Last weekend, we converted The Buddy's crib to a toddler bed. The novelty of being able to get up and out whenever he wants is still fresh, so as you can imagine, many hijinks have ensued...
The first night, he climbed into his bed 10 minutes early, with no whining, begging or requests for "more books, pwease?" We congratulated ourselves on our prodigy and broke out the sangria and trash television to celebrate. 15 minutes later, we were reminded that we had a wily toddler on our hands.
He ran out with a delighted-to-be-free smirk on his face, asking to go pee pee in the potty. That was the only legitimate excuse.
10 minutes after that, he needed to poop. False. Back to bed.
5 minutes later, he was thirsty. He knows the no drink after 7:30 rule, so, since he wasn't a kid we'd just met for the first time, we again called false.
5 minutes after that, he cried hungry. He'd eaten a lot (for him) at dinner and the snack he requested was a chocolate Clif Bar, so his pajama-covered butt was marched back to bed, only 45 minutes after his original bedtime. Not bad, we thought, and commenced to drinking sangria. That was Saturday, and each night since has been pretty much the same, with variations in the time lengths and excuses. Not too terrible, really.
The other morning, however, was the proverbial straw. I can suffer many a fool--gladly and at great length--but even I have my limit. He woke up two hours early; while I was still sleeping. Before sunrise. I awoke to his warm, little body draped across mine, where he commenced to wriggle and squirm and kick until I could no longer ignore him and gasped deperately for consciousness to make the torture stop. Needless to say, I was pissed.
Don't get me wrong, I see how it all went down. He probably wakes up at 5 am all the time, but when he was in a crib, he understood he could either stay awake in his cage, bored and lonely, until a parent rescued him at sunup, or go back to sleep. He chose sleep. Now, he wakes up, gets a charge when he realizes he can get out of bed all by himself, and chooses to wander instead of slumber. The only problem with that is that his toddler logic requires a playmate and who better to call on than dear Mama? In case you haven't picked up on it, I find this all completely unacceptable. I had to take drastic measures to insure that it (insert: voice of the guy who growls over the trailers for suspense movies) Never. Happened. Again.
A friend of mine says the only time her children fear her is when she's asleep. This is brilliant and was, in my case, very easy to execute. I already had the melty face (see this post, #3), the crazy hair, the sleep-raspy voice, and, oh yeah, RAGE to fuel my performance and believe me, it was Oscar-worthy. I sat up in bed, hinged at the waist a la Linda Blair, and yelled, "what on Earth do you think you're doing?? Get out of this bed and go back to your room, right now! It's still sleeping time!" I think the skin peeled back from my skull at one point.
He did slump his tiny shoulders and leave the room, but I didn't go back to sleep.
He's only three years old, for crying out loud! What, did you think I'd leave him alone to tear up my house while I slept? No, thank you. Besides, he can't do anything without my help, yet. He'd have come back in there a hundred times asking me for stuff anyway, which would've just pissed me off more. But he won't wake me again without serious, prior consideration.