Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Allie & Mommy

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(Sorry to start with a little bit of housekeeping.  I was trying to claim my blog over there and I needed to have that at the top of a post.)

Last fall, Allie's bedtime routine had evolved into her looking at books on her own or coloring/writing in her journal before she fell asleep.  Some people need to unwind before bed and that's okay. 

A few months ago, she began appearing at the top of the stairs when she was supposed to be sleeping.

"I want you to sleep with me."

"No, Allie.  That's not how it works.  You need to go to bed."

"But my bed's not comfortable."

"Okay, try sleeping on the floor."

Inevitably, the situation would slide downhill until we were all angry and frustrated.  More often than not, I give my kids a free pass when they come looking for me in the middle of the night but I was not about to bend and go back three years to sitting on a bed until she fell asleep.  As selfish as it sounds, I need a break.  And seriously, a five year old does not need a parent with her in order to fall asleep at night.  Especially in a well light room.  There are no sharks in the heating vent!

I'm not going to pretend to be a parenting expert because clearly, I'm not but I have learned that sometimes you have to step back and find an alternative solution.  As a parent, I still needed to be the one in charge but obviously, she needed something from me.  The solution - I tuck her in last and spend five (sometimes seven) minutes in bed with her.  Sometimes we cuddle.  Sometimes she asks questions.  Sometimes we talk about her day.  And that's it.  Tonight, she read most of Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss to me.


I don't have many photos of me with the girls and I so wish that this one had been taken with my Nikon and not my iPhone.  I love Allie's expression.  As much as I try to embrace grain, this just makes my skin look diseased.  I've been using my iPhone for impulse photos and occasionally, I post them to Twitter but that's it.  It drives me insane (Type A) that I can't control anything!


Cindy said...

I, too, find it difficult lately at bedtime. My girls will be 5, 5 and 9 in June. One of my little ones has been having a really difficult time at night getting settled. She pops out of the room at least 4 times and nothing keeps her in there. I spend about 10 minutes (the twins share a room) singing and talking or reading to them before lights out. I've tried giving her a flashlight so she can read. She just really wants her mom and nothing else will do. Is it the age? As for my older girl, she goes to be pretty well, but I also spend about 10 minutes before lights out talking to her and telling her stories of when I was little.
I know my one girl needs more, but there has to be a limit. Mommy needs some time too. (and by time i mean I have laundry to fold, dishes to wash, etc - it's not like I'm having a party, that's asking too much right now)

Ashlee said...

What a sweet way to get one on one time with Allie every day! That picture is awesome you can see how happy the extra time makes Allie.

Debt-Free said...


Not sure if you have seen this yet. A pretty stark look at spina bifida in a very different part of the world. I never realized how dangerous UTIs could be for Anna.

Sarah said...

Cindy - It's so hard - isn't it?

Thanks, Ashlee.

Debt-Free - Yes! I read it the other day. I may link to it in a post. My heart breaks for that little girl.

Anne Den Haag said...

Beautiful story and i feel the love of you and your little girl. Wishing you and your girl much happiness...

Stacey L. said...

My husband works nights and I always end up waking up with one or both of my twins in the bed with me....I want them to sleep in their beds, but I also don't want them to think they can't come in my room and be comforted if they really need it. I just don't want them to get used to it...it's hard.

Macchiatto said...

Such a precious picture, grain and all!