Today’s Battle.

I have a 5 year old daughter. Politely, she is called a “spirited child” but in reality, she’s a hurricane, and a tornado. An intense child who feels things everything passionately. Everything. She will love you hard, she will hate you hard, her anger parallels the wrath of God. She will outsmart you in the worst possible way, because she will do it subversively. Not until she is close to her goal will I realize what she has done. She will miss you, hug you, love you, like you’ve never experienced before. To me, she is awe inspiring. A force of nature. I look at her and she takes my breath away. But it’s not easy.

This week has been particularly hard because her little brother turned three years old on Monday. That means he received presents and she didn’t. My first glimpse of this joy happened last year when she was four, and he two. I’m hoping it gets better with age. On the day itself, she did pretty well. But the week has proved very challenging. She has taken to hiding his new games. And on reprimand, the attitude comes out. Oh my, the attitude. She’s a little body with a huge personality. Often times, she just can’t control what comes out, because she feels it so fiercely. Many times, she can astound us with how controlled she can be.

She just discovered that a friend of hers colored a page of her coloring book. The unused coloring book that hasn’t been given a second glance since she received it.  Ever. But suddenly, she was indignant that a page was used. Despite imparting to her that the page was used with my permission, she would not quit. There are just some things she focuses on and as with everything else of her nature, the laser beams are set.

In a fleeting thought, the ‘perfect parent’ would have sat her down and explained everything ad nauseam until she understood. Instead, I walked upstairs to do laundry after Daddy told her she couldn’t have the coloring book anymore (she never uses them, this isn’t a big loss here). She quickly followed me, hysterical, because I’m the easy parent. So I tried to do the right thing. I sat with her on my bed and I talked to her about how the used coloring page was a present from her friend, a surprise for her. But the only thing she could focus on getting that coloring book back from Daddy. Daddy took it away and she wanted Mommy to give it back.

Unfortunately, despite my calm discussions, she exploded and began something that she hasn’t done in years. She threw a tantrum. So now she sits in her room, quietly. Oddly enough, since she is an extrovert, sitting in her room (not a hardship here, there are toys and books in there) for a while seems to center her and she usually emerges a much calmer person.

I’ll take some deep breaths.

Is it bedtime yet?

How To Put A Toddler To Bed in 100 Easy Steps

How To Put A Toddler To Bed in 100 Easy Steps

Author: The Honest Toddler

  1. Announce that it’s time to go to bed.
  2. Wait for your toddler to stop crying

  3. Explain that  bedtime is not a punishment

  4. Explain that bedtime is not a new concept.

  5. Explain that, yes, bedtime will happen every night.

  6. Console your toddler.

  7. Announce that it’s still bedtime.

  8. Let your toddler know that we don’t call names in this house.

  9. Tell your toddler it’s time to go upstairs.

  10. Watch your toddler move at a snail’s pace.

  11. Wait for your toddler to stop crying.

  12. Pick up your toddler.

  13. Walk your toddler upstairs.

  14. Pick out the wrong pair of pajamas for your toddler

  15. Pick out another wrong pair of pajamas for your toddler

  16. Explain that the right pair of pajamas are in the wash.

  17. Explain that you will not be doing a load of laundry this evening

  18. Console your toddler while he/she cries

19 Explain that in this house we don’t call names

  1. Watch your toddler struggle to get into his/her pajamas
  • Ask your toddler if you can help.

  • Continue watching your toddler struggle.

  • Watch your toddler try to wear a pair of pants like a shirt.

  • Console your toddler.

  • Put the wrong pair of pajamas on your toddler.

  • Announce that it’s time to brush teeth.

  • Explain the benefits of dental hygiene.

  • Console your toddler.

  • Carry your toddler into the bathroom.

  • Put a microscopic amount of toothpaste (poison) on to the toddler toothbrush.

  • Wet toothbrush.

  • When your toddler opens his/her mouth 1/45th of an inch wide, attempt to clean teeth

  • Your toddler will attempt to spit in the sink, but will actually spit on the counter. Clean it up.

