Oh Mason? He's an excellent sleeper.  I put him down to bed, sing him a few songs and I don't hear a peep until morning!

That's what I used to brag.

That has changed.

IT started with him waking up a few times a week, bad dreams, who knows but he'd end up in my bed.  His bed is beside mine, on the floor.  He doesn't have a bedroom, he has a playroom.  When I moved out on my own, I decided we'd share a room.  It just felt like a good idea.  Besides, I stated, his room was on the other side of the house and it wasn't intended to be a 2 bedroom suite, so it's a cold room.  Whatever excuse, to justify Mason sleeping in my room.

The crib was a good cage, a few tears and he'd be asleep.  Enter the toddler bed and sleepytime rituals aren't as easy as he can run away.

It seems as of late he's creepin' into the terrible twos (which I've been warned from parents of older children that it's actually the terrible 3's and I ain't seen nothing yet).  The word no is used in defiance and isn't accompanied by a thank you like it normally is.  Tantrums a bit more frequent (albeit short) but I realize that it's all  part of toddlerhood.

That's what you get for being a braggy parent.

So here I am, at my parents place on the Island.  Mason has had his own crib here since birth but Mason's Dad and I have both switched to the toddler bed.  My parents aren't quite on board yet.  My Mom doesn't want to admit Mason is no longer a baby.  There is a double bed in the same room, that's what I am supposed to be sleeping in.  ALONE.

Mason obviously doesn't have my 10:30pm bedtime.  Bed time usually was anywhere from 8-9 depending on a few different factors.  Now that the days are getting longer and the sun doesn't set earlier, it's hard to convince him it's actually night time.  I blacked out the blinds and started putting him down earlier but the night drags on and it starts with a hyperactive monkey bouncing around.  I try singing to calm him but he only sings along...loudly.  He thrashes around, flipping like a pancake.  He announces he's cold but when I blanket him, he kicks them off.  He states he needs his 'bear'.  A stuffie that he rarely touches ever.  I give it to him, then he wants all of the damn bears friends.  Again, other neglected crib dust collectors.   He's warm, full of milk, clean teeth, bed time friends, a loving Mama to cuddle yet this kid will not settle.  He negotiates "I play now?".  He distracts "Spider!".  He cries.  When I finally had enough of threatening to put him in the crib and counting to 3. 

This is ridiculous I huff under my breath.  He knows it and so do I.  It's the moment I always try to avoid.  Nothing wrong with letting him cry to sleep but this isn't just 'gonna cry to sleep'.  It's that agonizing wail of Mammma, like I've put the kid to bed and left town.  I gauge the intensity, the loudness and length of the wailing before I head back upstairs.  Both my parents have gone in the room to console him.  I hear a series of 'no, no, no'.  No one but Mama will do.

It is 45 mins since I first tried to get him to lay down.

I go in the room, he is hot and his face is wet with tears.  I lift him up and rock him asking what the issue is.  He states he doesn't want to sleep.  Oh well, too bad.  I explain that he has two choices, crib or my bed but either way he has to sleep.

I probably give him two many choices but trust me, I've tried *everything* with no success.  I put him back in the bed, with the blankets that were angrily tossed on the floor.  I give him a pillow, the 8 billion stuffies and his favorite soft blankie.  He is a bit calmer, is talking less.  Less.  I tell him, no moving, no talking, no playing.  He starts to sing.  I tell him he's more than welcome to sing to himself but I am going to go.  No response.  This works at his Dad's house.  I'm hoping it works here.

I slowly get up to go, I place heavy pillows around the perimeter of the bed to prevent him from rolling onto the floor.  He doesn't protest.  I wish him a good sleep, tell him I love him and close the door enough so the light doesn't shine in but I can check on him later.

It's been about 10 minutes and I think I can hear him singing but the dryer is on so it could be the upstairs tv.  I'm exhausted.  At this point, I usually decide that I'd be better off with a full night's sleep and turn in.  It's only 9:23.  Once he's asleep is not really the end of it.  As much as I love the cuddles, having his warm little body next to me or having his little head tucked sweetly under my chin, I am assaulted with kicks, flailing arms and his soundless slumber which rouses me out of sleep to find his tummy and ensure it's rising and falling.  I check over 4 times just to be sure.  Is there a blanket over his head? face? No.  Okay go back to sleep.  Repeat.

I guess when your baby is an infant, you assume that once they are a bit 'older' that the sleep issues just fade away.

Sorry, wrong.

Or perhaps you are one of those braggy parents with excellent sleeping children.

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