Mrs Gregory, you crack me up. Thanks for that.
I have now raised and survived three toddlers. I get to go through it again here in a few months, yippie! lol
3 kids age 3 and under...oh Tek. I was there. 2 toddlers and a newborn? ugh.. I have the gray hairs to prove it.
How I got through it was:
I picked my battles. So many of the battles do revolve around sleep. Isn't that crazy?
Two of my babes were done with naps by the time they were 13 months or so. After that it became a power struggle nearly every day..I got 12 hours a day of straight kid-a-palooza. If I tried to lay them down for a nap than all hell broke loose. Maybe start 'resting' time instead of nap time if its a struggle?
Now we have 'quiet time'. 1 hour of pure quietness on their bed. They can read, write, play with a couple softies, or color but they must.be.quiet or its nap in bed the rest of the hour.
Done the same time every day, just as nap time. They don't have to be asleep, but they do need to be quiet and on their bed.
I dropped the mama guilt. Yes, its still there rearing its ugly head every time I turn around. But really, just telling myself "I am doing the best I can do" while locking myself in the bathroom for a breather is just the ticket sometimes.
If the kids tantrumned and screamed then that was better than me tantruming and screaming. Remember that.
This is about all I can remember from that hazy time of my life. Just giving some support more than anything else. It was the hardest time of my life having those three so close together. You will get through it, and be so thankful you did.
Oh, for night bed time...Routine, routine, routine.
My two toddlers use to have a horrid habit of jumping on the bed and running around when I announced "bed time"! This was after all of our lovely bed time routines.We co-slept but there comes a time (especially with a newborn) that you cant lay them down to bed every night,and stay there until they drift off to dreamland..not to mention its a waste of time when they are being well...bratty.....and refusing to calm down so they can sleep.
I modified a super nanny trick and it was the only thing that worked, and I am pleased to say that 6 years later I have not ever had a problem with bed time since. But it was a traumatic three nights...
Ok...Flame suit donned..and here goes:
After many repeated requests for them to calm down and lay down on the bed (in which they ignored, tantrumed, jumped on the bed etc)
I told them that I was not going to come and lay down with them until they were laying on the bed quietly.
I gave them one last chance.
Then I closed the baby gate to their room and left the room.
Uh..All hell broke loose.
Screams and weeping and wailing and gnashing of the teeth..
I steadied my nerves, held my husbands hand, and watched the clock count 3 minutes. It was the hardest 3 minutes of my life. They were HOWLING. They could see me, but they couldnt get to me. I told them "Girls, lay on the bed and I will come right in!"
They kept at it.
Finally after 3 minutes they got on the bed and *sobbing* said "We quiet mama."
I came in, gave them hugs and water and laid with them and began reading their book.
The next night...same bad behavior. Tantrum, refusing to lay down. I warned them I was going to leave the room if they did not lay down.
Again, no response.
So I shut the baby gate and left the room.
Even WORSE fit than the night before.
They could see me down the hall (watching the clock- less than 7 feet away from them) and I told them again "Lay down on the bed and I will come lay with you."
It went on for FIVE minutes and was just a terrible frenzy worse than the night before...It was harder the second night than the first even for me.
but then they got in their bed and laid down.
Same scenerio, but only 3 minutes that night.
Only had to give the warning that they needed to lay down so we could read books and they could go to sleep.
And just like that, they were trained to go to sleep without tantrums.
I share this, not because I think its the perfect way (hey, I wont know that until I get my kids therapy bills)...but they weren't harmed, it was 11 hard minutes of their life until they learned that mama wasn't joking...but man if it didn't make all of our lives better..
At 8, 7 and 5 they know when I say that it is bed time, its time for us to do our routine, get in to bed and read for a bit until lights out. I think me putting my foot down on what was acceptable early on, helped shape that.
Just my opinion, and I wish you the best in whatever you do. Its all hard, but so worth it :)
After a few good nights rest, you may be suprised how much smoother the whole house runs not having to worry about the bed time ordeal monster. I think thats the best repair you can have.