Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yay for Jet!

Last night I decided that I was Fed Up with getting kicked/elbowed/smacked all night long. I decided that Jet was going to sleep in his own bed. (Yes, I recognize the folly in deciding that my two-year-old son will do anything. I just. Couldn't. Take. It. Any. More. Plus, we'd like to have another baby, and I just don't see that happening with Jet sleeping smack in the middle of our bed.)

The Plan is to get him used to falling asleep in his own room instead of in our laps in the living room or in bed with us.

First, I went through our usual routine of bath and warm milk. Then, instead of reading him a book in the recliner in the living room, I sweet-talked him into laying down in his toddler bed, while I sat on the floor and read to him. He picked his Dinosaur book, and One Fish, Two Fish. We read those, and he was blinking slowly, with that thousand-yard stare. I foolishly thought Wow! This might be easy!

We finished the books, said his prayers, and I tucked him in. I quietly left the room, but stood outside the door. I'm trying to do the the Supernanny trick, where I just put him back in bed. Supposedly, he's getting up because he wants attention. Jo says to just put him back in bed without talking to him or giving him any positive reinforcement for getting up, and eventually he'll realize that I Mean Business, lay his sweet head on his little pillow.

She obviously has never met Jet-the-Stubborn, though I honestly don't think he's as bad as some of the monsters she's had on her show. Usually, he doesn't cry about the whole situation. He just keeps getting up. Over and over again until one of us breaks down and rocks him to sleep or drags him to bed with us because tying him down in his own bed until he falls asleep is considered abuse in some cultures.

Last night, though, I was determined to win. It escalated to spanking, which I almost never do because I don't like it and it doesn't usually work with Jet. Time-outs work really well, but that involves putting him in a chair in the living room, which was precisely what he wanted. Not much of a punishment. I spanked him twice for getting out of bed.

Finally, I enlisted Knight's help because I was so frustrated. Up to this point, Knight was engrossed in 24, which we were taping for friends who are scuba-diving in Belize this week (I'm trying to figure out what we're getting out of the deal -- they go to Belize and come back to recorded 24, and we get.... umm... to record 24. Not that we minded. We watch it anyway.)

Knight went into Jet's room and held him for awhile, then put him in bed and sang to him and patted his back. Things quieted down and Knight came out. Jet followed in about 10 seconds.

I went back in and sang and patted. I even sat down next to the bed. I was In for the Long Haul. Finally, he dozed off. I carefully got up amid legos and trucks and books, trying not to trip over anything or make a sound... and hit the stupid wire-coil door-stopper thing next to his closet door - TWAA-AAA-AAA-AAANG. I dropped my head but managed to keep my dirty words inside as Jet popped his head up and asked, "What are you doing, mommy?"

"I'm patting your back and singing some more, apparently."

He dozed back off quickly, though, and I was so proud of him for falling asleep in his own bed. I glanced at the clock as I came out of his room and realized that the whole ordeal only took about 45 mintues. It felt like an eternity, though.

Knight was supposed to do a big song and dance this morning about how proud we are that Jet fell asleep in his own bed last night. I don't know how well it went, since Knight is not much of a morning person. I think he took Jet to get donut holes for breakfast to celebrate.

Even if he did come in at 3:00 this morning to climb in our bed. Maybe by getting used to falling asleep in his room, he'll do better at falling back to sleep on his own.

Hopefully, this is the rekindling of a long and beautiful friendship between Jet and His Own Bed.


Heather said...

Been there, done that. It's frustrating. Thing to remember is putting him back in his own bed in the middle of the night. It's exhausting I know, but he'll make a habit of just coming in there whenever he wakes up. Trust me!! First things first. Falling asleep in his own bed rocks! You guys did great!!!!!

Damsel said...

I know we need to put him back in the middle of the night. We even agreed to do that when we went to bed last night.

Still didn't happen. I even woke up and said, "I don't care, bring him into bed." So, it's not like I can blame it all on Knight this time. :-P

Damsel said...

P.S. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jay said...

Can't help but wonder, do you feel even a hint of hypocracy in this?

Damsel said...

Well, Dad... Ummm... Maybe an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny hint. Microscopic, even.