only an hour and a half -- about 30 minutes earlier than they had been putting themselves to sleep.
not fantastic results. but not shabby, either, for the first attempt.
move to today's nap. we had our story, our prayer, kisses all around -- the usual. then, i turned to sit on the sofa rather than leave & one boy tried to slide out of bed. i told him "no" (didn't even have to get up) and he climbed back into bed without a fuss. his brother never tried to get up. a few of the same toy issues happened, but in under 30 minutes, both boys were out cold.
so far, so good.
it's more time-consuming for me than i like, but sleep is a wonderful gift from god. not just to the kiddos. moms need the sanity break, too, you know.