Saturday, March 16, 2013

Well, That Backfired

We thought it would be a good idea.

Now we have a two year old on the verge of a meltdown, who barely made it to bed without a full blown tantrum.

Here's the story. See if you can tell where things went wrong.

Madison loves Cinderella. She can sing all the songs and loves to dance along.  Disney Jr is running a "Cinderella Weekend". Last night, the early evening movie was Cinderella. Tonight, it was Cinderella II: Dreams Come True.  (Tomorrow is Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.  If you know Madison, you know that saying the entire title is necessary).

Last night, she watched about half of Cinderella, but then she needed to go up to bed since I grocery shop on Friday nights. She was fine with that. We own the movie, so she watches it often, and didn't mind missing the end.  However, she has been telling us that tonight she's watching Cinderella II (Dreams Come True).

She had a very energetic day, so I didn't want to keep her up past her bedtime, especially when she definitely needed a bath. We had a fun morning at an indoor jungle gym play area.  She didn't nap well today because Reagan was a mess during naptime, and her antics woke Madison about an hour earlier than usual. 

So I had a brainstorm. She and Reagan could take a bath together, and afterward, I'd put Reagan to bed, and then we could cuddle together in our room, in our pjs, snuggled together, watching Cinderella II (Dreams Come True). 

Madison loved this idea. We don't (and have never) co-slept. The girls never needed it when they were babies, and the few times we tried to have Madison in our bed (like when we lost heat during the October snowstorm) it was a nightmare. No one slept.  Therefore, our bed is a huge novelty.  She couldn't wait to put on her pjs and get all snuggled up in our bed. She even convinced Adam to join us for our "sleepover party".  I thought this was because her favorite Sofia episode is "The Big Sleepover" and she was excited to have her own.

The plan started off well. The girls had a fun bath together. Reagan was so tired that she drank her milk and was asleep within minutes. Madison did her typical protest when she was getting out of the tub, but once she remembered she'd be putting on her pjs and watching a movie in Mommy and Daddy's bed, she was back on board and happy to brush teeth, use the potty, her entire routine.

Could NOT be happier.

She happily cuddled in between us and we watched the movie.  Although she definitely watches TV, she generally flits in and out, and is usually playing.  Sitting still was new, but she was thrilled to stay in her spot.  She loved having our attention.  She was getting sleepy, she was winding down, and it seemed like a great way to end our evening.  At the end, we'd carry our sleepy girl down the hall for an easy bedtime - right on time.

Poor little guy...couldn't make it through.

When the movie ended, we did big hugs and immediately she started getting upset.

"I can't go back to my bed!  I can't sleep in my bed!  No! Do not carry me! No! I'm not going! Madison stays here in this bed and watches Cinderella II: Dreams Come True!"

Uh oh.  As Madison now says, "Oh craps".

Note: She picked that one up from me. The only thing keeping me from hanging my head in shame is the plural. For all I know, she's aware of the dice game and is referring to that.

Somehow, she assumed that Mommy and Daddy and Madison would all be watching Cinderella movies before drifting off to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed. All night. She was not pleased to hear the reality of the situation and made that very clear. VERY clear.  The fact that the movie was over was irrelevant.

She started doing that tight, clenched, tense "NO!" body language, that, in this house, usually precedes an epic meltdown. 

No, no, no, no, no. I did not have the patience or stamina tonight for the rare, but terrifying, epic meltdown.

If she goes epic, we're talking a 20 minute minimum of sitting 6 inches from her, speaking calmly, while she throws her fit and screams at us to leave her alone. This is not a "hug it out" meltdown. If you touch her, she acts like you are lighting her on fire.  Any question you ask will be answered with no. There is no helping her. The only thing that works is waiting it out, close, but not too close, and praying that it's on the shorter side.

Through luck, grace, prayer, what have you, we somehow skirted the meltdown.  She didn't happily climb into bed and cheerfully tell us "Hasta Pasta!" (don't ask), she didn't want to get covered and snuggle her teddy, she didn't even uncross her arms.  But she didn't tantrum. 


Still, I don't think I can count tonight as a roaring success. In the future, we'll need to be very clear about the timeline of the entire evening, and keep her updated as we go.

On second thought, maybe we'll just stick to using the DVR and keeping bedtime the same.

I will be announcing the lucky winner of I Just Want to Pee Alone TONIGHT!!!!!  You want this book. You need to read this book. If you haven't already, leave a comment on THIS Facebook page.  You can tell me your funniest moment with kids OR your favorite mom character (real, fictional, relative, friend, or writer).

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