Monday, February 23, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I don't even know where this quote came from but it fits perfectly for the subject of nap time/bedtime. When your children are infants and don't sleep at night- or in the day for that matter, and then cry (and by cry I mean SCREAM) for at least 3 hours EVERY NIGHT- (this was Carter for the first month and Bryce for the first 10 months...yes, ten) and you are SOOOO sleep deprived you can't see straight and so nauseous because you are so exhausted you want to die; I would say it's the worst of times. Then, they start napping on a schedule and sleeping through the night and finally you can count on that couple hour break in the day, and having your own time to regroup and maintain a bit or sanity at the end of the day, is the best of times. However... when you are trying to get a child to transition from a crib to a toddler bed, we have again entered the worst of times stage. Of course not as bad as the infant worst of time stage, so I'll call it the 2nd worst of times stage.
I don't know what to do with my sweet, cute, smart (too much for his own good), inventive, curious, energetic, full of life Brycie. We have been transitioning for about two weeks now trying different things. The whole super nanny idea of waiting outside their door, and when they come out, you do not say a word, pick them up and put them back in bed did not work. It backfired. Bryce thinks this is a great game and opens the door with a huge smile on his face, reaches his arms up knowing he'll be picked up, laughs when we do so and put him back in bed... repeat for 2 hours. Okay, so I'm tired. I need sleep. I'm done with super nanny. Next great idea: put a child-proof door handle on the inside of his door so he can't open it. Backfired: He can figure out the child-proof lock by just dumb luck and persistence.
Next greater idea: Lock the door from the inside AND put a child-proof handle on- so even if he can twist the child proof handle, it's locked and can't reach his little fingers in the child-proof handle to unlock it. Backfired: He now needs to entertain himself in his room which would be fine, but he does it by taking off his PJ's AND diaper. So when we check on him before we go to bed he has 3 pairs of different urine soaked PJ's in his drawer (nice of him to put them away), a squishy carpet spot and a naked Bryce finally asleep before midnight.
Next bigger and better idea: Put his PJ's on backward with the zipper in the back and just twist the little feet around in the front so he can't take off his PJ's and diaper. Backfired: Now that he can't entertain himself by peeing on things, so he rips up books, smears desitin and A&D cream on the carpet and himself, turns the rocking chair upside down to climb on and jump from, attempts to climb the dresser/changing table by pulling all the clothes out of the drawers and climbing in and up them to get to the top of the dresser. (Can anyone else see another broken limb in this child's future???) I know these things only when I hear a loud crash sound and Bryce starts crying. I run upstairs and my 'greater idea' of locking the door from the inside AND putting the child proof handle on backfires against me as now I'm struggling to fit this stupid little pin in the hole of the doorknob to unlock it to see if Bryce is okay. I get in, and hold Bryce making sure he is okay (he is, although miffed at the dresser for throwing him off) and notice the tornado called Bryce that has attacked the room. The middle dresser drawer metal is bent and broken-(yet to be fixed if it even can be), desitin stains the floor, rocking chair tipped over, and we are short a few more books.
Okay, so here is the new battle plan because seriously, did I mention I'm tired? We do this at nap time AND bed time. The struggle for at least 2 hours and by that time, nap time is over and then he falls asleep at 5:00pm exhausted because he didn't nap and stays up later to do the bed time struggle. Oh, and as a bonus, he gets into our bed in the middle of the night (which at this point I allow because I don't have the strength and energy to put him back in his own bed worried he won't go back to sleep, and then I won't get sleep either. So, I just scoot over and in comes Bryce man.
Back to the battle plan...
1- Turn the knobs the other way around so I can just lock it if the "firm warning" he gets first doesn't work. This way, it's easier for me to then unlock it should he need me quickly like when tornado Bryce struck.
2- Continue to put PJ's on backwards
3- Remove EVERYTHING from his room other than his bed.
4- Pad the room.
Okay, maybe not number 4, but the other 3 I'll try. Then at least I know he is safe (although who knows what he'll come up with). And hopefully slowly, I can put back books, clothes, diapers, sheets, etc. once he gets that he needs to stay put and does.
I realize this is extreme. I'm open for suggestions. And please, super nanny if you are reading this and have Bryce-proofed your technique, please, please, please, give me a call. We need to talk. I'm SO ready for the best of times again!
(Good thing he is so dang cute!)


Andrea said...

I've been thinking about having Sophie in a big girl bed lately. But you have just talked me out of that. I will continue to pray that she doesn't climb out of her crib anytime soon. GOOD LUCK! Sounds like you need it. I do remember my boss saying they had similar problems with their oldest so they put something that she was scared of in her door way and she wouldn't get out of bed. I thought it sounded mean. But he said that it worked. She too scared to get out of bed. :)

Emily Petty said...

Wow...that's amazing...there are no words! We have sleep struggles too - baby has never slept well (although we did have 2 weeks of bliss which I'm convinced that I jinxed by bragging about them to others). Our neighbors pound on the floor (still) whenever he cries in the night for more than a minute - it's great - I think you have convinced to put off the transition from crib to bed as long as possible. Good luck...I am very impressed with your perserverance and creative solutions!!! Oh..and your opening quote is from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" - and it's the opening quote of the book too.

Ashley said...

Are you kidding?!?!?! Holy moly.....sounds exhausting. Tell me it's not a boy thing. I don't want to go through this too. However, Bryce will already be trained by the time Connor reaches this stage and I can just call you for all of the advice. Write it down for me. :o)

I think that taking everything out is an excellent idea. That's what I was saying in my head before reaching the bottom of your post. There's nothing else you can do. Oh, and maybe you could get a video monitor. Then you could see what he was up to without going in. Are you getting a tax return?!?!?! ;o)

Mandy said...

Put him back in a crib and buy a crib tent. I's a little weird, like putting your kid on a leash, but it works. Go to babys-r-us or google crib tent. THey can't get out....and it's awesome! I did it with my Carter because the back and forth thing was a disaster. He actually liked the tent, thought it was fun. Who knew! :)

Mandy said...

Here's a link for the crib tent we had. I promise, they work great! :)

Three Men and a Lady said...

I saw one of those on craigslist while looking for a toddler bed. It was expensive! I recently mentioned it to Brady again who said, "I'm not putting that crib back up, it was hard enough to take down and bubble wrap and store! He'll just have to learn to stay there." But in hindsight, I wish we spent the stupid 60+ bucks on the tent. Would have been so worth it!

Stephanie B said...

I can't believe that. Lauren use to take off her pjs and diaper. It was such a mess. We ended up using diaper pins and pinning her diapers on and also doing duck tape. My only other thing I would say is skip the nap and push through to 6:30 or 7 then put him down for the night. I bet he wouldn't fight as much.

We'll probably be transitioning Rachel this summer to a big girl bed. When we did it with Lauren, the naps went out the window. Hopefully that won't happen with Rachel!

Mandy said...

I know they are expensive...but SO worth it! We left Carter in his tent until we moved and he was only a few months short of 4!! I's long, but awesome! The transition to a bed was so easy and he still napped and went to bed without ANY problems because I think he was old enough to understand. Tell Brady it's SO worth setting back up for naps and easy bed times! :) I'm actually not sure craig would put it back up but I would!