After a day of obsessing over just what went wrong that resulted in V not wanting to sleep in his own room the night before last, the only conclusion I could come up with was that he was lashing out at the fact that it had been a week since he had spent time with both his mom and dad simultaneously.

Wednesday is typically softball night for me. Unfortunately our game time was 7:30pm last night. Couldn’t have been at a worse time. Too late to bring V with me to the game because the last thing I wanted to do was let him slide on our normal routine. And too early of a game to allow me to go after putting V down for the night. Keeping to the routine, I believed, would be imperative to getting him to sleep in his own bed so I did the only thing someone trying to act like a responsible parent would do. I skipped my softball game last night.

The three of us – mom, dad and V – spent the evening together as a family. Ate together, played outside together, did some errands together. At some point during the evening I mentioned to V that he was going to get to see his favorite cousins tomorrow. No sooner did the words exit my mouth did I question myself for telling him. For the next hour, all I heard was “I want to go see Gus & Maddie”. Then it hit me. Bribery. All parents do it, don’t we? So I told V that he would only get to see his cousins if he was a good boy and slept in his bed all night. He agreed. I was cautiously thrilled. Sneaky, sneaky parents.

Fast forward a couple of hours. Husband and I bathed V and put him to bed. Our normal night-time routine is bath followed by jammies followed by brushing teeth followed by blow dry the hair followed by 10-15 minutes of batting practice followed by prayer book followed by Goodnight Moon. Lights out. Lullaby CD on.

I was praying V couldn’t sense my hesitation – the fact that I was holding my breath waiting to see whether or not we were in for another night of hell. The whole night-time routine unfolded like clockwork. V was quiet during Goodnight Moon, and excitement was building inside of me. Unknowingly I had started saying Goodnight Moon a bit too quickly, so I had to slow myself down. I didn’t want a hair out of place in this routine.

Just as I was finishing “Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere”, V sat up in bed and started crying. Oh no. What to do? Panic? Before I knew it, out came the bribe again.

Me: “V, do you want to see Gus and Maddie tomorrow?”

V: “Yes”

Me: “Then you need to sleep in your bed tonight. If you don’t sleep in your bed, we won’t be able to see your cousins tomorrow. Do you understand?”

V: “Yes”

AND THEN HE LAYED DOWN! Without another word! And he didn’t wake up the entire night!

Scorecard stands at V=1, Parents=1. Tie game. We’re hoping to take the lead tonight … although I’m not sure what kind of bribe I’ll come up with next time if we have to go through this again.

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