The Battle of Bedtime
My six-year-old, Li’l D, cherishes his sleep. He’s been this way since he was only a few months old.
My two-year-old, Littler J, is affronted by the existence of sleep. He’s been this way since he was only a few months old.
It wasn’t a big deal when Li’l D started climbing out of his crib. He wanted to sleep, so we’d pat him for a couple minutes and he’d conk out.
When Littler climbed out of his crib for the first time last week, his dad and I exchanged looks of horror.
We’d known It was coming, but this meant It was officially coming soon.
“Soon” came last night.
Littler climbed out of his crib and played at his sleeping brother’s feet.
“Back to bed, Sweetie,” we said as we placed him back in his crib.
Two minutes later, he was back at his brother’s feet … but only after he’d closed their bedroom door.
His dad and I laid him down and opened the door.
He climbed out and closed it again.
“Could you get a door stop when you get a baby gate?” I asked.
“Naw, we can improvise,” said my husband, Anthony, using toys to create a blockade against Littler’s door-closing efforts.
“He’s gonna clear those in ten seconds,” I warned.
Anthony almost immediately started laughing as his obstacles went flying into the hallway.
“The disdain!” he gasped through chuckles.
He tied a tether around both sides of the door, which tether I predicted Littler would clear in a minute or two.
He did so while Anthony was out getting a baby gate.
(Fortunately, I’d already thrown a jacket over the top of the door, simultaneously perplexing Littler and keeping the door open.)
While Anthony was out, I tried at least a dozen ways to relax Littler into sleep … almost two hours after his usual bedtime.
He finally fell asleep in his bed, his brain overloaded by the Matrix-style revelation the world doesn’t actually stop at his bedtime.
When he did fall asleep, he was pressed up against the front wall of his crib with me cautioning him from the door to stay in bed.
He did so comforted by the temporary illusion the world was indeed as he’d always imagined it.
Though tired, I grinned: My little boy’s a big boy now, but not yet that big! Not yet so big I can’t, as his mom, make the world briefly smaller for him.