I haven't written about bedtime recently because I didn't want to jinx anything. In July we moved Norah into her own bedroom, moved bedtime to an earlier hour (as suggested by a book) and sleep-trained the kids. It worked like a charm and within one night we saw them sleeping through the night at least 90% of the time. We (actually, just I) felt guilty about the sleep training, but our pediatrician urged us to try it and I must say it worked really, really well. These days, as long as we stick to our schedule, the kids go right down to bed without any fussing. Atticus actually gets really excited about being tucked in and handed his Dino and special blanket. Norah is happy as long as she gets her bottle. I can't tell you how much of a relief this was after five months of being up for hours at a time in the middle of the night. Everyone in our house is happier - especially Atticus who I think was truly making himself sleep-deprived by being up so much.
Anyway...the schedule. If we don't stick to our schedule, if we take the kids out for dinner or try to put them to bed somewhere other than their own rooms, all hell breaks loose. When we went to Paul's family reunion last month Atticus was up pretty much all night both evenings. In all fairness, he was also getting a cold, but the experience definitely left a mark on us.
Last night, we were invited over for dinner by some neighbors and it was kind of a disaster. The kids have a tendency to get crabby in the evenings and last night was no exception. When they weren't fussing, they were wreaking havoc on the un-childproofed house. They found the computer keyboard, figured out how to turn the TV on and off, pulled a good portion of the books off the shelves, opened the kitchen cabinets, and left a messy trail of food all over the floor. I know this is par for the course with toddlers, but it was exhausting for both of us and I felt like we were awful guests. The neighbors have many kids and grandchildren of their own and were very nice about the whole thing. Still...ugh. What's the point of having dinner with someone if you have to spend the whole time chasing after your children minimizing the chaos they're creating? I don't mean to say we didn't have a good time with the neighbors and didn't enjoy their hospitality; they were wonderful and kind and went out of their way to accommodate our kids. I just feel like we should start apologizing the second we walk in someone's front door. It's exhausting going out with toddlers!
Anyway, enough ranting. I was reading an article on a parenting site the other day about how deceptive blogs can be because parents only post about the good things. I do strive to record the good moments here rather than the bad. For one thing, the good moments outweigh the challenging ones by far and I don't want to focus on the negative. Still, I know it comforts me when other parents post about the low moments of parenthood and I can see that their lives aren't perfect either. Someday I'm sure Atticus and Norah will have their own destructive toddlers and I hope it comforts them to know that they went through the same phase and eventually grew out of it.
The pictures are from our trip to the park yesterday where we fed the ducks and of Norah's crazy hair this morning.