I haven’t mentioned E in a while and wanted to talk about this new phase she has been going through. I must say all was going well with her bedtime routine for a long time until BAM all is not going well with her bedtime routine. I just don’t understand what changed or when it exactly happened either. It’s amazing how long some phases can last and how short others can last. It’s really hard knowing what to do to make it better too when you don’t know what is setting E off and it’s just plain frustrating that she isn’t sleeping because then we are not getting quality sleep either. What parent doesn’t love when their child has a good sleeping routine and pattern down? I’m hoping this new phase of hers is on the latter end of the stick and is short lived. We’ve already been pushing a month of this behavior and I really don’t know what to do about it.
So, here’s the scoop. E has been on a mommy kick lately whereas before she was on a complete Daddy kick. This is sweet, but it’s also very exhausting on me. She’s been very hurtful with her words, mostly at bedtime when Daddy tries to intervene and help. Her favorite phrases as of late towards her Daddy are: “I like Mommy better they you” “Just go away Daddy, I want Mommy” “I don’t like you anymore” “you’re a (insert any word our 3 year old comes up with at that particular moment face” and here comes the one I dislike the most “I hate you Daddy”. Seriously, she’s truly breaking our hearts. We try to explain how sometimes words can hurt peoples feelings and how we hope she would make better choices with what she says. We always tell her that we love her even if she is saying these things to us but that usually results in her saying “but I don’t love you”.
Along with the name calling and hurtful words, her tantrums, stubbornness, and defiance are at full force at bedtime. Seriously it’s like Angel by day, Monster by night! Last night, her Daddy would so much as look at her and it would set her off screaming and crying and spouting off. When she’s in these modes there is no reasoning with her.
To top it off, the last couple of nights the only way any of us were going to get any sleep is if E slept in our bed (and even then the sleep wasn’t good with 3 people in a Queen size bed + a cat). We co-slept for a long time when E was an infant and even on occasion we’ve snuggled together in the same bed on the weekends or special occasions, so I’m not opposed to it, but during the week it’s typically off limits and especially is not encouraged when it seems to be becoming a habit. We encourage her to sleep in her big girl bed now that she’s older-it’s truly just best for everyone.
So, last night came along and E was doing what she’s done just about every evening for the last month. All seems to be well until 8:30 pm hits and our cute little Monster comes out of her Angel persona! Her Clinging to Mama and name calling towards Daddy started. The tantrums started. She didn’t want to brush her teeth or read her bedtime stories. She even wanted me to sit with her while she was going potty and hold her hand. However, this mama was in no mood for monster games and she wasn’t going potty (it kind of becomes a game). So, I got up and left and told her I would come back in the bathroom when she was finished. She started crying and was reaching for me and got so upset she fell off the toilet. Of course, that set her off even more and a whole new can of worms was open (she did not get hurt thankfully in the process).
Needless to say, I just sat and hugged E and when she finally calmed down I said, “Can you tell Mama why you don’t want to sleep in your own bed anymore like a BIG girl?” She said to me, “Mama, I just feel so left out sleeping in my bed.” I then said, “Oh sweetie, why do you feel left out?” E said, “Because you and Daddy sleep together and I have to sleep by myself.” It breaks my heart at 3 my daughter is feeling the affects of being “left out” and can use this term in a sentence correctly. It also breaks my heart that she feels that it’s her Daddy and I that are the ones leaving her out. I tried to explain to her that Mommy’s and Daddy’s typically sleep together in the same bed and typically kids have to sleep in their own bed. Then here is where the heartbreak really came. E said that she was only 1 kid and there were no other kids here to sleep with her.
You guys…I’m literally dying here. Of course everything leads up to this heartbreak. What do you say to a child who so quite obviously wants a sibling and we just are unable to make that happen for her? I am heart broken.
Now, I’m not saying that her behavior has been strictly because of this, but maybe it’s a small part of it. It just amazing me what you can learn and how you can handle situations differently when you truly take the time to talk to someone-even just a small child.
So, what did I do? I made E climb into her bed (not ours) and I climbed into bed with her for most of the night and we snuggled to our hearts content. I certainly don’t like being alone and I can imagine a 3 year old doesn’t either. We are parents. We are not perfect, but we learn from being parents everyday and most of all we are taught so much about life and love from our little E. Besides, one day she will be a teenager and probably want nothing to do with me. I’m going to enjoy phase while it lasts. My Angel by day Monster by night is my favorite little person. I will keep her forever-the good and the bad. My love for her is unconditional.
On a side note: I wish she understood that making babies is hard when she’s in bed with us;) Oh the difficulty-but I wouldn’t change this time with her for the world.