Bed-time · parenting · Pipetty-ness

Bed-Time Battle Begins

That’s right..its a battle..and not one to be taken lightly.

Last few months have been so busy and crazy.We were travelling, catching up with friends, packing to move to Australia and so,our schedules have been erratic.Add to that a very social little girl and it means chaos everywhere.

She refused to go to sleep till the last person in the house was out flat. And in these past crazy months,slowly, sometimes,out of sheer lack of energy and sometimes,out of pure laziness, we let Aadya sleep in our bed..and before we could even blink,she became a permanent fixture in our bed. And that’s OK, its nice cuddling up with her, but what’s not OK is that she refuses to sleep,till we are awake. Now, no little body has so much energy to keep up with two adults,after being Super active all day long!

Our routine of last few days has been- quick meet and greet when Papa comes home from work,followed by a rushed dinner,long bath for Ms.Aadya,followed by her tucking in.Now, tucking her in means, all the lights have to be turned off, we have to lie down next to her, pretend like we are fast asleep and even then, madame,takes her own sweet time to fall asleep.First we are poked in the eyes and noses and then when we don’t wake up,there is some singing,followed by story telling,all done by Aadya herself-remember,we are pretending to be asleep. After a long long time,she falls asleep.By then, we are really truly sleeping.Another day gone by and we wouldn’t have spoken.

I am not kidding-Sanj joined a new job and we haven’t had a chance to talk about it. We haven’t had any couple time in forever!!! So,today,I declared war! I had decided..I am going to re-train her to sleep,on her own. I repeated her routine as it was, before,we er…things got crazy. I gave her dinner at 8:00, followed by a quick wash,then nice relaxing massage with her lotion,and donned her jammies. Then we said,nite-nite to her Papa, and her toys and went to bed,with a warm bottle of dudu and goldilocks book.

Dudu was downed,book was read,and then she rubbed her eyes,till then,we were on track. I thought to myself,wow she is going to sleep now.I started patting her.Till then we were on track.Then,I don’t know what happened,she was suddenly so fresh …like she had never been sleepy at all.But that wasn’t possible.She was sleepy, her eyes were watering,she had missed her nap.. Then,Papaa was asked to take over.But no,she wanted both of us there…like her captives.Like she doesn’t want us to have fun while she sleeps. So,I was pestered and tempted with baby cuddles and sweet smiles and “shoieees” till I finally gave in and went and lay down next to her.

And the moment I got in bed, the mischief started again..jumping,bumping her head into us…singing,talking.I threatened to go out.. and I was dared..”Mumma is going to go out,Aadi”..”yeah”..and out I went, and “Noooo Noooooo,aaja aaja”said the brat! Sanj almost smothered himself with his pillow,trying to hide his grin.Anyway, since the threat didn’t work,there was yelling followed by smacking. But it just made her more stubborn. Like she wanted to defy me. Like she knew,it was getting my goat and she was enjoying that. There was a lot of crying and loud crying at that too,because at some point of time,I was really mad and suggested that she get out of the bedroom! Yeah I know she is just a little girl!!

By now,Sanj had given up on his two girls- one not trying to sleep and the other trying to not sleep. Yes,I had made up my mind..I was not going to fall asleep today.anyway, after 4 long hours, finally she fell asleep.And before she did,I did doze off. But at the end of those four hours I was tired and hungry. I sneaked out of bed and guilt kept nagging at the back of my mind. I don’t like hitting Aadya, nor do I like it when she cries. And today was the limit of everything.. her mischief,her screaming and crying, my yelling, my smacking and most of all my patience.As I sit here, writing this, I know, that I didn’t give into her..but, is it really worth all the crying?At the same time,I do want to develop good sleeping habits for her. I really dint like the current sleeping arrangement.

I remember when I was growing up, 9.00 pm was bedtime and even if there were visitors, we were given our marching orders. 5 minutes to 9.00, we had to say our good-nights, brush our teeth and at sharp nine pm,lights out. Now, if only I could remember when we started doing that.I know the poor child has been through a lot of changes and I need to be patient,but come on 4 hours is too much ..even for a saint.I am totally at my wits ends..I will keep updating,the battle of bedtimes…in the meantime,if you have a magic wand to make my troubles, go away,please wave it this way!

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5 thoughts on “Bed-Time Battle Begins

  1. hey you. it’s the same with us – well kind of, z lies down with her and i finish up the dishes. by then if she isn’t asleep, then we have to pretend to sleep and all that jazz. but it’s very rare.she falls asleep right after her bottle is done with. for that i thank my lucky stars. try letting her stay up past her bedtime one day and wake her the same time as everyday the next morning. see if sheer exhaustion doesn’t have her fall asleep that night?

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  2. They don’t learn do they! I took care of my nephew for some time…and his twos and threes were when I forgot sleep altogether!What worked for us finally was his mom’s sari/dupatta as a sheet. He clung to it and eventually fell asleep comforted!

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  3. oh mimi! take it easy. are you sharing your tense vibes with her? kids sense everything. take it easy. she will settle down into a (yet) new routine soon. she is too young yet. and you take breaks and take care of yourself. only a happy mom raise a happy family 🙂

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  4. Tough little one, Mimi! I guess she needs the security of both of you at bedtime for a bit longer- if it’s not made into an issue it’ll probably work out sooner on its own.

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  5. I dont have kids but I do watch a lot of Super Nanny for life after bub…she has this rule of tucking the kid in and leaving the room and everytime the kid gets out of bed putting her back in bed and assuring her that we will see her in the morning (the first two times)…if the child repeats the ‘escape artist’ routine to keep quiet and put her back in bed and leave the room…at some stage the child gets it and will go back to sleep. All of her charges get into the routine after two nights…but its hard on the parents the first couple of nights and they are tempted to buckle in to the emotional blackmailing.

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