A few weeks ago, Alex’s nighttime routine changed. We didn’t change it, he did. It used to be that I would tell Alex to “Go kiss Daddy goodnight”. Alex would go to daddy, kiss him, and then come back to the stairs where I was waiting for him. Then the two of us would head upstairs for diaper change, pajamas, story time and bedtime.
Then Alex suddenly changed things. After he kissed daddy goodnight, he would come to the stairs and look back at daddy, who was not following him. Then he’d go back up and hold his arms up for daddy to pick him up. So then Eric started carrying him up. After a week of this, Alex started skipping the coming to the steps and then going back and goes straight from kissing to arms up.
We have an air mattress on the floor, so Eric lays on that while Alex plays and I change his diaper and get him in his pajamas, which admittedly is not an easy feat while he’s moving around. But he usually stops long enough to get things done without too much of a fight. So then I read a story while Alex plays. Some days he comes and turns the pages for me, other days he just plays. We stated having a little bit of trouble at this point, getting him to stop playing and get into his crib, but Eric came up with a solution. We put his teddy bear so his nose is sticking out of the crib slats. Then we pretend the bear is calling to Alex. Alex always comes over and bops the bear in the nose so he falls down, then waits because he knows I’m going to pick him up and put him in the crib. Then he kisses daddy again, kisses mommy (for the first time), and then we turn out the light and leave.
Of course, a week ago he started getting upset at the point when we started to leave. He threw his bear out of the crib, knowing we would rescue it. After returning it twice and having it thrown out both times, Eric tried something else. He said “OK, I’m going to take teddy with me” and went a few steps before turning around and giving it back. At this point Alex held teddy very tight, and we didn’t hear another peep out of him. It’s sad when you have to threaten to take your child’s favorite toy to get him to behave. But then we’ve had to do it every night since, and yesterday at his nap. He seems to like it.