Monday, November 24, 2008

Domestic PsyOps

I hate to disappoint you, but this post is not about the latest shenanigans of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez. Really it's about BabyRat and the eternal struggle to get her little ass to go to sleep when necessary.

The three Christmases since BabyRat has hit the scene have been pretty low key for her, she didn't totally understand what was going on, even last year. When asked what she wanted for Christmas in 2007 she said that she wanted a wind flower (a pinwheel) and a candy cane, that was it. I can only accept some of the credit for my kid's lack of materialism, I have TiVo to thank for the fact that BabyRat almost never sees commercials. Of course none of this kept BigDaddyRat and MommaRat from buying a small truckload of silliness every Christmas, but I digress.

BabyRat has never been a big fan of going to sleep. She usually sleeps very well once she gets to sleep, but even when we've been in a good groove with her falling to sleep with little or no drama every night she still has an occasional evening when she just won't go to sleep for a couple of hours. For a while I had the situation under control by bouncing her to sleep on my lap every night, but eventually (after a couple of years) that stopped working and it's been an up and down struggle since then.

Thankfully BabyRat's understanding of the world has sharpened considerably since last Christmas and we have finally turned that to our advantage. While last year Santa was an interesting curiousity, this year BR knows that he is the all powerful, all seeing, and all knowing: SANTA!!!

The looming threat of Santa's "Naughty & Nice List" is finally bearing fruit. Since we've been giving a pre-bedtime and pre-naptime hard sell about Santa watching to see if she's naughty or nice for the last couple of days, BabyRat has gone right to sleep. WifeRat pointed out that in the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" the lyrics specifically mention, "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake," so obviously we're not the only people who are going down this road.

I know that I want BabyRat to go sleep when I say for my own convenience, but I also know that little kids need their rest. I'm also nervous about what happens after Christmas. Assuming this keeps working, BR will continue to go to sleep with no drama and then will hit paydirt on Christmas but then what? Will she think that she got what she wanted out of the deal and now she can go back to acting an ass at bedtime or will she at some point during the holiday season realize that going to sleep right when she gets in the bed is pretty good and start doing it of her own volition?

Do any of my fair readers have any experience with this? I know at least a couple of people who have commented lately have kids and I have reason to suspect other parents are lurking.


clara said...

Hey! I am lurking. I loved your post about your dad and I wanted to let you know we miss him & are thinking of you.

bedtime... We have never had too much drama at bedtime, but we never had a girl child so I don't know if its different. With the boys, when they were small they slept with us,(the baby until they were 2) at 3 or 4 we put them to bed around 8:30 and sometimes read and sometimes put them in, come back and they're asleep. Its harder in a way with one kid b/c she probably feels she's missing all the fun that you're having, so she wants to get up. I guess lots of outside time or just a lot of playing in the day helps and then they usually crash. Sometimes we'll read & then we fall asleep too, so its just timing.
I don't think this is sounding helpful at all. :)

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