Bedtime Blues

For about a month now, Davis has been adjusting to his new “big boy” bed. It has also been quite an adjustment for us as well. For weeks now, we have been battling Davis, literally. We’d put him in his bed, he’d get out, we’d put him back, he’d get out. This all lead to much kicking and screaming. Finally, in the end, he’d win and we’d lay next to his bed or in the bed with him, rubbing his back or his arm or his leg until he ultimately fell asleep. Some nights either Tracy or I fell asleep beside him. I have even fallen asleep in the first two minutes of rubbing his arm to be awakened by him reminding me that I’m supposed to be taking care of him. Needless to say, this has not been so great for Tracy and I and our solitary time we were enjoying prior to these bedtime blues. So, we decided that we had to figure out a way to keep him in his bed. He actually gave us some ammunition in the form of a bicycle. Recently, he’s been begging for a bicycle. I think he wants one so desperately because they have bicycles at his daycare which he really wants to ride except he doesn’t know how to pedal yet. I think he needs to practice so he’ll be able to ride the daycare bicycles. Which leads to us using his wants and desires to manipulate him a little. You see, we made a chart with 30 blank spaces. We explained to him that every night that he stays in his bed, he gets a sticker in one of the spaces. Once all the spaces are full, he will have earned a bicycle. I figure after 30 days, he’ll be accustomed to sleeping sans Mommy and Daddy and we’ll have our adults-only evenings back. It’s been two nights so far and the chart and promise of a bicycle is working like a charm. He also receives mini rewards every five days as well. I don’t want him to get bored on the long wait for the real prize at the end. So, this Thursday, if he earns five stickers by then, we’re headed to the Dollar Store so that he can pick anything in the store that he wants. Sometimes bribery has a very legitimate place in the rearing of children.

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