I'm mostly posting this because I was searching the forums for answers to questions about this sudden extreme resistance to bed time that I'm getting from my 23-month old son. I found loads of suggestions, but very rarely did the OP check back in and say, "This is what worked for me."
DS, beginning at about 21 months, suddenly started spending 2-3 hours SCREAMING before bed. We had a rock-solid bedtime routine (though we hadn't nursed in 6 months, so that wasn't part of it). He also required me or DH to rock him, which has become nearly impossible for me, as I'm 8 months pregnant and .. there's just not room for him! That is, rocking, WHILE screaming his head off. He sleeps on a floor bed, so there's no real way to confine him as we could in a crib. It's nice, because we can lay down with him, but not nice because he'll run around like a madman (while screaming and demanding to be picked up and rocked, then set down to run around like a crazy person).
We've gotten bedtime wind-down down to about an hour, sometimes less. That still seems like a lot, but it's a huge improvement. And, really, *I* need to read for 45 mins to an hour before I'm really sleepy, even if I'm tired, so I can relate to what he's going through. The trick (inspired by people who said that their kid liked to lay down and watch a fiberoptic light thing that changed colors) was this: http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Precious-Planet-Projection-Mobile/dp/B001GQ2SA2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344276914&sr=8-1&keywords=fisher+price+mobile+projector It's a mobile with a projector on it that shows pictures of cartoon animals on a loop. I LOATHED this thing when my dad got it for DS when he was born. Not the kind of thing I wanted to attach to his beautiful, hand-crafted, heirloom cradle. But I felt guilty for not using it because it was expensive and my dad was excited about it. Well, I take back all my griping. I took the mobile/canopy part off, and rigged it so that the parade of animals projects across the ceiling above the floor bed. Now DS asks us, "Watch animals?" when it's about bed time, and one of us goes up there and lays down with him. He still gets up and wanders around a bit, but I can say, "Hey, here comes the lion," and he'll come back to watch it. It times out and turns off after about 20 minutes. He doesn't know that we can restart it. There's something about the repetition of the animals that really seems to calm him down (he'll even say, "Good night, Penguin! Good night, Giraffes!"). AND it has made bedtime something that he really looks forward to. He doesn't fight or scream about it anymore. I wish that I could say I had some kind of crunchymama massage-and-aroma-therapy solution, but...this works.
From my searching, it seems like a bedtime struggle at this age is normal..ish. What worked for you?