Nighttime for The Boy is usually fairly predictable. We stop the fast-moving stuff around seven o'clock, so that he has enough time to calm himself down. We might watch some television, or we might just play with toys. It doesn't particularly matter. At some point between 8:30 and 9:30, depending on how active he has been and the status of his afternoon naps, we do teeth and stories and such. The stories calm him down more, and he'll walk into his bedroom, climb into bed, and accept hugs and kisses. We'll sit with him for a little while - at this point, in a chair in the hallway - and he'll fall asleep.
That was a hard-earned bedtime routine. I remember starting that, back several months ago when his other bedtime routine finally hit critical mass. It was such a struggle!
Younger Bro, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. If he's not ready for sleep, there isn't a power on this planet that can help. Tonight was an example of that: around 8:10, he wasn't ready for bed like normal, thank you 3:30-5:30 afternoon nap! He watched Hush with me a little bit, then hung out with Grandma. Around 9:15, he went into his room. The Boy, meanwhile, had stories at 9. I let him sit with me for a little while and fall asleep, so that he wouldn't upset YB. About fifteen minutes went by - I figured that the little dude was asleep. Snuck The Boy into the bedroom. No dice - YB was awake and standing at his crib. Sigh.
He calmed down in a few minutes, but it was a little hairy for a while.
It's frustrating to me, because I just don't know how to relate to the little one. I don't understand how he thinks, and I don't understand how to help him calm down. He's the only baby, like, ever, that I can't calm down. Every other baby uses me as tranquilizer... not my own second son. I don't get it.
At bedtime, it's particularly frustrating. I can't read him, like I read his brother, and I can't manipulate the situation to help the both of us. I'm sure I'll figure it out - or he'll outgrow this - but it's frustrating. I want to help him, to soothe him, and to make him feel better. Can't do it yet.