When He's Twenty

After a couple (three? four?) months of going to bed on his own after a story or two, the Beaner in the last few weeks has decided that he DOES NOT WANT TO BE ALONE. (I could swear I'd mentioned this in a post before, but I can't find any evidence of it; maybe I just told all my friends?) The story I thought I'd told happened several weeks ago, when I discovered that the Beaner knew what manipulation meant, even if he didn't know that's what it's called. I was busy trying to convince him that he could sleep on his own and STAY ASLEEP ALL NIGHT, and he was just as eagerly trying to convince me that I should stay and sleep with him.

Me: No, I can't do that.

Beaner: I know, because you'll break the bed. [This is my oft-repeated excuse; that the single loft bed isn't sturdy enough to hold my giant Mom body.] But you could sleep UNDER the bed.

Me: No, I don't think so. It's too uncomfortable.

Beaner: But if I whine and cry [his actual words!], Daddy will come and sleep under the bed.

Me: I'm actually trying to get him to stop doing that.

Beaner: Because you don't want me to whine and cry?

Me: Exactly.

After being a total hardass for a while, Al suggested that maybe I could just sit in the room with him until he fell asleep. (He also agreed to stop going up and sleeping in there.) I did that for a couple nights, but I found it boring. Eventually I offered to hold the Beaner's hand until he fell asleep, and that's now our routine. I don't mind much, as long as he doesn't grab for my hands or fingers when I pull up his covers; like just about everything else, I like to feel like I'm doing this chore willingly, and when he grabs at me, I have a strong urge to run screaming for the hills. Because I *can't* run screaming for the hills, I just get mad instead.

Anyway, moving away from my character flaws... all that was just the background to what he said tonight, when I reached for his hand after turning out the light.

Beaner: When I'm 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 20, I won't need you to hold my hand anymore. I'll be able to go to sleep on my own. But for as long as I'm 3, I'll need you to hold my hand.

Me: OK, great. Now go to sleep.

Beaner: OK.

Posted by Lori in parenthood at 10:02 PM on March 12, 2008


Though he's capable of doing it on his own, #1 prefers to have someone with him as he falls asleep.

I hate being that person. All I can think of are the 6,000 other things I could be doing.

And I hate that I hate it. Because when I just give in to those moments, they are lovely and peaceful.

Posted by: ratphooey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2008 10:27 AM

Yep. The times I chill out, stare at his face, and think "wow, I cooked that!" are much more enjoyable than the times where I count the minutes until he falls asleep. Impatience breeds impatience for me.

Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2008 12:29 PM

Have you tried putting a music player in his room? Miranda likes me to stay in the room as well when she's falling asleep, so I usually put on some quiet music, and we both listen to it. (And I also fiddle around on my iPhone to relieve boredom :))

Posted by: nj [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2008 12:56 PM

Ah, waiting for slumber; it can be hard sometimes.

Posted by: noble pig at March 15, 2008 10:43 AM

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