Follow by Email

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Midnight Stalker

We've had lots of trouble lately getting Dear Daughter to stay in her bed at night. She just can't stand it that Mommy and Daddy are still awake somewhere in the house without her. After getting the kids to bed, Dear Husband and I typically retreat to the downstairs family room to watch television or to the downstairs office to do some late night paperwork. We can hear the pitter patter and thump thump of Daughter's feet above us and her attempts at (not so) silently sneaking down the stairs to peek on what we are doing. This goes until at least 10:30 most nights. Short of tying her to her bed, we are at a loss. Each time that she gets out of bed and wanders around the house she loses one of her most favorite privileges for the next day. Then another favorite privilege the next time, etc. Each new night we try again with a clean slate, and each night she manages to lose her privileges for the next day again. It's been about 10 solid days since she played with the closest neighbor kid or swam in her new pool. And some of those days she also lost "treats" after mealtime. She acts devastated the next day when she's lost her privileges, but she still continues to "earn" the consequences. For a really really smart little girl, she's not acting very smartly. To say we are frustrated with her is a major understatement. I would really like her to enjoy playing with her friend and swimming in her pool when the weather is perfect like it's been--not too hot and not too cold.

Sometimes she camps outside her little brother's room if Dear Husband has fallen asleep in the reclining rocker while holding him in his room. That's something she's not supposed to do either, but she just can't seem to control herself. A couple nights ago, after husband got up from his late night "nap" with his son, he stumbled out of Son's bedroom and found Dear Daughter sound asleep in the floor, halfway in the kids' bathroom and halfway in the hallway, with her beloved Taggie Book cushioning her head like a pillow. Dear Husband left her there until I came to have a look and until we stood around shaking our heads and snapping pictures. Then he tried to scoop her up off the floor only to discover that all her bare skin was stuck to the bare tile and wood flooring. After he managed to peel her off the floor with minimal skin burns, he put her in her bed, where she stayed until 4:00 am, at which point she had to come to our bedroom to see if we were there yet.

If she doesn't get this figured out soon, it's gonna be a long summer for her (and the rest of us, too).

7 comments:

Tracy said...

We have this problem too but with two of them. I swear they act like they're going to miss a huge party if they're in their beds!
The pictures of her asleep on the floor were very sweet though. Isn't it hard to be mad when they manage to still be cute while getting into trouble?

Student of Life said...

We're going through this, too. It is a terrible feeling as a parent, taking away favorite things and/or privileges. However, I strongly believe that we can fight this battle now when they are small, or we will have hell to pay when they are teenagers. That provides little comfort while waging the bedtime war, though.

Land of Bean said...

Just wandered in to your blog and I laughed out loud when I saw those pictures and read the post! Too funny!

LeAnna said...

I know all too well what that's like. I had that same problem with two of them. Two words for you. Super Nanny. She has some great tips for staying in bed. Worked great with son #3! Wish she'd been around with Son #2!

Maternal Mirth said...

Those photos are PRICELESS! As I was reading, I kept looking at them and giggling.

Gotta love their will power ...

MGM said...

S.O.L, I agree. My professional life is filled with those teens that either never got disciplined or were abused or neglected. It's a powerful reminded to raise my kids with lots of discipline and love.

LeAnna, Thanks for coming by and commenting. I remember when you were using the Super Nanny tips for one of the boys. I think we reached a point of doing a rather more harsh version of the Super Nanny's ideas. When Daughter got out of bed she got her butt swatted and put back in bed. It only took one night of her getting up a few times and getting her butt swatted every time, and she was pretty much cured. We haven't had any issues since. Go figure.

I'm not a big proponent of spanking. It's a last resort if used at all. In this case, it was time for the last resorts to be used.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

super nany did nothing for our kids! Really - they could have cared less about the privledges as well!! Two options to try, a lock on the door, with a key on the outside for us to lock child in their room - after a few nights, you never has to lock the door again. and another, put the baby thingy on the door handle so they couldn't open the door to get out either.(your daughter may be too old for this one) Both may seem cruel - but they work! Our ped/Dr recommended getting a half door - like the bottom portion locks and the top swings open, but I didn't want that kind of door in our house.