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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!