I love being pregnant.
Maybe I should clarify. I lovED being pregnant. See the difference? LovED means past tense. As in, NOT currently. Okay. Moving on.
I LovED being pregnant. There was only one thing I dreaded. Right around the seven month mark I would always dread bedtime. How do you possibly get comfortable with a basketball hiding in your pajamas, an internal heater cranked up to "inferno", a bed full of pillows (one for your head, one for your legs, one for your side....), and a feeling of insanity caused by your restless legs? Comfortable just wasn't happenin".
Well, guess what? I'm beginning to dread bedtime again.
Right now, this very moment, Connor is screaming in his bed. I think he finally might be there to stay at least. For the last 1/2 hour he has been getting out of bed and I have been quickly returning him. (I'm trying to use Super Nanny's, "don't talk to them, just put them back in their bed" technique. Which is very difficult to do by the way, when all you want to do is scream!) This type of behavior has been going on since the kids have been in their new beds. We did have a honeymoon phase of a few days where Connor went to bed like a charm, but those days are over. We went straight from the honeymoon to divorce court. It's getting ugly.
We've tried it all. Well, it feels like it anyway. Okay, so we are only on method number three maybe, but I'm getting desperate here.
When we first put the kids in the room together Kendon was worried that they would stay up playing and talking and giggling and getting into trouble all night. I looked forwarded to them chatting together at the end of their day, hoping it would be good sibling bonding time, but also worried that it would get out of hand. To combat this issue from the very beginning, I bought a cheap $2.00 kitchen timer. We set it for 15 minutes when they crawl into bed and they can talk, sing, giggle, whatever they want as long as they are IN their beds. After the 15 minutes it is quiet time. In the morning, if they obeyed the timer rules, they would get a sticker on their chart. After five stickers they would get a prize. The first night this worked like a charm. Connor climbed into bed, I set the timer and much to my pleasant surprise I hear him ask Sirri, "How was your day Sirri? How was t-ball? Did you hit the ball? Did you run fast?" It was too cute. I was so proud of my plan that night. Well, one round of that and Connor was done. The novelty of the timer and the sticker wore off. Goodbye stickers and timer.
So, I took the kids to Walmart. They each were allowed to pick out a bag of cereal. Whatever they wanted. This is a big deal cause at our house the only cereal we eat is basically Multi Grain Cheerios. I'm not a big fan of all the sugary sweet stuff. So, I figured this would be a big deal. On nights that the kids went to bed well, they would get to eat their "special" cereal in the morning. This was on Monday. Think Connor has gotten his special cereal yet? NOPE!
I am just at a loss. All day long I worry about bedtime and what to do and how it's going to go, and how long Connor is going to fight it, and whether I have enough patience to keep my cool, and why my poor boy is in need of attention so badly that he is resorting to this. I think that is the hardest part for me. The "why" behind it all. Does Connor need some attention so bad that he is resorting to this? It makes my heart ache and my brain so angry all at the same time.
So, HELP! Any suggestions?
Update: I wrote this a few days ago. Then Kendon and I had a good long talk about poor Connor and the idea that he must be wanting for attention. So we decided that we would both make a concerted effort to strive to give him more positive attention during the day and NO attention at night. So, last night Kendon and I decided to try ignoring Connor all together. When he got out of his bed we just acted like he wasn't there. If it was attention he was after, he wasn't going to get it. We went about our usual business, folding laundry, doing dishes, reading a book, eating ice cream, all the while Connor followed us around like little puppies. After about an hour of this, Connor finally went and crawled in bed and went to sleep. It was a success in as much as there was no crying and screaming and gnashing of teeth from Connor (or his mommy!) last night.
I'm still at a loss as what to do with him when he stays IN his room being naughty though. (Like the writing on the walls and sheets, the tearing apart of books etc.) What kind of Love and Logic do you use there? He is going to use his "Jensen Family Dollars" to replace the book and bed sheets he ruined. That I know. But I'm still in need of some immediate consequences.