We are trying very hard around here to help Ingrid go to bed with less stalling. For the past few weeks it's been taking her an hour or so to fall asleep. First it was that she wanted a drink. Then when I realized she was just saying that, but not drinking when given her water bottle, she moved onto throwing her nuk on the floor and then calling "I can't find my nuk!" After we stopped going in for that, it was that she "dropped" her doll, or that the glow worm needed batteries, or that she had to go to the bathroom. It was one thing after another, with me putting her to bed and then every five minutes popping up and running in the room. And getting more and more pissed as the time went on.
It all starts out so innocently, I just wanted to give my child what she needed before bed. And then it grew so gradually into a big deal that one day I was blindsided by the fact my daughter had been manipulating me for weeks! How did that happen?? However it happened, it's stopping. NOW.
Last night was my first trial of letting her go and not going in to give her anything. Most of the time I'm sitting there wondering if I'm being a big meanie, maybe she really is thirsty, maybe she really does have to go to the bathroom. But then I'd sit and listen to her and laugh--"I need my water bottle! I need my water bottle! I need to poo! I need...my dog! I need...I need...uh, my water bottle!" It was making me laugh last night listening to her because she was just grasping at straws, what will make mama come back into my room to get me?
She cried for a half hour on and off. Sometimes screaming, sometimes really sounding pathetic and tugging at my heartstrings, and sometimes sounding like a maniac. After a half hour I went in, told her it was time to go to sleep, and I left her. She fell asleep about a minute later. Instead of it taking over an hour to fall asleep, she fell asleep in a half hour. Progress! Tonight she's quiet, just talking to herself and not calling out for me, so we'll see. Hopefully she's getting the picture that there is no more stalling to go to bed. Hopefully.