Our kid has always been super easy to put to bed. I know. Don’t hate me.
He’s slept through the night since early on, and once he worked his way up to twelve-hour snoozes has rarely strayed from his 7:30-7:30 slumbers.
When we changed his crib into a toddler bed, we were worried he’d take the sudden freedom as a chance to go hog-wild and forego his sleepy time, but he settled right in to the new shape of things without any problems.
When he wakes in the morning, instead of tossing stuffed animals out of the crib willy-nilly and singing softly to his pillow, he crawls out of bed, comes to the gate at his door and calls out to us.
“Mama, I hungry!”
“Dada I get out!”
And so we grumble our way out of bed, take him downstairs and fix him his milk, Cheerios and fruit, and try to start our day.
So we were a little worried this past week when he started flipping out about bedtime. At first we thought maybe he was fighting it because we had houseguests.
Our visit from Aunt Jan overlapped a bit with our visit from my husband’s childhood friend and Monkey is madly in love with both of them. He’d go from charming his aunt to snuggling his “uncle” and back again.
While he’s always been Aunt Jan’s boy, I was absolutely amazed at how fast he took to my husband’s pal. If he was around, Monkey wanted to hold his hand, wear his shoes, steal his hat. We all pretty much passed out from the cute.
When bedtime rolled around, we’d have the boy go around and give everyone night-night sugars and hugs. He’d sweetly kiss each of us in attendance, pat us on the back with a hug…
And then melt down in an epic toddler whine.
My husband and I were a little frustrated. But then one of us, I forget which, had the brilliant idea to go put him to bed together.
So we walked him up the stairs, watched him get into bed, turned on his projector and bid him goodnight.
“Love you, Monkey,” his dad said.
“Love you, Dada,” he replied.
“Love you, Monkey,” I said.
“Love you, Mama,” he answered.
And then we left the door slightly ajar and rejoined our guests with no drama. Not even a single whine. We repeated this for several nights with much success.
So tonight, our first night alone as a family in over a week, we had dinner and some snuggles and then my husband went to put the boy to bed.
Only, he wasn’t going. And it had nothing to do with company. He flopped down and started to whine, but only for the ten seconds or so it took us to realize that he just wanted both of us to put him to bed.
“Hold hand, Mama,” he said, grabbing my fingers.
“Hold hand, Dada,” he said, reaching for his father.
And single file, holding hands, we walked up the stairs, through his gate and to his bed. He gave us one more kiss then climbed into bed, covered up, and hugged his stuffed puppy.
“Love you, Monkey.”
“Love you, Dada.”
“Love you, Monkey.”
“Love you, Mama.”