Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why, because, okay and our new bedtime routine

E learned the word because about a month ago. He knew it was typically used to answer a why question and would start off by saying, "Because..." but then his voice would turn into a murmur and would trail off because he didn't know how to end the sentence.  It was adorable. Only recently has he learned how to tag some words to the end of his sentence and the answer to everything in the evening usually ended up being, "Because I want to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed". 

This past week he learned how to properly use the word why.  Yes, we have already entered the why stage! But I have to admit it's pretty darn cute when he is constantly asking me why and you can almost see the little wheels in his head turning. 

Which leads me to the word okay.  He has been using this word for a while now and it just cracks us up everytime.  The best part of this word is that it shows how easy to please my child is.  Answer a couple why's, throw in some because's and you've got an okay from him in no time.  He obviously has his melt downs from time to time, but man is this kid happy-go-lucky. 

Why, because and okay have played huge parts in our bedtime routine for the past week.  E had been in a habit of making up excuses and fighting us to go to bed. He requested more bedtime stories, a drink of milk, that he had to go pee or that he was scared and he would always answer everything by, "Because I want to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed".  To add to that, he was always waking up once in the night and we would bring him in to snuggle, which I didn't mind, but I hadn't had an uninterrupted sleep in what felt like forever!

I finally discovered a problem with my persuading. We almost always told him we were going to bed too, thinking that he would understand that it was bedtime. Wrong. It just made him want to be out of his bed and in ours even more.  And while I'm not against co-sleeping or lying down with him and have done it often, he can become easily distracted and it's hard for me to get anything done around the house in the evening when it happens night after night.  There's been a number of times that I have had to lie down with him and Hubby comes home to a war-zone in the kitchen because I fell asleep. 

So I tried something new. I told E that he needed to go to sleep because Mommy had to go downstairs and wash the dishes.  "Okay, Mommy", he said and rested his sweet little head on his pillow and went to sleep. Not a peep until 11 hours later. I thought it was a fluke, but then he did the exact same the following night and then two days later when Hubby put him to bed (I passed along the trick and it worked like a charm). The following night I put him to bed again and I thought he caught me.  When I told him I was going down downstairs to wash the dishes, like usual, he told me, "It's okay, Mommy, Daddy do it ready",  remembering the previous night.  I thought we were busted, but I was able to convince him that there were more dishes to be washed.

Fast forward over a week later and it has become our routine and he is still very content.  Here is what our conversation was last night:

Me: It's time to go to sleep. Lie down now and I'll put your blankets on you.
E: Why, Mommy?
Me: Because it's night time and you need to rest before you go to Mrs. X's house tomorrow to play with all your friends.
E: Okay, Mommy.  Where you going, Mommy?
Me: I'm going down to the kitchen to wash the dishes.
E: Because it's a mess, Mommy?
Me: Yes, honey. It's a total mess down there.
E: Okay, Mommy. You better go wash the dishes, Mommy.

Ahh, bliss. Evenings to myself. Content little angel.  Our bedtime routine couldn't be going more smoothly right now.  Who knew that washing my dishes could make my toddler sleep? Now there's a huge tip missing from all the parenting books!  I don't mean to brag I just really wanted to document this because I want to see how long I can keep it running! Any bets? 9 days and counting...

1 comment:

  1. ooo, thanks for the tip! I'm going to try this. We have been lying down with our daughter every night, but lately it takes over an hour for her to finally settle. Last night I just said "night, night" and left the room because I was getting frustrated (she actually fell asleep on her own without any crying, but I think it was a fluke). So maybe I will try your trick and see if it works....because really, I DO need to wash the dishes!!