Good Cop/Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop

So this bedtime thing is just not working out.  My two-year-old just will not go to bed, no matter what we try.  First we put his sister up in a loft bed, so that he would not be distracted by the temptation to jump on her all night.  Then, when he got jealous of her cool new bed, I bought him a bed tent to go over his bed, which he has now broken.  I was doing pretty well using a scary baritone voice to frighten him into staying in his bed, but he has finally figured out that it is just me standing on the other side of the door, so that has stopped working as well.  Our last resort was the Pack ‘n’ Play, which we used as a little toddler jail when he had gotten out of bed for the eleventh time in a row, but he has finally learned how to climb out of the darn thing.  We are out of options, patience, and children-free evenings.

What we have been trying for the past few weeks, is the super-nanny method of repeatedly putting him back into his bed without talking to him every time he gets out.  The only problem with this method is that it causes him to scream really loudly while his sister is trying to sleep a few feet above his head.  Oh, and it also takes 2-3 hours.  Seriously.  We spend from 7-10 every night putting him back into his bed every 10 minutes or so.  It takes us 2 hours to watch a 45 minute show on Netflix.  We are thinking of asking him to move out and get his own apartment, at least until he starts kindergarten.  I think there is a book that Samuel L. Jackson could read to him that might be appropriate at this time.

But then, like a ray of hope in a slowly collapsing black hole of parental desperation, my wife hit on something the other night.  After I had put him angrily back into his bed for the umpteenth time without speaking, and he had come sliding back down the stairs saying “What dooning?” once again, she took him upstairs and played “Good Cop.”  She sang him a song, and tucked him in, sweetly suggesting that he might stay in the bed this time.  And he did.  A miracle!

So of course last night, she thought we ought to try it again, although she did not want to be good cop anymore.  I think her soul was full of bad cop, since he was being extra obnoxious all night, not even waiting for her to get back downstairs and sit down before he popped out of bed again.  Well, I decided to give it a try.  What I learned is that I am not a good “Good Cop.”  I marched upstairs to his bedroom and opened the door, where he appeared to be half asleep under his covers.  He sat up when I came in, now fully alert again, and ready for more terrorizing.  I tried to sing him a song and rub his back, but he kept hitting my hand away.  I guess I am a bad back rubber.  Then, during the song that I was singing, he sat up again and starting pulling on my ears and honking my nose while giggling.  Clearly I was doing something wrong.  This was not covered in the “Good Cop” manual.

Now, having done far more harm than good, I abandoned my song and just told him to stay in the bed and go to sleep in the sweetest voice I could muster, even though I was thinking of places he could stick that lullaby that I cannot discuss in a family-friendly blog.  I walked out, closing the door behind me, and praying that someone would release some sort of sleeping gas into our building, for the betterment of all.  Luckily, he didn’t come out again, although it was 10:15 at this point, and I suppose he does have to get tired at some point.  So did we outsmart him, or did he just wear himself down and fall asleep on his own schedule?  I don’t know, but I do know that I am not being the good cop next time.

Posted in Bed, Edward, Parenting, Sleep.

One Comment

  1. Could be much worse. Benjamin doesn’t stay in bed until midnight or later. Maybe not sleeping is genetic. The doc suggested benedryl for Benjamin but it doesn’t work. You could try it for Edward. Benjamin won’t even take a nap. Apparently he just doesn’t need sleep unlike his parents.

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