I try not to complain. I know people who have it so much harder than I do, & I'm unbelievably thankful for all that I have.
Nights with Erin have always been hard. We've found a way to make bedtime easier for everyone, but it's still hard. While she has no problem with the routine - & even tells us when we miss a step - it's the actual bed thing that's a problem. for the first 2 months that we were home, David & I spent each night crying ourselves because Erin had such a heart-wrenching cry. It sounded as if someone was torturing her. With the help of some good friends & our amazing travel group family, we found a method that allowed us a measure of peace. Now that Erin is 5, the situation is not like it was but is still bad. We must go in to her room 4 or 5 times before she settles down. Now I know that children don't want to go to bed - mostly because they're afraid of missing out on something. However, Erin's real problem is that she hates to be alone at night. It's the only time that she is ever alone - unless, of course, you count her time in the potty. Each night she wants to know when I'm coming in to bed, can I stay with her, why can't she just lay on the couch out in the family room with me. Erin will even tell you that she just doesn't want to be alone.
Most of the time I can handle this situation. This past week though, I've come to the realization that I hate her bedtime. I hate to see Erin miserable, & this is the absolute worst time of the day in our family. Once she does settle down, I feel guilty that I'm relieved. In our house 7:00 - 9:00 is the pits. Even David has to get strict with her & tell her to calm down. I know how much he hates it, but it's the only way to convince her to go to sleep.
We left the house early this morning so that we could finish our holiday shopping (not quite done there but just about) & enjoy the rest of the day as a family. Erin was all smiles, didn't ask for anything anywhere we went, was polite, etc. It was almost like having a Stepford Child with us. We didn't get to go to the Ft Lauderdale Home Show (something we do at least once a year) because David got called into work twice. Erin was a trooper the whole time.
By the time we got to WalMart she was done. And rightfully so mind you. Once we got home, she ate a yogurt & even ate an entire slice of pizza for dinner. She was so tired from having no nap today that her meltdown almost made me melt down. Normally I can get her to calm down by holding her in my lap, rubbing her back & speaking to her softly. Tonight that only made it worse. So far I've only had to go into the bedroom once & David has gone in once. Maybe she'll finally pass out & sleep the rest of the night. I'm hoping that she doesn't wake up in the middle of the night which is what she tends to do when she's had this kind of meltdown.
I hate bedtime. It sucks!
But I love my girl.