My son will be three in January. He’s successfully gone to sleep on his own many, many times. But for some reason, we’re in a period of total civil disobedience. This kid refuses to go down quietly. The second the light goes out and it’s time for my husband or me to leave, he wails. Not in a truly distraught way. No…that would be easy. I would rush in and soothe him if he seemed genuinely upset. No, no. This is different. A petulant, grating kind of a fake-crying. A theatrical screeching.
Night….after night….after night. Of teeth-grating howls and whines perfectly pitched to drive a human insane. Eventually he stops and settles down. But not before he’s driven me halfway to lunacy with his vocal protests.
I have decided to not react to the noise and cheerfully tell him to go to sleep a few times…but it’s hard. Oh, it’s so hard. The pitch and tone of this noise is the kind that makes you want to scream at someone. To SWEAR at someone. But that someone is your kid. Your very young kid, who you love more than anything, who is just doing his pre-schooler bedtime protest thing that kids do at this age. You have to stay calm. You have to. And Holy God is it hard.
I’m sure there are books, sites, and many other parents who have JUST the perfect piece of advice, theory, or outlook on how to handle this. But I’m too exhausted to seek them out. I just keep gritting my teeth, and hoping this phase will pass on, like they always do…