We have officially reached the two and-a-half year plateau and with it, a new surge of insubordination. O’s newest thing has been asking me to make a “pillow” out of a blanket for him to sleep on in his crib. We’ve been a) happy this signals willingness to move towards a big boy bed and real pillow and b) holding off on any transition from crib until we move next week, to curtail the number of life disruptions.
Life with our new blanket-pillow was grand and bedtime took on a longer routine with pillow-making then an elaborate tucking-in process with me packing every one of his half-dozen stuffed bed-mates under him for support. Finish with a little extra comfort (“pat me back, Baba”! he cries each night like a tiny distressed pirate) and off to bed.
Well, this lovely ritual abruptly ended this week when O proceeded to get into his crib and immediately throw pillow-blanket down on the floor. The first few times I would pick it back up, refold and politely ask him to keep it in bed. Eventually, he would settle down and be ready to sleep but as the week went on, the more times I retrieved and refolded the blanket, the more he would throw it overboard.
Last night we had a stand-off: I stood next to the crib, O stood inside, each of us with one hand on the blanket. I preemptively asked him not to throw it, calmly promising that if he did, it would not return and he would then cry, which would make us all sad…and no one wants to be sad! Through the darkness, I could see a fixed and determined grin and I knew this kid was fixing to chuck the blanket.
Sure enough, the second I released, there went pillow-blanket, sailing to the floor. In my best attempt to teach cause and effect, I kissed him goodnight, turned around and left him empty-handed in his bed. Wailing ensued but unlike the other nights, I did not go in and get the blanket. Fool me once, shame on you….fool me six nights in a row and well, Baba was finally figuring it out. After a few words from us over the baby monitor, he gave up, laid down with his own smushed blanket configuration and went to sleep.
This kid has serious conviction and a will of steel. He’s no pushover and boy, will he test boundaries to get anything he thinks he can. But he’s also sensitive and caring and intuitive. I can’t be mad at those traits, no matter how frustrating they are right now. He’s got all the ingredients to become a successful – and more importantly – mindful leader one day, one that’s not afraid to dig in and commit to what he believes in but present enough to know his place in it all.
As for tonight, whether we can move forward from blanket-gate or if another nighttime negotiation will be needed remains to be seen. But I plan to show up present, mindful and ready to get this deal done so everyone can get a good night’s sleep.