The Boy Who Cried Mommy

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Categories Behavior, Sleep

This is the story of The Boy Who Cried Mommy…

Once upon a time there was a sweet little boy, just about a year and a half old. He was very agreeable, and rarely put up a fuss over going down for a nap or going to bed. But one day, when his mommy was out running errands and Daddy was in charge, he cried, “Mommy!” shortly after going down for his afternoon nap. Daddy stood outside the boy’s closed bedroom door and listened as screaming waxed and waned, wondering if he should go in or let the boy cry it out. Daddy determined that if the boy was really in need of assistance, the crying would be constant. Within 10 minutes, the crying had ceased and naptime continued as usual.

But when Daddy went into the bedroom at the end of naptime, he found that the boy’s leg was caught between two bars of the crib. The sleep sack the boy was wearing had bunched up, making it difficult for even Daddy to get the boy’s leg free. But the leg was soon free, and no major damage had been done.

Two nights later, about 30 minutes after bedtime, the boy cried “Mommy!” once again. Mommy rushed to the bedroom door and listened to him cry. Could his leg possibly be stuck again? There was only one way to find out. Mommy entered the room, to find the boy’s leg once again stuck between the bars. She quickly freed it, gave the boy a reassuring hug and a kiss, and closed the door behind her as she left. All was quiet until morning.

But the “Mommy!” crying continued for several more nights. Each time, Mommy went in to rescue the boy’s leg; however, each time proved to be a false alarm. Neither leg was stuck, and the mommy had been fooled. After Mommy left the bedroom, the crying would continue, getting louder and lasting longer night after night.

Finally, the mommy decided that this pattern had to be broken. She remembered the Three Day Rule that she had learned from another MOT during the infant days. Simply put, the Three Day Rule states that when changing a routine or implementing an intervention, the same actions must be taken for three days before making any further adjustments or changes. Mommy decided that, no matter what, she would not enter the room after all the good nights had been said. It was tough to listen to the boy scream, “Mommy! Mommy!”, but she was pretty sure that the boy was not in need of rescuing and knew that going in would not be helpful.  The first night, the crying was loud and long, but each night after the crying lessened, until finally the boy cried “Mommy!” no more.

The moral of the story: Kids are wicked smaht, but mommies are even smarter.

How have your babies or kids tried to outsmart you? How did you handle the situation?

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7 thoughts on “The Boy Who Cried Mommy”

  1. That’s so funny about the 3 Day rule because we kinds of discovered teh same thing. I heard CIO usually takes 3-4 nights and for us it was 3 nights of crying and then the 4th night was a success. Then, we had to do a CIO for bathtime for our daughter and the same thing happened – 3 nights of crying and the 4th night, none! I’m glad its a “real thing” and not just a fluke because I had planned on using it for other things as the twins get older. Now I have even more conviction! :)
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..I took the plunge… =-.

  2. What a funny story! I have a very similar one. Our little girl at only 9 months has developed a fake cough to get me into her room at nap time.

    The same basic idea: she coughs, I think she must need me, I enter, she learns if I cry mom stays away, if I cough she comes and holds me. Now every nap about 40 minutes in the coughing begins. Totally fake. How do they learn this crap???
    .-= Vicky @ thecitycradle´s last blog ..I think you’re an awesome girl award…. =-.

  3. My son accidently got his leg stuck in his crib one time and we went in to help him. He quickly learned to intentionally get his leg stuck so we’d have to come in (as in we’d see him go put his leg in the same spot as we turned our backs to leave the room). It was a rough time… luckily, he doesn’t do that any more and now they are in beds.

  4. Oh man, this is my son. He has done this kind of thing on various pretexts ever since he got his leg stuck in his crib bars the first time. Now he’s almost 3 and in a big-boy bed, and the most recent pretext involves using the potty. It’s really hard to deal with this one–because sometimes it’s actually true, but other times it’s not. He also surprised us the other night when he and his sister had a babysitter. He told the sitter he needed to have his bedroom door open at night-night time–and she let him (I remember little kids telling me these sorts of things when I was a sitter). He was sound asleep, door open, when we got home. He knows that will *not* work with Mommy and Daddy–but boy oh boy, he’s already foolin’ the sitters and not even three. What kind of teen is he going to be? (His sister, happily, loves her sleep–all of her pretexts are daytime ones.)

  5. Our twins are 16 months and also like to get their legs stuck in the rungs of the crib. We have learned to tell the difference in pitch between a real cry and a fake one.

    I love the 3 day rule. Especially when the kids are young 3 days feels like an eternity, but it is well worth it when after three hard days they start learning that you mean business.

    Our son has recently started turning his head when we offer him food. My husband would give up and offer his something else. But I refuse to be a short order cook. Three days of not giving him anything other than what is offered at meal times (we always start with what they are lest likely to want to eat) and he is back on track and happily eating what we offer.
    .-= Rusted Sun´s last blog ..2+2=4 =-.

  6. My twins totally outsmart me on a regular basis. The most recent example- when I started dressing one of my daughters in sleep sacks to stop her trying to climb out of her crib, she taught herself to move the entire crib around the room by throwing her little body around inside it. Remarkably, she managed to cause as much destruction while in her crib as she would have caused out of it.
    .-= Jungletwins´s last blog ..Mumu’s Reign of Terror =-.

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