Thursday, February 10, 2005

"He thinks the carpet pissers did this? "

How is it that kids always know exactly what to do to drive you insane?

So after 5-6 glorious months during which Owen slept in his bed when told, he suddenly was afraid of the dark and wanted us to lay with him or rub his hair while he fell asleep. Needless to say, we didn't want to open that can of worms so we refused.

We had to lock him in his room to get him to stay there (because otherwise he would just physically fight us to get out) and let him scream for a couple of nights and then he was fine- at least, he started going right to sleep without screaming. However, he slept on the floor right behind his bedroom door, the place where he had screamed himself to sleep.

We let him do that for a month or so, but have recently decided to try to get him back into the bed. I explained to him that I will put a star on the calendar for each day that he stays in bed all night, and when he has a week's worth, he can pick out a toy.

So he stayed in bed like a good boy and got a star.

The very next day, he wouldn't sleep at naptime. Now, in my house, bedtime is not an option, but naptime I am a little more lax on. So long as Owen is in his room playing quietly, I usually don't mind if he doesn't sleep. He goes to bed a little early that night, and typically starts napping again the following day.

However, this is the fourth day without a nap and he really needs them. He's practically falling over by dinnertime, and demands to take a bath and go "ni-ni" as early as 6:30. Then, he wakes up at 5:30 a.m. because he went to bed so early.

So I need this kid to nap. I tried continuously putting him back in bed, but I think it's too controlling for a nap- for nighttime it works, but the whole point of naptime is for me to get something done, not for me to stand by his door and watch to make sure he sleeps.

I make him stay in his room for at least an hour and a half, up to two hours, during which he just plays and talks to himself, and comes out red cheeked and practically falling over because he's tired.

And just as a bonus, he's added the new twist of randomly taking off his pants and peeing on the carpet, less because he has to pee than that he knows he isn't supposed to. I think he resents being stuck in his room and that's his way of taking it out.

I think I will try giving him a time out for carpet peeing, but it's difficult because I usually only find out after the fact, making it less effective.

Anyone have any suggestions? I will not lay with him or nap with him, and I will not stand by the door and watch him- it's a waste of my time.

I have spanked him for getting out of bed in the past, but it was totally ineffective (hence the door locking).

I'll take whatever suggestions you're offering!

I wonder if other parents ever feel disgusted by the little creatures they created. I mean, really, pissing on the carpet like an ANIMAL???? Come on, I know he's three, but Jesus Christ.


Sarah Ford said...

By the way, the kid has nightlights- I realize now re-reading this that it sounds like I locked him in the dark to scream. I'm not THAT evil.

AG said...

OK, so I've been hooked on the ABC show "Super Nanny" and a family had a kid that kept crawling out of his crib and coming out of his room. The proper little British nanny's cure was to have a parent put the kid in bed, then sit down next to the bed without making eye contact or talking to the kid until he fell asleep. Every time he got out of bed, the parental unit in the room put him right back into bed without eye contact or talking. Then, as the child would stay in the bed, the adult would slowly scoot on the floor away from the bed to slowly work their way out of the kid's line of sight. It seemed to work like a champ. After 3 or 4 days the kid didn't get out of bed once.

Dave said...

So...does this mean we can all pee on the carpets? I'm really tired of walking the eight feet to the can. I know Kyle would embrace this change of policy.

B said...

i like the incentive thing with the gold stars. but i'm wondering--do you think the naptime and sleeping problem is really defiance and not something else? i know i was never really a napper--i've never had an easy time falling asleep and i remember laying in my bed, awake, for hours, just because i couldn't fall asleep. i'm sure you've done the story thing...have you tried noise tapes? i know scott's a "grown-up," but he needs to hear a fan or the sound of the air purifier to fall asleep--does owen need some kind of noise distraction like that?

or maybe a compromise? do something owen wants before bed--a game, a story, a bath--whatever, and then it's time for bed, and then if he sleeps or stays in his room quiet until a certain time, you can agree to let him pick something to do again.

