It’s better this way


Alternately titled: Why I locked my three year old in his room.

It was 8:00 and I had just returned home from a rehearsal when I went back to my bathroom to brush my teeth and change into my fat pants comfy clothes.  It was then I heard the breathing.  Like a miniature Darth Vadar was standing at my hip.

“Landon, get back in bed.”

“I’m firsty,” he whined.  I gave him a sip of water and sent him to bed.  Then I turned on the bath tub to try and warm myself up.  When I turned around, he was there again, this time scaring the Bejeebus out of me.  I yelped and karate chopped the air because For the love of all things Holy must children sneak up on you like that!

“Landon, go to bed,” I said, this time with more force.  And you should know, it’s not easy to use such force with someone as cute as my third born.  His tiny face is framed by a mop of Bieber hair and Sweet Mercy I just want to chomp on his cheeks every time I see him.  He’s just yummy.

“Can I wear shorts?” he said, batting his little hypnotic eyes at me.

“Fine.  Change, then go to bed.”

Off he went and I settled in the tub.  Until I saw his eye peeking through the crack in the door.

“Landon, go to bed!”

He turned and shuffled off.

This routine went back and forth for almost an hour.  And this was a good night – for Landon anyway.  He caught me on an off night when I wasn’t ready for the fight.  Generally these nights end up with a slew of tears from him and a few from me.  But this night saw me unable to fight his antics.

The child will not stay in his bed.

To be fair, I let him take a longer nap than usual on this fateful day, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that he changed outfits no less than six times, and took close to an hour and a half to go to sleep.

I finally did what any self respecting mother would do.  I closed the door.  The very door that I installed a door knob protector on a few weeks ago so he couldn’t open it back up.  In general I don’t like to do this and it is a last resort but here’s the deal: I would rather him be stuck in his room and finally have to give up the fight on his own than have him go to sleep with his last vision of me looking like the spawn of satan.  Because let me tell you…after you have spent an hour telling a child to go to bed, your patience is thin and life isn’t looking good for the child…no matter how cute he is.

It can get ugly.

So I lock him in his room.  This is a decision Lee and I came to together.  We simply weren’t getting through to him any other way.  Locking him in is a way to protect him and protect our own emotions.  Glory, Hallelujah!

I don’t lock the door at night often because Landon’s afraid of being stuck in a dark room.  Yes, I also removed the night light from his room and put it in the hallway because he was waking up at 3:00 in the morning and having parties with his stuffed animals like a teenager whose parents left town – sometimes for hours on end.  So generally it only takes a couple of short moments in his dark room to get him to settle down.  I am able to remain calm, he gets the idea.  Everybody wins.

Nap time is a different story.

When I make him take a nap, that is.  Because, you see, my third child is much like his mother.  Dang it.  (Not like my second born who, like her father, can sleep anytime, anywhere and seems to love the act of napping.)  I don’t need a lot of sleep to function and neither does Landon.  I gave up naps at an early age and Landon is following suit.  I don’t like this, of course, but payback’s a bleep, right?  I don’t like it because when he doesn’t nap, I don’t get the things accomplished that I need to get accomplished.  But, on the flip side, when he doesn’t nap he goes to bed at 7:00 or 7:30 with little to no fuss and he sleeps all night.

Kind of a nice trade off.

He will still take naps many days, but I’m not forcing it anymore unless it’s obvious he’s really tired.  I remember being forced to take a nap as a child and I hated it.  I swore I would never make my children sleep if they weren’t tired and my little mini-Bieber just isn’t tired most days.

He’ll probably nap today since he didn’t yesterday.  But alas, even though he didn’t sleep the locked door came in handy yet again when I made him stay in his room and play for a bit.

Of course he sat in there and used the bathroom in his pants, which was totally my fault since I locked him in.

*sigh*  I can’t win.

Do any of you have sleeping struggles with children?  Am I the only one?  Please, commiserate with me, will you?  Pull up a chair, grab a bottle of wine.  Let’s chat.  What?  It’s only 10:00am? 

Is it too early to drink?

I’m kidding!  I don’t drink this early in the morning.  No…I wait until 2:00 when the kids aren’t napping.

Again with the kidding…