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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Here's to hoping all you parents are equipped with your own BS meter.

I attend a group called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  Another mama in the group recently asked about books that might prepare her for toddler-hood   She has twin boys under one.  I don't read tons of parenting books (although, here is one I like).  I suggested to her to watch some old Super Nanny episodes.  I like her style.  I'm always inspired to be firm, yet, loving, and consistent when I watch Jo.  The mom who commented after me informed the mother of twins that age three is harder than age two.  I completely agree.

One of my very favorite ages is 1 1/2 to 2 1/2.  Kids at this age are learning so much and have a lot of personality, but they are still sweet babies.  Maggie is ALMOST 2 1/2.  Sigh.

She has been going to sleep both at nap and nighttime so wonderfully.  She gets snuggled and says she loves me.  Then I leave and she falls asleep.  I've been savoring this easy routine knowing it might very well be short lived.

The last couple of nights she has been coming to the gate crying, "I need my mommy.  I need my mommy."  This was so out of character for her that I assumed she was having a hard time sleeping (maybe her nap was too long) or wasn't feeling well.  I would bring her downstairs for awhile and then take her back to bed after an hour or so.

Last night, it became super clear to me that she was not ill.  She was not scared or having nightmares.  She was simply 2 1/2, and that girl knows just how to get her way.  I guess every parent needs to use their knowledge of their own kids to decipher real need from sheer manipulation.  But I was calling BS.  She stood at the gate desperately saying, "I need my daddy."  She didn't realize I was home since I had been away when she went to sleep.  The minute she got downstairs she didn't want anything to do with Stephen.  She just wanted me.  I put her to bed about forty minutes later.  It was fine, but this was getting super old.

 If she has trouble sleeping in the middle of the night, she is welcome to sleep BESIDE our bed as long as she sleeps and isn't making noise.  Many mornings at about 5am she'll come in our room with her pillow and blanket and quietly lay down beside our bed.  Last night, she came into our room at 2am and proceeded to cry, "I want mommy" once or twice every 5-10 minutes.  Not cute.

"Maggie, I'm right here."

"But, I NEEEED my mommy."

"Maggie, if you can't be quiet you are going to have to go back to your bed."


Two minutes later.

"I need my mommy."

I picked that girl up and placed her in her bed....about five times over about thirty minutes.  My inner Super Nanny came out.  I didn't look at her.  I didn't comfort her.  I didn't talk to her.  I just put that girl back in her bed and went back to mine.  After about a hundred, "I need my mommys" she fell asleep.

It became clear to me that
#1.  I love Maggie at 2 1/2, but this is going to be a little more work than the last year has been.
#2.  My older kids are definitely equipped to sleep through a newborn baby crying in the middle of the night.

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