or--i have a student who has time alone with mom before bed every night--she comes in and lays down on his bed with him and they talk--about his day, about his toys, about something he's excited about--whatever--they just talk and have time alone--and then he's ready to go to sleep. maybe a few minutes alone with owen like that would work. i'm not sure how well he's conversing right now--but even if it's just basic stuff, or being silly together--you know, making faces or playing simon (touch nose; touch feet, touch nose; touch tummy, touch feet touch nose; etc.) maybe he's acting out because he wants some one-on-one time before bed.

as far as the carpet-peeing, i would punish the crap out of the kid if it were mine...dcfs would totally have to intervene. wow. that's crazy. i'm in full support of the time-outs for peeing. i'm not a mom, so as far as punishing, i'm not too sure--have you talked to him about diapers? maybe a verbal/idle threat about him needing diapers again if he can't go in the potty like a grown up? a comment like that could potentially scar him, i'd bet--so you make the call. or, if he pees on the carpet, have kyle pee on owen's bed? sorry, that's probably not as funny to you as it seems to me, i'm just so at a loss for that one.

you're so much stronger and smarter than me sarah--i have no idea how you handle this stuff. these kids are lucky to have you!

B said...

hey--do owen and stew still share a room? is stew still in his crib? do you still rock him or come when he cries? it could be that seeing the way you are with stew reminds owen of the days when he was that small, and got that kind of attention from you. maybe you need a new bedtime routine with owen--something new and special that you do just with him and not with stew.

??? just another thought.

Sarah Ford said...

the prob with the supernanny thing is that he enjoys the fact of me being in the room with him or constantly checking on him b/c it gets him what he really wants- face time with me when he's supposed to be sleeping. i don't really interact with him, but i can still tell he enjoys it and wants to see what i do. the other prob, is of course, that i get nothing done b/c i'm sitting in his room. plus, we just broke him of the habit of WANTING us near him when he sleeps. i'm not about to get into that again.

he isn't that tired at naptime- i'm okay with that and understand that. i still need some time alone during the day to get things done, but i'm okay with him playing quietly in his room.

the prob is that since he didn't sleep all day, he wants to go to bed at 7, and then get up at 5. this morning he got up at 4:30. i didn't get up with him, of course, i just kept telling him to go back to bed. i eventually revoked his star, and even issued him a time out (which i enforced at morning time to make more effective). after repeatedly trying to get up, and telling me "owie's awake!" he finally fell asleep on his floor playing with blocks.

owen has no trouble going to bed at night. this is a naptime/early am problem.

stewart sleeps through the night no problem, is never held or rocked, goes to bed whenever, sleeps late, naps like a dream. in other words, he's the same way owen was at 15 months. this morning, he slept through the entire battle with owen.

i, however, have been up since 4:30.

they nap in separate rooms, so stew's not a concern then.

my next plan is to get an alarm clock with big digital numbers (he knows his numbers) and tell him he can't get up until the first one is a six, the only exception being to go to the bathroom. that way at least he has some concept of WHY he can't get up and have breakfast at 4:30 am.

again, i don't really care that much if he naps, as long as he plays quietly, but i do not want to be woken up everyday at 4:30 or 5.

bedtime problems are easier to deal with b/c it's nighttime, kids are already tired, but us adults are wide awake and ready for battle. we KNOW we're going to win, i mean, the kid HAS to give up and fall asleep between 8 pm and 6am, right?

however, naptime and early am wakeups are more difficult- i can put him back to bed repeatedly, but if it's morning in half an hour anyway, he prob. thinks i just gave in... you know? that's why i'm going to try the clock so he knows that he can always get up at a certain time...

Unknown said...

As far as the naps and the early wake up my best suggestion would be to "make" him stay up later. Do something he likes, rough house, whatever. Hopefully then he'll at least be sleeping later and it might help him get back on track.

I hate to say this but I used to baby sit for a kis that would go so sleep as soon as I stuck in a movie. I don't like kids lives being centered around t.v. but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.