Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Mom Files

Note to self:

When 'lux-ing' up the girls beds to entice them to go to bed on their own without one or both of us lying down with them for an hour every night, please bear in mind there are two sides to the same equation. If the bed is so comfy, they can't wait to get in it ... chances are, prying the little monkeys out in the morning will be that much more of a treat.

We are terrible at putting our kids to bed. What I mean by this is that we are spineless ... or we have been. We'll do whatever ritual will make them "just-go-to-sleep-already". Now, if this means we have to spend nearly two hours every single night of our existence on prepping them for sleep ... well so be it. Bed time in this house starts at roughly 8pm every night with "bath time". Now, in recent months, we have had to stop bathing our girls together (as they either soak the bathroom, flood the basement, wind up screaming, bleeding or both OR they do entirely weird shit while in there together) ... so, now it is double our pleasure at bath time.

I know that on a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being "Uber-Mom"; Marion Cunningham and Carol Brady could take pointers from you ... and 1 being "Guber-Mom"; There is a letter writing campaign underway to the Super Nanny  ... and possibly Social Services) I rate somewhere around 3.7 ... I know this mostly because my mother is inevitably standing around the corner, shaking her head in silent dismay after witnessing some parenting failure I have recently perpetrated. I know that we have spoiled our children ... that we baby them too much and haven't dug our heels in on matters such as going to bed on their own. There are many reasons for this failure ... one reason is because we know this is it - no more babies for us and we want to savor every drop of baby-hood we can ... but mostly (at this stage) it is because it is easier to give in, than it is to fight about it - and at least they are getting the sleep they need - right? If we insisted on them going to bed on their own, they'd be up half the night and then tired the next day and, not behaving in school - or heaven forbid, they are at home the next day, so we have to deal with them ... and on ... and on ... with the excuses.

The moral of my story? Well I am so thrilled to report that after "lux-ing up" their beds/room, and with some ingenious bribes dropped at just the right intervals ... we have SUCCESS! Gimme a WHOOT! WHOOT! Oh yes, boys and girls ... that's right ... I, Danica Dragonfly have bribed trained my children to go to bed on their own ... IN THEIR OWN BEDS!!! at the tender ages or 5.823 and 8. That's almost as impressive as getting them (and by them, I actually mean Stretch ... as Shorty is giving this shit up 26 months earlier than her big sissy) to give up the 'sookie' at the age of 5 (YIKES!) ... but you just don't understand this child and her determination to keep the status quo. 

When she was just about 3, I was trying to potty train her. She was incredibly bright and was speaking in lengthy paragraphs using multi-syllabic vocabulary ... but she did NOT want to potty train ... and she provided me with a list of reasons why she did not subscribe to my desire for her to poo in a pot rather than her didi. How can you argue with an articulate rebuttal of this nature without simply reverting to the tried and true "because I said so" routine? Well, you can't.

So, after 8 years and three weeks of living with this child, Hubs and I FINALLY adopted this very mantra: Because, I said so ... and that is FINAL. 

Much to my surprise and delight, it WORKS! 

One small step for Dani and Hubs, one giant leap for push over parents everywhere!


brite said...

I couldn't have survived parenting without "Because I said so!". Seriously, it may have pissed The Max off endlessly, but it puts an end to the constant debate, harangue, argument.So hurrah for you in getting it to work!
And yeah, I did the stay in the bedroom routine for way too many years too. Now that The Max is an adult, he still has serious sleep cycle/wake pattern issues and probably suffers from a severe sleep deficit most of the time.He either needs to get a night job or go see a sleep specialist (something I suggest often).

Amethyst Anne said...

"Because I said so!" and " How many times does Mommy say no?" are the two lines I use the most. They are hard to say, but effective!!
I am so glad that your girls love their new luxed beds and that you and Hubs now have more time to yourselves!!

Spot said...

Yay for getting the kids off to bed on their own!! That is a giant feat! And it to be celebrated. My 19 yr old pregnant daughter lays in my bed with me until her father comes in and tells her to get out of his spot. So technically I'm still putting her to bed. =]