Ok, who has stolen my angelic toddler? You know, the one who goes to bed every night at 7:00 pm and doesn’t question it, just has a story and goes to bed? Seriously, she’s been replaced with this insulate, insubordinate little fecker who is causing me to have moments of major rage and I am tearing my hair out in despair!
Part of me feels really bad writing this but I don’t know what’s got into her. Whatever it is I want it gone and fast as my patience is wearing thinner thank a Brazilian thong on Rio de Janeiro beach. We have, no I repeat HAD an awesome toddler bedtime routine. Very rarely once Roo was down did we have to go back to her or did she wake up, often sleeping for up to 13 hours and meaning everyone in our house was pretty rested each night. Bliss.
However, this last week I don’t know what’s happened. We haven’t changed anything, in fact we’ve pushed the bedtime to 7:30 pm as she’s nearly 4 now and I think as long as she is in bed between 7:00 – 7:30 pm that is great. Any later than this I believe is unacceptable for a three and a half year old toddler as a) it breeds grumpy small people for the next day and b) it gives me and Daddy E very little time together of an evening. Both reasons equally important in their own way.
For some reason after her story she’s started getting out of bed, padding round her room, picking up random toys to play with. She will shout down the stairs from her room (thank god the stair gate is still across the door) for one of us when she doesn’t actually need anything. Then if we go up and comfort her and reprimand that it’s bed time and she needs to go to sleep, she begins to cling onto whoever is there like those 80′s clip on koala monkeys and starts sobbing “don’t go, I want you, don’t go”.
Now I need to stress we’ve never done the co-sleeping thing. It isn’t my cup of tea. She has never slept in our bed and we’ve never slept in her room to comfort her. She has her night lights on all night and nothing in her room has changed. She will waste time saying there are witches in her bed or monsters and we have to play a game of eating them. This can go on for up to 3 hours, as indeed it did on Tuesday night.
It means dinner gets ruined, we are not eating till gone 9pm and I am tired and fraught from already being stuck in the house with Roo all day and then this all kicks off. Usually after 2 or 3 upstairs visits we refuse to go back and simply remind her from the bottom of the stairs to go to sleep. I agree with controlled crying, I did it when she was younger and I don’t believe in pandering to your child simply because they are wailing. I know she doesn’t actually want or need anything.
I’ve tried to think what could have shifted her pattern out of sync and have come up with the following:-
- still recovering from the flight back from the USA last Tuesday
- she’s been having growing pains in her legs – could this be upsetting her routine at night and unsettling her?
- Playing the Nintendo Wii Skylanders game with me and Daddy E – the game has now been relegated out of her eye view
I am not prepared to move her bedtime to later in the evening. I don’t agree with kids under 5 staying up until 8:00 or 9:00 pm at night, where is the downtime for mum’s and dad’s once this starts. My evenings are my time to relax and not be in “slave” mode, plus the thought of having to watch Nick JR or Tiny Pop TV any longer would force me to stick my head in the gas oven.
Anyone got any suggestions to add to my list on why Roo’s toddler bedtime routine has gone out the window? Are you strict with bedtimes in your house, and if so what time do you try to get your toddlers into bed?