over the past month and a half i feel like we have become "real" parents. maybe that sounds funny since we've been parents for almost 3 years (what?!), but suddenly it feels very real as our almost 3 year old is exerting his independence in a whole new way and in the process, is pushing his parents' buttons like never before. i have felt parental exasperation in a whole new way and find myself thinking, "i need to read a parenting book, because i have no idea what to do!"
about a month and a half ago it's like a switch flipped in logan and suddenly our fantastic sleeper (who we worked hard with as a newborn to get him to be a fantastic sleeper) decided he no longer wanted to sleep. he didn't want to sleep in his bed, we couldn't shut his bedroom door without a total meltdown, we had to leave the bathroom light on and even those things didn't stop the all out screaming come nap time and bedtime. we had to remove every book, every toy, every basket and item from his shelves not because he was playing with them, but because he was throwing them when he was supposed to be sleeping.
this was what happened during logan's nap time the day of emma's birthday party. i really needed him to sleep so i could get stuff done and obviously he didn't want to sleep. so i shut him in so he couldn't get out. clearly he was busy in there. soon after everything got taken out of his room.
one night after going down fairly well for bedtime, something woke him up at 10 pm (dang whatever it was). and for the next 2 and a half hours we tried to get him back to sleep. we tried stroking his face and singing to him, threatening, yelling and screaming (which only made him more upset and made us feel absolutely awful), reading him a book, getting him a drink. we tag-teamed it, and when i felt like i was at the end of my rope, dave would come in and relieve me of my post (and vice versa). we left him in his room to scream while i sat in our room and cried, totally at a loss of what to do. it was probably one of the most awful parenting moments of my experience. finally at 12:30 am after trying anything and everything we could think of we decided to go to sleep. we told logan he could go to bed when he was ready but we were going to sleep. after laying on the floor next to me for a few minutes (and trying to get into our bed, which was NOT going to happen), he finally went back to his bed and went to sleep.
logan fell asleep in the car and when i brought him inside this is what happened within a moment! and yet, when i put him down in his bead minutes later suddenly he wasn't tired anymore (i hate when that happens). and this is what he was doing when he was supposed to be sleeping.
the thing he is holding above his is the cushion thing from his little potty seat. although at this moment, it was a "cowboy hat." also, please make note that he is also wearing mittens.
let's just say that for days (maybe even a week) i dreaded nap time and bedtime (which i used to look forward to) because i knew it was going to be a big fight. sometimes it meant logan slept on the floor, sometimes it meant i shut the door so he couldn't get out and he would pound on the door and cry/scream himself to sleep (often on the floor right next to his door). luckily dave was inspired to suggest an incentive program for good sleeping and thankfully, logan has responded well to it. every time he goes to bed (naps and night time) without fighting it or getting out of bed, he gets to put a fuzzy ball in a jar. once the jar is full he gets to choose a toy, book or game. it has worked like a charm! there have been very few times that he hasn't gotten a fuzzy ball and the reminder of the fuzzy ball usually keeps him in his bed (that, and the threat of having his door closed). today he got his last fuzzy ball and filled up his jar and we went to wal-mart and he chose a movie!!
in addition to the sleep issues, he began to have quite the little attitude and seemed so frustrated and angry, hitting the air and having meltdowns at the drop of a hat. it almost seemed like the jealousy we thought we had avoided when emma was born has hit, a year later. so we've adjusted our bedtime routine to make sure logan gets some time just with dave and i and we are trying to make sure we have more one on one time with each of the kids. and slowly but surely things have gotten better. i feel like our sweet boy is back! don't get me wrong, he is still a toddler and definitely still has his "moments," but boy i am glad i'm his mom! and we are about to embark on another one of those "real parent" experiences: potty training. pray for us!