Mr. Sandman, Send Me A Dream of My Own Bed

For two months, Monkey went to bed contently in her own bed. Not a peep at bedtime.

I was so proud of her, I bought her a kiddie pool. Then, last week, when she clearly and strongly expressed her desire to sleep in my bed, I told her about the pool — tactical error; we hadn’t put it up yet. The information that we owned it was sufficient enough to get her back into her own bed — for one night.

The next night, the battle was renewed. Just as I was readying the “pool” bribe, Monkey, face down on my bed, held up a hand. “Mommy,” she said solemnly, “you can take the pool back to the store.”

Heavens defend us — she’s already anticipating arguments. We’re doomed (again). I was speechless. If the pool didn’t get her in her own bed, I had no idea — short of physical force — what would.

And now, in addition to the fight to sleep in my bed, Monkey has become the queen of the bedtime stall. This has been building for awhile, but it has truly reached new heights. She throws off her covers, and insists I put them back over her. She adopts a new animal every night, and makes me search for it until it can be safely tucked in with her. She dithers over the choice of a book. She goes potty twice before going to bed.

It’s maddening. I have stomped, I have bribed, I have coerced, I have threatened. I have put her to bed with the gate up, and come upstairs to find her bedclothes and stuffed animals against that gate and her in my bed. She’s a 3-year-old escape artist! If I close the door, she yells and cries — and she can open the door anyway.

Last night, I simply gave up. I read her book and sang her lullabies in my bed. When I went to bed later, she was sleeping, so I moved her, and she slept the rest of the night in her own bed.

I guess that’s the best I can hope for right now. I cannot think of a bribe that will entice her. DearDR suggests that we keep the pool but not let her swim in it, but I don’t want to fight that battle.

She’s won. Until I think of something else.

Suggestions welcome!