Two nights ago, Mom threw a bit of a frustration fit at 1am because of The Boy's inability to go back to sleep without having someone climb in bed with him. "You're almost four years old. Go to sleep!" Of course, that begs the question of, how much slack should he get, all thing and illnesses considered?
In reality, we probably are too permissive when it comes to the sleeping thing. With Little Bear, we are quite content to let him cry for a couple of minutes at the start of his sleeping times, because we know that it is temporary and that he's not really uncomfortable. Just tired. With The Boy, we are the opposite: we are violently against any expression of discomfort. It's not fair, and it's not productive, and it's not really helpful.
So, last night, we came to the conclusion that it was time to effect a change. When it was bedtime, I read him two stories (Fox in Socks, a current favorite, and a story from the big Disney collection my brother gave us a year or two ago) like normal. I offered to sing him a song, but he declined. Then, I gave him a hug and a kiss and left the room. He was very unhappy about it: "No, Daddy! You do not leave! You want to stay with The Boy and relax!"
Long story short, he cried for about a minute and went to sleep. When he woke up at midnight to use the potty, he was escorted back to his room and left alone. At 3am, when he came in, he was told to go back to his room, and he did without fuss. When we woke up this morning, The Boy was in his room sleeping. Success! Hooray!
Okay, let's see what happens tonight. I'm sure it'll be different. The two steps back part of it was that Little Bear decided to join us for the entire night. He doesn't do that often, so it really was kind of nice. I do enjoy my baby snuggles, you know.
Is it too confusing to continue naps the way we've been doing while trying to make the change at bedtime? I don't know. I think it might be too traumatic for me to give up my The Boy nap time snuggles.
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