Well, the good news is the boys were asleep by 8:30pm tonight; the bad news is it may be because LoveBug has a concussion. I’m seriously at my wits end with the bedtime shenanigans. Every night it is 2+ hours of them monkeying around in there and it just keeps getting WORSE, not better!!
It’s kind of weird because Monkey, who is usually my trouble maker, was the one behaving (at least initially) while LoveBug was being a little monster. To LoveBug’s defense he is 2.5 years old (we all know about 2 year olds!) and we moved him out of his crib and into a bed at the same time as we had to move the boys to a shared bedroom. There’s a lot of temptation. I get that. So we would let them monkey around a little and talk to each other because they were being pretty quiet about it and weren’t coming out of their room. It was kind of nice having them conspire to play together. It felt like a good bonding thing for them and them sharing a room is one of the things I was really excited about when we planned to move here. (See post: Cottage Living, Not Just Cottage Life) After 15 minutes or so I would go put them back into their own beds and tell them “enough, time to sleep”. Then LoveBug would start getting up out of his bed and wandering around in there and getting into drawers and what not. At first Monkey was so tired he would just ignore him and go to sleep. I’d go in there to see what LoveBug had gotten into and he would be standing on Monkey’s bed meanwhile he’s totally passed out and unaware. More recently though LoveBug has been pestering Monkey so much so that he can’t fall asleep. So a few times we moved Monkey to our bed to fall asleep. Big mistake. Ever since then Monkey has realized if he provokes LoveBug eventually he will get to be moved to Mom and Dad’s bed. So now instead of ignoring him he ‘pokes the bear’ so that they get into enough trouble that he gets moved. We just can’t keep that up though. First of all, it just isn’t practical because we currently have the baby sleeping in our room, so if she is having a fussy bedtime the timing doesn’t always work out. Secondly, by doing that Monkey essentially “wins”. He ends up getting rewarded for bad behaviour.
I have tried everything from rationalizing to threatening, from withholding treats to flat out throwing them away, from ignoring them to a raised hand, nothing seems to phase them. I’ve tried ignoring them unless someone is injured, hoping it will eventually lose its novelty. I’ve tried letting the older stay up later. Some nights though LoveBug stays awake in his bed by himself for over an hour and then it just ends up being delayed shenanigans and lets face it, at the end of
some most days I just want them both out of my face.
Tonight it started with an hour of shenanigans including screeching, screaming and repeatedly pulled down curtains (currently we have a sheet up for curtains as we are still somewhat under construction) and ended with LoveBug falling off of Monkey’s bed while jumping on it. He banged his head on the floor and was crying. I put him back in his bed and not another peep was heard. Tonight was the earliest bedtime by at least an hour in weeks.
Does anyone have any suggestions or have you gone through similar? I’m willing to try just about anything at this point.