We all know that social media is the place where everyone shows the rainbows and sunshine in their life. I love seeing happy things. But I love seeing the "real" things just as much. It makes me feel more normal. Which normal is different for everyone. That's the main thing that I've learned in the last year and a half. Normal for you is completely ass backwards for someone else. What is right for you is completely wrong for someone else.
For the last few weeks, maybe even a month or so, bedtime with Tucker has resembled a lot like what I imagine World War III to be, except it lasts 2 hours instead of years. But in the moment, the moment when my hair has been pulled out of my bed, my arm has been scratched and I'm raising my white flag with tears running down my face as Danny comes to my rescue, it feels like war.
I want to blame Daylight Savings time, but the first week of it being light out longer went like a dream. I thought we were in the clear. Nope. We had been doing everything the same. Dinner, bath, play, books, teeth, then off to his room with a bottle of milk to go to sleep. He would finish the milk, then start fighting for an hour. Then the house turned into an hour and a half. Then an hour and a half turned into 2 hours. In those long hours, we would get Tylenol (because teething does. not. stop!), rub Peace & Calming oil on his feet, read more books(by read I really mean grab them on the shelf, read a page, then throw it on the floor), get more milk (does the kid really need 12 ounces of milk before bed? Negative!). This went on for a week. I dreaded bedtime. I thought about it almost all day and would get anxious just thinking about it.
I finally said Screw it! If he's going to fight be after his bottle anyway, then I'm going to switch things up and get rid of the bottle. New routine went like this. Dinner, bath, play, books and sippy with milk, then off to his room for another book and bed. First night took 30 minutes. Second night took 45ish. Next night I lasted an hour and a half before we ended up in the living room falling asleep to Elmo. I had replaced one bad habit (bottle before bed, which had him falling asleep with a bottle leaving milk on his teeth and him dependent on a bottle to go to sleep) with another bad habit. His eyes might get messed up, but at least he'll sleep with healthy teeth! I'd come to terms with it. It wasn't going to make me a terrible mom. It worked for 2 nights. Saturday night he was up until 11:30. Monday night bedtime took 2.5 hours. Danny ended up coming in to deal with it because I was a mess. What would it take to get this kid to go to bed?! Once he got in bed, he slept all night. We just had to get to that point!
We tried something new Tuesday night. We had never messed with the bath. It was always dinner then straight to the bath since he had food all over him so it just "made sense" and was easier. Tuesday we did dinner, play, Tylenol (to stop the constant chewing and prevent him from becoming a vampire) bath, books & milk, brush teeth, Peace & Calming oil, then off to bed with Danny. He had ear plugs and was prepared to camp out in Tucker's room while he screamed and they negotiated bedtime for hours. And Danny wasn't going to rock him. He was going to sit next to the crib while Tucker screamed. About 15 minutes in, I hear the song Soft Kitty coming from Tucker's room. Danny just started singing, and after about 5 times through, the screaming and negotiating came to a halt. Another 15 minute went by and Danny made is escape. Tucker just went to bed in 30 minutes. Totally acceptable in our house!
Last night was my turn. I was nervous. Tucker is more attached to me and I was afraid I would give it. I made a cup of tea, since I just knew I'd be in there for an hour and my throat would start hurting from singing Soft Kitty so loud so he could hear it over the screams. So, I sang. I picked him up to soothe him, only for about 30 seconds every few minutes. The last time I picked him up, I could tell he was ready to sleep. I laid him down and rubbed his back while still singing. He was asleep. I made it out in 20 minutes with a full cup of tea, no tears and my sanity in check.
Now, it's only been 2 nights, but I'm feeling confident that we are making progress.