Thursday, September 17, 2009

here's the thing

about Nolie. She has become completely inured to any traditional attempts at discipline. Addie can be a total firecracker, no question, but Nolie? A brick wall. A wrecking ball. A tank. She's inured to yelling, time-outs, consequences, rewards for positive behavior, and anything else we try to throw at her (without actually throwing anything at her, which is sometimes what we'd like to do, but don't).


A few months ago, Nolie discovered she could get up out of her bed and come out of her room at bedtime. Actually, she didn't discover it. I had to teach her. Because once your kid is potty trained, they have to be able to get up and pee in the night. The trade-off: no more diapers, but now your kid is no longer a caged monkey. She is mobile.

But still a monkey.

It looks like this now:

8:00 Nolie finally in bed, after bath, books, tummy rub, etc. We are using soft, soothing voices and there is much gentle smooching and loving.

8:04 Nolie cracks door open, then slams it shut.

8:05 Nolie cracks door, slams shut.

8:06 Open, slam.

8:07 Mama or Daddy goes in, puts Nolie back to bed, rubs her belly, she makes like she's all sleepy and will now stay in bed.

8:10 Nolie comes out and asks if there is going to be a storm tonight. Mom and Dad tell her to go back to bed right now and I mean it.

8:15 Nolie opens door. Sticks one limb into the hall. Fishtails her whole body into the hall. Is now carried back to bed screaming.

8:20 Nolie opens door. Mama or Daddy yell at Nolie to get back in that bed right this instant or else.

8:22 Nolie opens door. Mama or Daddy begins to drag Nolie's toys into the hall. Put Nolie back into bed. Then we collapse in our bed completely defeated.

8:24 Nolie opens door. We try again to be gentle.

8:26 Failure. Nolie opens door. Slams shut.

And so on. She finally has a big, big cry with one of us physically holding the door shut (she is SO strong. I can't even tell you). Once she has tired herself out crying she will eventually go to sleep. We curse ourselves and her and wonder what kind of parents would let their kids stay up until 9pm on a school night. Wonder how our friends who insist on 7:30 bedtimes do it. Wonder at Nolie's strength and will.

We need Nanny 911, I think. Or, a nanny. Or maybe just a good lock on the door.

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