Saturday, February 23, 2008

Winning the War

It's not how many battles you win, it's who surrenders in the end. Right?

Isaac has always been a really good sleeper. With the exception of a few short periods where he screamed bloody murder before finally drifting off to sleep, he's always gone to sleep right away. Okay, so nap time has been a chore for quite some time, and sure, after the first week after moving to his "big boy bed," he started laying by the door and crying himself to sleep for over a month. But, for the past few months he's gone to bed without a fight. I read him a few books, we say our prayers, sing a a song or two, give hugs and kisses and we're done. But here's where things changed - Isaac learned to open doors. He's been able to open doors from the outside of a room for a while now, but now he's mastered opening a door from inside. He got that action down pat one day and on the next he started leaving his room.

For a few nights one of us would stay with him in his room until he fell asleep. It didn't take long and seemed pretty harmless. However, now that he can leave his room in the middle of the night, when he wakes up, why in the world should he stay in his room? By 1 in the morning, he's had a good nap, doesn't want to go back to bed and sitting with him in his room until he falls asleep becomes a two hour event.

So, I decided we were going to nip this thing in the bud before it got out of control. Last night I sent Joe off to Bible study, stayed home with Isaac and prepared myself for an hour or two of walking Isaac back to his bed.

He went to bed at 7:59. Between 7:59 and 8:35 he's left his room a 54 times - I'm feeling good; after all, he has to give up eventually. By 9:00, he left his bed a total of 85 times - I'm sure that he'll be in bed in no time. By 9:40 we're up to 139 times and I'm getting less patient. I keep remembering that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I stopped counting at 10:05 -166 times of putting Isaac back to bed. At 10:15 I was ready to hurt my child, so for my sanity and his protection, I quit. I held the door shut and he kicked the door and cried himself to sleep, meanwhile I sat on the floor and cried my eyes out as well. This whole Supernanny/ Healthy Sleep Habits garbage of "no communicating or showing affection of any kind after bedtime" only works with a child who stays in bed for a little while and then gets up.

Who won that battle? I don't know - my count says we both lost.

Oh, by the way, he was up before 6 this morning.

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