The Snuggling Dispute

Oy, we just had a royal meltdown here. Over snuggling.

I've been snuggling the Beaner to sleep since he was a little baby. Part of the reason we moved to the big boy bed when we did is he was getting too heavy for me to snuggle in the chair without putting my back out... and the reason we moved to the chair is he got too heavy for me to snuggle standing up. There's plenty of room in the big boy bed, but lately it's been getting more and more uncomfortable for me to snuggle him to sleep.

For one thing, he's often most hyper right before dozing off, and I'm on the receiving end of kicks and head butts and pokes in the eye, which drives me nuts. For another thing, his neck obsession has intensified over the 18 months, to the point where he has actually stated that he doesn't like Daddy or Grandma—or even love them—because they don't have Mommy's neck. This obsession means that I sometimes get stroked, clawed, and mauled until I'm in full-blown, DON'T-TOUCH-ME windmill state. He's also taken to using my chest as a handhold or a route to my neck, and that raises my hackles faster than anything.

So anyway, my discontent with the snuggling routine has been brewing for some time. Tonight, a kick to the bridge of my nose followed five minutes later—with a discussion about being in control of your body and a fervent apology in between—by a crushing head-butt to the chin sent me over the edge. I flew out of the bed, told him I'd had enough, that I loved him, and that I was going downstairs. He'd have to put himself to bed. (My chin is *still* tingling as I write this, an hour later, fwiw.)

I don't want to go through all the details of the hysteria that followed; suffice to say that it was draining, that it led to a disagreement about how to parent, and the Beaner got his way in the end: I snuggled him to sleep in his bed. I extracted an agreement from him that TOMORROW he will put himself to sleep after a hug, a story, and a kiss goodnight—and I know Al is very proud of me for just giving in (I'm sure he thinks of it as "being reasonable")—but I know that the agreement is meaningless. Tomorrow we will go through the same ordeal, because the Beaner only cares about what he wants RIGHT NOW. He will do anything, say anything, promise anything to get it. Knowing that we'll very likely go through this whole ordeal tomorrow, too, makes *me* want to cry. So does the idea of continuing to snuggle him to sleep, since the part of it that's incredibly sweet is overshadowed more and more by the part that's irritating as hell.

If I'm wrong, and he goes to bed without complaint tomorrow, I will be both incredibly relieved and very proud of him. I will be more than happy to be wrong. But for now, I'm just angry, tired, and sore. And not looking forward to another battle.

Posted by Lori in parenthood at 9:53 PM on October 31, 2007