we’ve figured this whole thing out!
At almost two and a half years old, my husband, Rich, and I believe that our girls are fairly well behaved. They know their boundaries and limits and don’t push too often. Yes, they may become a bit fussy with sitting in the stroller or shopping cart while we shop but they KNOW that we will not allow them to run around the store. Yes, they may not like having soapy water run down their face but they KNOW that I need to rinse the shampoo out of their hair. They very rarely have temper tantrums or pitch fits.
Bedtime is where we were having serious issues. It really started around 18 months of age and continued downhill until a month ago. We’ve had a bedtime routine, which has been slightly modified as the girls grow, for a very long time now. The issue was the crying that began as soon as we left their room.
(Mommy and her girls sharing a chair and bedtime stories back when we could all fit into that chair and the girls had no hair.)
They also started with delay tactics around 18 months old as well.
“I want more water.”
“Take my water. I don’t want it.”
“I want a blankie.”
“No, I don’t want a blankie.”
“I did poo poos.”
“RUB MY BACK.”
We would try to accommodate their needs without falling into their trap because sometimes one of them really did need more water or really did dirty her diaper. Without fail, they would scream and cry when we left their room. No. Matter. What. And it would last FOREVER. Oh, believe me, we tried to let them just cry it out. It didn’t work.
My husband and I were reaching a breaking point. I read blogs. I’m on message boards. No one else seemed to be having the same problem. I checked with a friend of mine who has twin girls about nine months older than my girls. Her girls were fussy at night but around two years old they finally settled down. So Rich and I foolishly believed that eventually our girls would settle down and welcome sleep as well.
Rich once suggested calling Supernanny. It was sort of a joke with a bit of seriousness to it.
About a month ago, I had an idea. I decided to tell the girls about the Sleep Fairy. The Sleep Fairy is really little and she flies around. She wears a little pink dress and has a little pony (tail.) There is a bag of sleep dust tied to her belt. When she flies into your room, she dips her wand into the bag and sprinkles sleep dust all over you to help you sleep. Because the sleep fairy is so small, she will only fly into your room if Mommy and Daddy aren’t in there. She’s afraid we won’t see her and step on her.
Would you believe that after telling them that story, they fell asleep without making a peep. I thought it was just a fluke. A one time thing. But then it happened again the next night and the next night. I remember saying to Rich, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! THIS IS ALL I HAD TO DO?”
Of my three girls, Allie is the biggest believer of the Sleep Fairy. Anna is the most skeptical. The Sleep Fairy will knock on the walls when she is ready to come into their room but can’t because Mommy is in there. Anna likes to knock on the side of her crib herself and say that it is the Sleep Fairy knocking.
About a week after introducing the Sleep Fairy to the girls, Rich and I happened to be watching an episode of Supernanny, which is something we don’t watch on a regular basis. On this particular episode, Jo brought out the Binky Fairy to help four year old twins give up their pacifiers. Even the Supernanny relies upon fairies.
Are there any fairies flying around your house? What other tricks do you use to deal with difficult situations?
Sarah is the mother to 29 month old identical triplet girls – Allie, Anna and Emily – who were born at 35 weeks and 6 days. She works full time as a Tax Director for Big Financial Institution and enjoys sharpening her photography skills with her daughters’ help. You can read more about her crazy life raising triplets at The Great Umbrella Heist.