  • Console your toddler.

  • Ask your toddler to pick out two books.

  • Toddler will pick out the two longest books in your home.

  • Read the first line of every third page of the two books.

  • Field unrelated questions and interruptions.

  • Tell toddler it’s time for a goodnight kiss.

  • Toddler will be suddenly and urgently thirsty, give toddler a small drink of water.

  • Toddler will ask a question. Answer question.

  • Say “goodnight” and kiss toddler.

  • Toddler will ask for a hug. Hug toddler.

  • Toddler will take up a sudden interest in potty training and ask to use the bathroom. It’s poop.

  • Help toddler in the bathroom. Notice that there is no poop.

  • Todder may become afraid. Assure toddler that there is nothing to be afraid of.

  • Toddler will ask a question about life. Answer question.

  • Toddler will need another hug and kiss. Give hug and kiss.

  • Toddler needs to urinate. Help toddler in the bathroom. Notice that toddler actually urinates.

  • Toddler requires a sticker for urinating successfully.

  • Put a sticker on toddler’s potty chart.

  • Toddler may want to tell you a brief ten minute story. Listen to story while backing out of the room.

  • Turn off the light.

  • Toddler remembers that he/she needs a special stuffed animal.

  • Ask where the stuffed animal is.

  • Toddler tells you it’s in the car. Find your keys and look in the car. It’s not there.

  • Look in the living room.

  • Look in the kitchen.

  • Look in the backyard.

  • Scout the neighbor’s property.

  • Find the toy in your toddler’s room, under the bed.

  • Ask toddler if he/she knew the toy was under their bed.

  • Toddler will ask for dinner. Explain to toddler that dinner ended hours ago.

  • Toddler will cry that he/she is hungry. Explain to toddler that he/she should have eaten said dinner.

  • Explain that we do not call people in this house names.

  • Toddler will ask for hug and kiss. Hug and kiss toddler.

  • Toddler will ask you to help arrange his/her pillows and blankets. Arrange pillows and blankets.

  • Toddler will ask you to three essay questions. Answer them.

  • 69.  Toddler will notice that the tag end of the blanket is next to his/her face and will kick it off.  Fix blanket, this time with care and precision.

    1. Toddler will ask for the hall light on. Turn on the hall light.

    2. Toddler will ask for another story. Explain that there will be no more stories.

    3. Toddler will ask what the plan for tomorrow is. Resist the urge to say, “I won’t be here. I’m running away tonight.”

    4. Tell toddler “goodnight.:

    5. Toddler will say his/her back, legs, or butt is itchy.

    6. At your discretion, try to relieve itchiness through lotion or wipes.

    7. Put toddler back in bed.

    8. Arrange blanket in the proper formation.

    9. Say goodnight.

    10. Toddler will say “Goodnight.”

    11. As you reach the door, toddler will inform you that he/she is not wearing socks.

    12. Choose the wrong pair of socks for your toddler.

    13. Choose another wrong pair of socks for your toddler.

    14. Choose the right pair of socks for your toddler.

    15. Put the right pair of socks the wrong way on your toddler’s feet.

    16. Put the right pair of socks the wrong way on your toddler’s feet.

    17. Get the right pair of socks the right way on your toddler’s feet.

    18. Use your last thread of energy to stand.

    19. Say “goodnight.”

    20. Toddler will say “goodnight.”

    21. As you leave the room, toddler will ask for a sip of water with pathetic sad look on face.

    22. Give toddler sip of water and beg to be released from this hades.

    23. Toddler will ask for a back rub/tapping.

    24. Tap toddler’s back until you lose feeling in your arm and your toddler seems tired.

    25. Slowly stop tapping. Stand up. Try to float out of the room.

    26. Toddler will look at you. Say, “it’s time to go to bed.”

    27. If toddler cries, pretend to be serious this time.

    28. Say “goodnight.”

    29. Act like you’re walking downstairs but just linger by the door, out of sight.

    30. Pray

    31. Walk downstairs
      You may now relax for 2-5 minutes before you’re called back in. Congrats!

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