So we have a slight problem. The big boy bed is great, MB loves it…..but we have fallen onto Hard Times. While MM was gone, I got in the habit of “helping” MB go to sleep by laying down with him – hey! It’s a queen bed! Plenty of room, and it sure beats sleeping in the white chair in his old room. Except I only ever did that when he was sick. Now it seems we are doing it for every nap and every bedtime. The laying down part. Which at first was kind of sweet, watching his eyes flutter and close, feeling his body relax into sleep….what a little angel. Right? Wrong. MM is in charge of bedtime, and a new game has emerged. MB calls it BONK. As in “I like to wait for Daddy to fall asleep and then I BONK him on the head. Hahahahaha!” See what I mean? Hard Times. Naptime is not much better. Except it’s ME who has the Hard Time. The past two days it seems that I have been stuck in there for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour saying things like “Hold still!” and “Close your eyes!” and even once the other night after a particularly hurtful game of BONK, “SANTA IS NOT GOING TO COME IF YOU DON’T GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW.”
The sad thing is….we were the family who used to be able to put our child down in his crib no problem, awake, and he would put himself to sleep. Consistently for 3+ years we did this successfully. And now, we’ve morphed into my sister and her husband, whom we have judged terribly in the past on many car rides home….disappearing for up to an hour at a time, often falling asleep ourselves while our clever little boy BONKS us on the head for sport. It is shameful, this situation we now find ourselves in…truly shameful.
So what to do? I have one week left of vacation. My goal was to work on this napping/sleeping thing over the 2 weeks I was off. I’m 34 weeks pregnant. I HAVE to get this kid to fall asleep by himself before I birth this baby. I fear the only path is to simply go cold turkey and gear up for a few days/nights (a week or longer most likely) of having to put him down again and again and again and again and again until we are yelling at him, at each other, and the dog……perhaps you can see why I am reluctant to start.
I know that by the time he’s 4 or 5 or 6 or 16 he will no longer want or need one of us to lay with him at night and for naps. Worst case scenario is that we just deal with it until he grows out of it on his own and treasure the time with him. And I swear I only thought “Now there’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back again” once. I reprimanded myself sternly afterwards over a bowl of ice cream.