Friday, December 12, 2008

Super Ashley

I might've mentioned on here before that Ashley has a lot of....um....energy. So much so, that it's close to impossible for the girl to settle down and go to sleep at night. And now that she's in a big girl bed instead of a crib, bed-time has gotten even tougher.

Oh, don't get me wrong. Ashley LOVES her big-girl bed.....because she can get out of it. Which she does every.single.night, over and over again. I have come to the conclusion that she is physically incapable of staying in her bed. You lay her down, and she just sproings right on up again. It's like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole.

I documented some of her getting-out-of-bed issues here, so you can see that this has been going on for quite awhile. I've tried various gentle loving approaches to address the issue, such as different bedtime routines, adjustments to bedtime, rewards, threats, punishments, pleading, begging, prayer, etc. Nothing has worked.

So, I decided to get tough.

My first step was to have Scott install one of those eye-hook lock thingamajigs on the outside of her door. I figured as long as she just stayed in her room, things would be okay. I didn't mind if she played in there and crashed on the floor, but I just could not take the endless game of returning her to her room every five minutes all freaking night long.

But I underestimated my little Ashley Belle. That girl is STRONG. She would stand at her door and pull on the doorknob and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE that door. I would sit downstairs literally afraid of my tiny 3 year old little girl shaking that door like a caged animal...she was a maniac! You would've been scared too. I have no idea if she was crying or not...the noise from the door shaking pretty much drowned everything else out. Finally, she shook it so hard that she pulled the lock right out of the door. She's like a little evil villain with her super-power strength busting through doors so she can drive her poor tired parents closer to the brink of insanity.

Because the eyehook lock was so traumatic (for me), I went back to my loving parental tendencies for awhile and just started returning her to bed when she'd leave her room. This worked okay for awhile, until she stopped coming downstairs and started going into her brothers' room instead to wake them up.

Now, one child not sleeping...I can deal with. But three children not sleeping????? I'm not made of stone people!! Plus, I didn't need her teaching any of her door-busting techniques to her little brothers....I'm counting on them having typical toddler strength instead of super-power strength if I'm going to survive their childhood.

So, I made Scott go out and buy a new doorknob for Ashley's door. One that has a lock on it. And since Scott is a smarty-pants, he installed it so the lock was facing into our hallway instead of her bedroom...mwah hah hah!!!! So now we can just lock her in there from the outside until she falls asleep.

But the first night we did it, oh man....it was awful. I put her to bed, explained the whole thing, gave her one warning, etc. (which of course she failed), and then locked her in. And Ashley FREAKED....sobbing, throwing herself against the door, and crying "Mommy, help me!!!!" UGH. Of course I did not last long before I threw the door open and covered my baby girl in kisses and felt insanely guilty for ever locking her up in the first place.

Until the next night. This time Scott put her to bed, gave her one warning (which she obviously failed again), and then locked the door. This time there was no crying. Since daddy had put her to bed and she knows he is not the sucker parent, she didn't waste tears and just decided to get bossy. "Daddy!" "Let me out of here, dadddddd-eeeeeee!" "Hey DADD-EEEEE!" "Daddy, you no shut my door, HMPH!" "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!" "Oh, daddd-eeee!" "HEY!" "DADD-EEEEEEEEEEEEE! DADD-EEEEEEEEEE!" Over and over again. Until Scott cracked and opened the door

We are in so much trouble....not only does our daughter have super-human strength, she has also discovered the kryptonite to our parenting abilitites.

For me, it's laying on the guilt.

For Scott, it's incessant nagging. Hmmm, maybe she's on to something, there. ;-)

1 comment:

Kiley said...

ha ha......another story of Ashley that is totally Preston to a "T". I feel ya.