For the most part, we have a good bedtime thing going at our house. After dinner the kids help clean up dinner, pick up their bedrooms, put jammies on, and we read aloud as a family for half an hour to an hour (depending mainly on how long the first part takes). Then Tim takes Caleb into his room and rubs his back for a little while to get him settled while Aidan reads out loud to me for about a half hour, then we tuck him in and that's that. Kylee either falls asleep nursing while Tim is reading the first time or just plays/looks at books on her own during this time and we lay her down later.
Usually the boys fall asleep on their own, with little to no reminders or assistance between 7:30 and 8:00. Even if they are awake, they are good about staying in their rooms. Kylee varies quite a bit on what time she goes down, but generally no later than 8:00.
Sounds great, right?
Except when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
Like last night, for example.
Things were going along fine. Kylee was in bed around 6:00 because she only took 1 short nap during the day. The boys had been tucked in and had their appropriated nightime drinks of water and trips to the bathroom.
The Kylee woke up for some reason. Tim went upstairs to put her back to sleep and I stayed down to work on some lesson planning for school and other odd jobs. I noticed, quickly, however that it was quite noisy in the boys' room. When I went into check on them and remind them to quiet down, I was assulted by the stench of poop. Yes, poop. A certain almost four year old has decided that he no longer wants to use the restroom for #2.
Off to the bathroom I took him, only to realize that since he's in jammies and not clothes there was no underwear to contain the mess. So I threw him into the shower and went back to check on A who was standing on his head in bed throwing blankets over the side and generally being wild and crazy. I helped him lay down, reminded him it was bedtime...all the general nice parent things to do.
I get C back to bed, only to discover A has gone completely hog wild. This happens with him from time to time (not neccessarily at bedtime) and it is never pretty. It's like a wild child takes over his body and he turns into a mini- monster. All of the reminders and consequences in the world don't seem to make a bit of difference.
We went around and around for at least a half hour...maybe longer.
At one point he actually kicked me.
After some fairly harsh words from me (ok, after some loud volume yelling from me) and some even harsher words from Daddy, along with a string of consequences, he finally just gave up. It was almost like he collapsed and went to sleep. Caleb fell asleep in there at some point, although with all the ruckus who knows how.
Kylee, however, was just getting started. Tim didn't finally get her back to bed until a little after 11:00.
Now I know that tonight will probably be better. It's been a loooooooong time since we had two bad nights in a row. What I wish is a- that I had any clue what actually triggers this behavior out of A and b- some way to stop it without escalating into a giant shouting match. Kylee is transitioning from two naps to one and I anticipate she will continue to be a little out of sorts as she figures it all out.
Whenever we have bad nights, it seems that everyone is in our bed sooner rather than later. It's like their little bodies just need to be close to make sure everything is still ok. I'm glad that we can offer that tangible comfort, although I admit I would be happier to offer it without the preceding mad house!