Last night was frustrating. And you know how I absolutely hate talking about how frustrating parenting can be because I love my children so much and I know what the alternative is but there are times when I just reach a breaking point. Last night, I reached a breaking point.
This whole conversion from cribs to beds has been a test of sorts. Not only have the girls transitioned into sleeping in beds but they are all now in separate rooms. They shared a bedroom for over two years. It is really all that they know so I realize that it is an adjustment for them. For all of us really. Rich and I and Grammy have thought about and tried different things in an attempt to come up with the best way to deal with nighttime shenanigans.
We realize that we need to contain the girls in their rooms or they simply run around and wreak havoc. And by wreaking havoc, they really aren't tearing anything apart, they are just playing. There were a few nights that they carried all of the diapers from the supply in Allie's room into the hall. I can appreciate the fact that they are pretending to shop and using their imagination but but they just don't know when to stop and go to sleep.
I refuse to shut anyone into their room without being able to hear what is going on and since we have two baby monitors, we placed one in Allie's room and one in Em's room. We have an extra, portable gate that we use across the screen door in the summer so that the girls don't push the screen out. We have been using that across the doorway to Anna's room. Allie doesn't mind having her door shut and will just sit in her bed and read books until she falls asleep. (I want to note that as soon as they are all sleeping, I open all doors.) Em, on the other hand, hates to have her door shut and flips out. I just cannot lock her in her room. It seems really wrong to do that.
Em likes to run to Anna's doorway and pull her into a game. In my attempt to begin decorating their rooms, I had purchased this little stool a few months ago for Anna's room. Every. single. time. I catch Em messing around with Anna, that stool is over by the gate as if Em is encouraging Anna to jump ship. And it doesn't matter if Anna falls asleep either, Em will stand in her doorway and yell, "Wake up, Anna."
Last night, we tucked the girls in around 7:30. I should make note of the fact that they had been awake since 8:15 that morning with NO nap. One would think that they would just fall asleep. Em was awake until 10:00. Okay, that is my ideal bedtime.
There have been many nights when Em will stay in her bed even with the door open. Last night was not one of those nights. After Rich and I had made a few trips upstairs, Rich shut her door and she proceeded to flip out so I opened it. Anna fell asleep around 8:30, I believe, so I then had to worry about Em waking her up. I tried everything. I told her some stories. I sat next to her. I left her alone, using the guise that I was going to check on Allie. She would not fall asleep. At some point before 9:00, I sat out in the hallway in order to keep her in her room. She kept climbing in and out of her bed and running into the hallway.
After 9:00, she began to stay in her bed but she was whining and crying. The only thing she ever complained about was her foot not fitting into her jammies correctly. I fixed it and she never mentioned it again. I left her alone. She cried. I sat next to her. She whined. I climbed into the bed with her. She kept shifting around. Finally, right before 10:00, I told her that I was giving up. That I needed to get ready for bed and I left. And she cried. After fifteen minutes or so, she finally fell asleep.
I had already lost it at that point.
Did she eat something with too much red dye number something in it?
Did she consume too much sugar?
Is she getting sick?
She has all of her teeth.
She felt a bit too warm. And then a bit too clammy.
I hope she isn't getting sick again.
There is stuff that I have to do at night and stuff that I want to do at night. I love my children but I need to have some free time. It just seems like I have spent the past week battling with bedtime antics and I am tired of it. But there is a side of me that somewhat follows attachment parenting and I just can't allow them to freak out at night. Finding a good balance is so difficult.
This morning as Grammy was changing Em out of her jammies into her clothes, she found a piece from one of the play pizza sets in the foot of Em's jammies. Grammy asked Em how the play pizza sauce ended up in her jammies, to which she responded, "I put it in there last night."
Let's blame Em's going to sleep issues on that. Please.