I'm sitting here listening to Punkin' Butt scream at the top of her lungs to be let out of her crib. It's like nails on a chalkboard to my already fragile mood. Just a short while ago she was begging for nap time. This is how it goes at our house. Sleep time has become a power struggle.
Once Upon a Time
Sleep hasn't always been an issue for us. We used to put her down, she'd play or fuss for a few minutes and then fall asleep. Didn't matter if it was nap time or bed time. She'd sleep until 7:30 in the morning and take a two hour nap. Now we're lucky when she sleeps past 5am and even goes to her room for nap time.
About a month ago, The Bearded One and I decided that it was time for Punkin Butt' to be in a big girl bed, so we took the side off of her crib. Then all hell broke loose. As soon as she knew she could get out of bed, it was all over. We finally gave up on trying to keep her in bed. If she wanted to fall asleep on the floor, that was fine. Eventually she started putting herself back in bed.
Then she learned how to open doors.
Now every night is a fight to keep PB in her room. We've tried turning the doorknob so the lock is on the outside, but it's a cheap knob and a couple shakes unlocks the stupid thing. We tried a baby gate, but the doors are so narrow (and again, cheap) and the gate won't stay up. For 5 minutes we tried a latch on the outside of the door, but I felt so horrible that it quickly came off.
Now we just turn the crib around so she can't get out. We give her a chance to stay in her room before we turn it. She gets one warning; the second time the crib gets turned and she can't get out of bed at all. After that she's usually asleep in under 5 minutes. So we know she's tired. It's just that the whole thing has become a big game with her.
I know this is not going to solve anything. She's not learning to stay in her room; she's being kept there. But I don't really know any alternatives. I have to get my sleep. When you're bipolar, sleep is critical. Too much and I'm depressed (that doesn't usually happen with a 2 1/2 year old). Too little and I'm manic and aggressive (this tends to happen a lot).
So we have to figure out PB's sleep situation. TBO can't always be the one to deal with it just so I can get my sleep. He does have a job to get to bright and early. We're sort of at a standoff right now, trying to figure out how to beat a 2 1/2 year old at her own game.