Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Power of Guilt

Last night the boys went to bed fairly easily, save for one little boy named Benny. It wasn't too surprising, in that after we got home from picking Louie up from school they all played baseball in the backyard for about an hour. The temperature had risen ten degrees or so and it hadn't been wet in a while, so we were all eager for them to be outside!

Lou crashed shortly after his head hit the pillow; Charlie put up somewhat of a fight; but Ben, he was not going down, no matter what. The thing with Benny is that he's the only one who asks to go to bed. He runs himself until the battery is just about gone and then needs to recharge. Knowing this, I still didn't want to start any bad habits, like If I beg Mommy and Daddy long enough, I don't have to do what they say! Charlie is one that we've had to keep putting in bed, not making eye contact, not saying anything, about thirty times in one night (a la Super Nanny).

I tried to do this last night with Ben, and I probably could have kept it up except that he stopped saying I don't wanna go to bed! to I want my Mommy!! After screaming this on a couple of the trips I carried him to bed I gave in. It broke my heart. How much longer is this kid going to actually want me? He wasn't fighting the sleeping as much as he was fighting wanting to be with me. I had some things I needed to do, but I could take a few minutes to lie down with him, rub on his back, and hope that is all he needed to drift off to sleep.

This was not the case. I found my eyes getting heavy and was going to get up when I opened my eyes and there he was staring at me. I decided to pull my old babysitter trick: I'll come back and check on you in 20 minutes and then if you're still awake you can get up. This kid is one determined little booger. He was awake and walking down the steps about 10 minutes later. It was then that I decided that he just took too long of a nap and the situation wasn't getting solved by forcing him to lie down when he wasn't ready.

However, I had a terrible night of sleep the night before and I was ready for bed. Kevin was working in the basement, so I had Benny get his slippers on, grabbed a stool and brought him down to the basement. He sat there and talked with Kevin while he worked.

Later, when Kevin came to bed he said that a little while after Ben came down he decided that he was sleepy and put himself to bed. Apparently, Benny must have told Kevin that he really, really wanted to sleep in our bed. When Kevin asked why Ben told him that a long time ago when he was three and the "long" Grandma and Uncle Nate was watching him there was a wind storm and Grandma let him and Charlie sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed and he liked it better.

He wasn't making this up. He is talking about the storm two falls ago when Kevin and I went to the Bengals game and it got so bad that the power went out for a week. Never doubt a kid's memory, that's for sure! As for why he prefers our bed over his, I'm not sure. But I do remember feeling the same way about my parents' bed when I was a kid.

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