Monday, July 21, 2008

She's pulling out ALL the stops now!

I am knocking on wood right now as I type this .... both of my kids are good sleepers. Madison, in particular, is a fantastic sleeper. With the exception of the first four months of her life, Madison has pretty much gone to bed every night thereafter with no fuss, no argument, no nothing. We follow our bedtime routine, we kiss goodnight, we leave, and she sleeps.

A few weeks ago, however, Madison started calling out for us to come up to her room. She will do this 1 - 3 times during the first hour she is in bed. Her needs when she calls out range from having to go potty, needing a drink, wanting a snuggle, needing socks put on her feet, or wanting to say "I Love You" one last time. Given that all of those things are part of our bedtime routine, there is absolutely no reason for her to call out for these things once its lights-out. Basically, she is searching for things to need so that she gets our attention. I am not sure what started this whole thing, but it is getting tiresome and I want to nip it in the bud. I get particularly salty about this issue when she says she has to go potty (a request she knows we wont refuse), then sits on the toilet and says "You know what, maybe I didn't have to go potty" (which I could have predicted given that she had just gone 5 minutes earlier before we put her to bed!).

Anyway, last night, she called out for us after about 10 minutes after she had gone to bed. I went up to see what she needed and she said, "Mommy, I just wanted to tell you I love you again". Now, it's hard to get upset about her wanting to share her love, but this whole business needs to be stopped, so I tried to stay firm. I tell her that I love her so much too, but that she told me when she went to sleep, and she isn't supposed to call out anymore, yadda, yadda, yadda.... If she calls out again, something will be taken away from her. Goodnight.

Another 10 minutes goes by and she calls out again. This time Matt goes up. She wants a snuggle. Matt tells her that she got a snuggle before she went to sleep, that it is time for sleep, that we expect her to STOP calling out and GO TO BED! She can have a snuggle in the morning. Then the tears start rolling and she cries " I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO LOVE ME!" OMG, this is the guilt trip of all guilt trips and it is being perfectly executed by a 3 and a half year old. I swear that Drama should have been her middle name! Although it is somewhat infuriating that she thinks she can just play us like violins, it is also very interesting about how advanced her manipulation skills are :-) I was proud that hubby stood firm and told her we loved her but she couldn't have a snuggle right now and she needed to go to sleep. But, part of me just wanted to run up there and snuggle the heck out of that little cutie, even though it wasn't the right thing to do :-)

Anyone have any thoughts on how to break the calling out cycle?


Kelly said...

I hate that they know how to manipulate you at such a young age. They are so smart. I think it comes from before they could talk and they would just sit back and observe us. They are sneaky little things!

Erika said...

We are not the ones to ask about this one! Ever since March Seth had been leaving his bed and we have tried many, many tactics. But, now, one of us stay in his room until he goes to sleep...I admire your resolve! We snuggle, read, and love each other to death, BUT get very little adult time at night. If you can fix it--good for you!

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