Monday, July 25, 2016

Parenthood: Week 162 - Getting The Toddler To Stay In Bed

Now that Ollie has a big boy bed, he’s been popping of bed repeatedly and leaving his room after we put him down to bed. The common advice is to place him back into bed, without talking to him. The idea is that after a couple nights of this, he will give up and stop getting out of bed.

After, oh the thirtieth time I put him back into bed, I was feeling kind of stupid. I get that maybe I needed to power through and keep doing it, but it didn’t feel like it was working for me. He was coming out of his room giggling, and when I put him down he was still riled up and the fact that would almost immediately pop out of bed, showed me that he needed help to calm down and needed more structure than I was provided. So I grabbed a pillow and lay down with him in bed.

We’ve helped him go to sleep, his entire life.  I’ve written about rocking him to bed as baby in this post and this one.  Laying with him in his big boy bed is just an extension of this.

Just like when Ollie was a baby, this process of fun, frustrating but overall gratifying.

Ollie tried his best to make me laugh when I was in bed with him. He would crawl on top of me and pretend to be a blanket. It was in this position that he discovered how to tickle me. I tried my best to keep it together but I couldn’t help but giggle, which only led to more silliness.

As Ollie is going to sleep he likes to tell me about his day, sing songs, carefully stroke my eyebrows (I don’t know why, he just likes touching them) and cuddle with me. In the darkness, sharing Ollie’s bed, there’s something special about these shared moments. It’s like two friends whispering secrets to each other.

Along with all of the cute stuff, it’s really frustrating. There are times when Ollie hits me, screams in frustration, refuses to settle down, throws his blanket and pillow off the bed (and then cries because he can’t get them). It’s hard to not loose your patience when someone who you are trying to help, isn’t working with you. However it’s not Ollie’s fault, he doesn’t understand the consequences of not getting a good night’s rest.

When I would rock Ollie to bed as a baby, I would feel his body sink into my arms and I knew he was ready to be put into the crib. There’s a similar feeling lying next to Ollie. His movements are calmer, his breath is slower and you can feel his energy settling down into a peaceful slumber. It’s weird, some days, once he gets to this point, I get out of the room as soon as I can and other nights, I just lay there next to him and listen to him breathe. Sometimes the craziness of the storm makes the calm that much more beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment