Monday, January 24, 2011

Bedtime Hell

Abigail continues to be a child who really needs sleep.  I can tell when she hasn't had a 'nap day' when I pick her up from Little Bears.  And today she didn't get a nap.

By the time 7:45 rolled around, I was in the first steps of getting the little girls to bed. A much-welcomed phone call from Daddy slowed us a bit, but I was still hopeful that a smooth bedtime could be had.

My first clue that things might be rough came when Abigail refused to go upstairs and get pjs on and brush teeth before reading books.  I steamrolled that decision anyway and went ahead on up, forcing her to follow me or miss books.

The next delightful interchange occurred over the choice of pjs.  The two options held no appeal, but again I held fast and she chose the princess gown.  She made it very *very* clear how unhappy she was, but the choice was made.

Bethany wasn't totally innocent at this point and was dithering and dallying herself.  That's when I set the timer for 5 minutes and challenged them to get dressed and teeth brushed before it went off.   The timer gambit may have been my fatal flaw in getting Abigail too wound up, but it did result in two little girls totally ready for books (even a potty stop, which I hadn't required quite yet).

Book reading was rough.  Abigail didn't want to share my lap and hit and kicked out at me and her sister.  After a warning, I turned away from her and read anyway.  She realized I was serious and settled in for the story, looking sort of 'around' my side and staying put.

Songs were a little easier (but not completely peaceful), and I could tell her energy was waning.  She snuggled during her song and got into bed when asked.  Her breathing almost immediately deepened and she finally relaxed.  By the time all the songs were done, she was murmuring her 'good nights' and she went off to la la land.

I love my daughters.  But I have to admit I have a hard time 'feeling the love' at times.  Like tonight, at the height of Abigail's tizzy.

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