22 April 2008

My Way . . .

. . . or the highway. Cliche as it is, that sentence does an exceptional job of summarizing Lily's outlook on life these days.

Case in point. Remember the Toddler Bed Experiment post? It ended with a story about her falling out of the bed and having a boo-boo on her behind to show for it. Let me say that since then, the sleeping situation has improved, albeit in a way so unique only Lily could produce it. But it didn't happen right away. The next few days ended in exceedingly tenuous confrontations over when it was bed time. The bottom line was that Lily was determined to exercise her will over Mandi and I, and that's precisely what happened.

I was over all of the fighting. Three or four nights in a row of knock-down drag-outs was all I could stand. Bed time with the rest of the family was not working for Lily, especially when (as it often is) the sun was not even all the way down yet. Then, one afternoon, it came to me. A method by which I could get her to sleep, and at the same time let her think that she'd won the battle of wits.

Having failed on numerous occasions to replace the naps she was losing with some "Quiet Time" spent alone in her room, I resorted to allowing her to just sit on the couch in the play room. If she'd just spend some time unwinding mentally before Avery got home from school I thought it would do her a world of good. She was surprisingly amenable to that idea . . so much so that she began to request her Elmo sleeping bag for the floor. Before I knew it, her regular afternoon naps were back, albeit on the floor in the play room.

Spin it forward a few hours, and my creative daddy brain was in high gear. After dinner and a bath, when I would usually begin "talking up" bedtime, I sent Lil to the play room to watch Diego. As I often do, I got the vacuum out so Mandi could experience that fresh mowed carpet feeling she loves so much. I told Lily to get up on the couch so she didn't get vacuumed up, and as she did I zipped her in to the sleeping bag. That was my Moment of Zen. I cleaned up, made dinner for Mandi and myself, and when we headed upstairs she hadn't moved from her spot. We gave her a quick kiss goodnight, and off we went. When I returned to the scene mere minutes later Lily was fast asleep. She did not wake up as I scooped her up and carried her up to her bed.

Since then, I've fully embraced Lily's newfound ability to just fall asleep on the floor. She doesn't seem to care for a pillow or a blanket . . a simple princess dress will do.


Mary said...

She's beautiful.

My daughter (now 25) hated her crib. Period. At 18 mos. old, and after more than a year of sleepless nights and me finally sleeping on the floor with her with a baby gate at the doorway, we bought her a regular double bed. First night in it, she slept quietly for eleven...straight...hours. Need I say more?

Carolyn said...

I love sleeping princesses in all their garb. She is so gorgeous I cant even stand it!!!!

Jaime said...

Absolutely adorable story, she looks like a true Sleeping Beauty! Cheers to you dad!

Anonymous said...

I love my sleepy girl!