Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bedtime Blues

About the only time that I am not overwhelmed by Piper's cuteness is at bedtime.  At bedtime her cuteness level plummets to record low levels.  Thankfully, since we moved her up to a real bed from her toddler bed, she sleeps through the night most every night.  (My theory that the bed was too small and she was waking herself up rolling around in a small space was correct!)  However, getting her to sleep is a major problem.  And because she is up and making trouble it often will create problems with the older two kids too.

The kids are almost always in bed between 8 and 8:30pm each night.  On the rare occasion Piper is super tired, she goes right to sleep much like Bryce does most nights.  Those are the good nights.  But they don't happen often anymore.  Most nights it's a struggle - she whines, she cries, she messes around, she jumps in her bed, she gets out 34235 books, she climbs all over things (her hamper, her bedside table), she plays with her dollhouse.  Quite honestly, I'd be totally fine with her sitting in her bed quietly reading books (like Caroline does) or playing with her dollhouse.  I've let go of that need to MAKE them go to sleep at a certain time because I learned with Caroline that it's just not going to happen.  Much like me, Caroline takes a while to go to sleep and reading helps to get her brain ready to go to sleep.  Since we've let her read at bedtime, our bedtime drama with Caroline is almost nonexistent.  (Although she will stay up too late reading sometimes but so far it hasn't caused any problems.)

But Piper just isn't there yet and much of the problem is that Piper doesn't want to stay in bed.  I don't know why I bother tucking her in and trying to make her all comfy and cozy.  It's completely worthless.  Some nights it's allllll fun and games.  Other nights it's a whinefest and a constant barrage of requests (a drink, medicine, rub my neck, band-aid, tuck me in, cover me with my blanket, and on and on and on...).  She always wants Jason or me to sit on the steps which I'm willing to do for a few minutes if she's laying in bed quiet, but most nights she isn't and uses my presence to ask for things.  It makes us mental.  Especially this time of year, I have many things I need to do.  I need that hour or, if I'm lucky, hour and a half to accomplish tasks or just chill out.  Some nights it's almost 9:30 before she'll settle down and it's a constant struggle of up and down the steps for us, especially when she causes drama with Bryce and Caroline.

I know this is a 3 year old thing in addition to Piper just being extra dramatic and having the pen chance for stirring things up.  I remember Caroline and Bryce giving me problems with going to bed in the 3/4 year old range too.  I'm just done.  I hate that bedtime sucks up so much time now and leaves me so grumpy.  I miss the days of the crib.  I know she will eventually get tired of this and just go to bed or read quietly but I'm being worn down in the meantime.

And for what it's worth, nap or no nap makes no difference.  It just depends on her mood that night.

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