Aud took the last several days off from that whole sleeping-easily-through-the-night thing in order to torture us. At least I assume that was her goal. She decided bedtime was horsecrap after all and starting staging a revolt every evening. We do her whole sweet bedtime routine, tuck her in, and she says, “I have to go potty.” Well…fine. I mean, you don’t say no, right? But then she’ll go potty, step one foot back in her room and announce, “I have to go potty again.”
Aw, hellz nah.
So we try to leave. I mean, suck it up, kid. It’s over. But when we ignore the demands to go potty, she just strips to prove her point. WHUT. No. And then more waking at night, cause she’s been busy enough to suck down a bunch of water in her room, and damned if she doesn’t want to pee in the potty and not her diaper, sure, but then why give her water at night, oh right, the husband thinks people need access to water at night and BLEH.
Two nights ago I was awake from 4 to 6 because my brain and body just didn’t want to go back to sleep after being yanked into consciousness. I may have wept quite a lot.
I thought through a couple of approaches to this whole insanity. (You know, other than the unseemly thoughts that run through my head when I’m being yelled at in the middle of the night. And also wondering if there was a chastity belt version of a diaper she couldn’t get off.) I’ve heard of handing out a couple of poker chips or something at the end of the evening and telling her if she wants to call me to do something she has to pay me one chip. Any “money” she still has in the morning can be used to buy something special. Sounded solid, and like she might be ready to grasp that kind of long-ish range thinking.
Then it also occurred to me that we’ve been watching too much TV lately, not getting enough ya-yas out, and that when bedtime comes and she actually has Mom and Dad’s focus for once, it’s too joyful to give up. So, maybe we should also, I don’t know, parent her during the day or something.
So I decreed yesterday to be a TV-free day. It was never, never on. Nope, No Daniel Tiger today. No nothin’, kid. Bring me a book and I’ll read to you. Andy was home more yesterday and got in some solid ride-Daddy-like-a-horsey time. We went outside. We were like people.
At bedtime, I gave her two quarters (couldn’t find any other suitable token). I told her if she needed to come out again, she could pay me. (I let her sneak in one more potty trip before I left though. Well, two seconds after we called it a night, she was complaining some nameless complaint of need. I went downstairs and heard her say, “I take it off.” Aw, man. Then she asked for a kleenex. I hollered, “Are you going to pay me a quarter for it?” “YES!” Kay, then, fine. I went up and she was naked from the waist down. “Well, you owe me a quarter anyway to put that diaper back on.” Diaper back on. Kleenex. “I need to pray again!” You and me both, kid. We said the bedtime prayer. I went back downstairs.
“I have a wedgie!”
Well. To be fair, I had just tried to pull the pinned cotton diaper straight back on and not refold it or anything, so…that’s probably valid. I went up and tried to rearrange it without taking it off. Downstairs.
“I still have a wedgie!”
Eff. I went back up and stuck my hand down her pants again. She giggled. “You all good here now?” “Yes.” “Okay, you still have a quarter. Stay in your room so you can buy M&Ms tomorrow.”
And it was finally night. She stayed in bed all night.
I didn’t, because my body thought it would be fun to practice flooding with adrenaline and being jerkily awake until 2:45 in the morning, with extra Braxton-Hicks-ing, but the kid made it, so yay.
I’m tired and it’s taken me two days to write this little tale, so I’m not sure where I was planning to go with it. We just put her to bed crazy late (family party, yo!) and gave her her quarters and we haven’t been bothered at all. There’s hope! Parenting by bribery! And also some actual parenting!
Don’t know if I’ll bother with bed myself. Firecrackers, man…