I do not want my girls to grow up. I just savor their time as “littles” that I can comfort and hold and be a “mommy” to. When they are older it turns into “mom” and then just “Laura” and then back to “mom” because they are grounded as teenage rebels. However, there are times when I want them to grow a bit especially when not growing up produces problems. Especially at bedtime.
Problem: My four year old will not sleep in her bed (keep in mind I did this successfully with 2 other children before her). I am baffled by her resistance.
I tuck her into her bed at night. She has her own big girl bed in her own big girl room (with a nightlight and stuffies to keep watch and everything)! I go through the necessary 8 “get out of bed free” cards:
I need to go potty.
I need another story.
I need more stuffies. This is followed by the obligatory brigade of stuffed animals used as a fence around the bed to shield her from any evil monster that may try to sneak in.
I have to brush my teeth.
I have to say prayers. Her prayer consists of asking God for a sleepover for her and her cousin.
I need more hugs.
I need more kisses.
I need a drink of water.
I am just up out of bed because.
When we get to this point, I am forced to become “not nice mom” and be firm that she stay in bed. And she does. And I think it is all bliss (it amazes me, my ability to this night after night). And then I go to bed and wake in the middle of the night and SHE IS THERE. Seriously. I never hear her sneak in. My husband is blissfully unaware snoozing on the couch because he 1) either worked too hard or 2) fell asleep to the TV (which I don’t allow in the bedroom) or 3) both of the above.
Truthfully, I don’t mind her coming in. I love having someone next to me even if said person sleeps horizontal and is kicking me in the ribs most nights. Sometimes she’ll even grab my cheek, just to make sure I am there. It is soothing for me, it is soothing for her. My husband complains that it is not right since she is 4 now, but really, he’s alseep by 8pm most nights on the couch so….
I do try though. We always go to bed in her room and wake up in “mommy’s room.” I told her it is mommy AND daddy’s room. She said, “daddy can sleep in my room.”
I asked her, “What if daddy wants to sleep by mommy?” She responded with, “Then I would fall off the bed!” -meaning that since she is normally in the middle, if daddy was in the middle, he would hog both the middle and the side and she would not have room. See what she did there, assumes she would be in the bed with us. Such logic from a 4 yr old. I cannot compete. And if I am up late (like tonight/tomorrow – hello 1 am morning!) then I am just too tired to move her. Bad mom. Bad excuse. I know. My husband tells me so from his comfy spot on the couch.
So I am asking the blogging community, what can I do? How can I successfully transition this girl to her own room for good? We have tried bribes and a sticker chart, btw. They do not work on this girl. I also don’t want to put a gate on her door in case she needs to use the potty. Any kind, non-judgmental thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!