Whoa Mama

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Skinner Boys

Big boy beds haven’t exactly been a success. At night we read a few stories, sing a full concert, with intermission, hug, kiss, pray, hypnotize, lock them in and wait. Inevitably there is a full second act of re-dressing, re-diapering, cuddling (read as: holding them in bed), threats, usually ending with one or the other or both of us surrendering and letting them duke it out or cry it out until sweet, blessed sleep overcomes them. Afternoons are pretty similar except I lay with them until they both fall entirely, deeply asleep.

This has been aging on us both and hasn’t done a thing for healthy bedtime routines.

Well, I have a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work. I don’t need the Supernanny or Dr. Phil. I can train my children!

Two nights ago, we shortened the bedtime dance and they asked for back rubs. I told them I would rub backs when I came back if they were lying in bed. I closed the door and the party started. I went in and told them I was sorry that I couldn’t rub backs or sing songs because they weren’t on their bed.

30 seconds – full on party

I gave them a warning and they asked for back rubs and songs. “Only when you are lying nicely”, I tell them.

This went on and on and on, with times between re-entering the room going from 30 seconds to a minute to 2 minutes and so on. In the end, I’m not certain that I didn’t just outlast them.

Now this has gone on for over a week and we are down to 30-45 minutes of bedtime! We certainly aren’t perfect, but it is so getting better!!


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