Pink Laundry: Bedtime, party of four

Getting a pair of toddlers to settle into bed — their own beds — at night is no small challenge for our parenting columnist, Kristyl Clark

It’s usually around 3 a.m. when the party kicks off in our household. While I am not one to shy away from a shindig — after all, I love a good excuse to get dolled up, kick up my heels and hire a sitter  — this is one fête I’d rather forget.

And so it begins, pretty much on cue — every. single. night. — with a game of chicken.

“Momma, mommy, mommeeeeee . . . daddy?” wails  Zoe, our youngest, as she bounces up and down in her crib, demanding to be scooped up by whoever gives in first. For the record, it’s usually dad.

“Again, seriously?” My disgruntled husband, Jason, will often ask as I pretend to be fast asleep, oblivious to the chaos that’s about turn our short-lived siesta into a midnight fiesta.

In my defense, I keep hoping, or more like dreaming, that our little party animal will eventually figure out how this whole ‘sleep thing’ works and just go back to sleep on her own. So far, no dice.

And, this isn’t our first late-night rodeo. With our three-and-a-half-year-old, Molly, we tried every parenting trick and technique in the book in an attempt to catch some much-needed Z’s.

From the Ferber method to Febreeze theory — OK, I made up that last one — we’ve had no luck getting her to sleep through an entire night in her own room.

I’m sure many would say that we’ve made our bed by having allowed them to sleep with us early on and that we must to lie in our proverbial mess.

Except, now it’s getting pretty crowded with two lovable, but unwanted wee guests fighting for space in between the sheets.

Let me tell you, it’s really hard to drift into a blissful sleep with a pair of little feet wedged under your back.

Another late night game we’ve grown accustomed to is musical beds.

While our clan usually ends up in the same bed, we’ve found that our only shot at avoiding sleep deprivation is to divide and conquer. I usually end up with Zoe, while Jason crashes on Molly’s bedroom floor.

I can probably count on both hands how many times Jason and I have slept together for a whole night in the past two months. Really, it’s a miracle that Molly has a younger sister . . . or so everyone likes to tell us.

Now, before I get a flood of letters about how I should let my girls ‘cry it out,’ we’ve been there, and it hasn’t been pretty nor effective.

While it’s tough on us as parents to listen to our little ones cry for hours on end, I’m sure it’s even harder for our neighbours — we live in a townhouse with paper-thin walls — to put up with it. Sorry guys.

So what do we do?

I honestly have no clue.

Yes, we have our good nights where we are able to sneak them back into their beds and reclaim our space, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

Just this morning, I was awakened by Zoe, except she wasn’t in her usual spot  — lying across my pillow  — she was in her crib.

As I wiped the sleep from my eyes, I caught a glimpse of the alarm clock, which read 10 a.m. I couldn’t believe my orbs, or how amazing it felt to have had a full night’s rest.

Victory.

Well, at least for one night, anyhow.

But right now, I’ll take what I can get.

There’s always coffee, right?

 

Kristyl Clark is a stay-at-home-mom who writes monthly for the Langley Times and is a co-founder of the women’s lifestyle blog, Sex and the Suburb (www.sexandthesuburb.com).

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