In case you were wondering, my personal inner monologue is, "Cut strawberries. Braid hair. Stop the crying. Cut strawberries. Braid hair. Stop the crying."
Anyway, Gracie's personal inner monologue has made for some less than awesome going-to-bed-times the last 6 months or so...but probably way longer.
And, bless Maggie's heart, she needs her sleep, so Gracie being chatty and playful at night wasn't going real far when it came to building sisterly community.
Nothing was helping. I would go in friendly. I'd go in
angry frustrated irritated less than friendly. We even took out all of her stuffed animals so she wouldn't have anything to play with.
Her response? "That's okay, Mom. I don't mind."
I even sat in their room one night so that I could immediately ask her to be quiet if she talked.
The next night she was crying because she wanted me their room.
Whomp whomp whooooooooomp.
Seeing as this heightened in the summer, naturally, it was hot out. We don't have central air, but we do have an alarmingly large window air conditioner that does a good job cooling the house down.
We always have the girls' bedroom doors closed at night, but we decided to leave their doors open so the cool air could get in.
I don't know if it was the realization that Aaron or I could walk by at any second and see her making bad choice, but that made a HUGE difference in Gracie's bedtime behavior. She stopped talking to Maggie and stopped trying to keep her awake. It was amazing!
I never in a million years would have thought that keeping their bedroom door open would help. Plus, we haven't had problems with any of the girls complaining about noise or light or anything.
But, we still had problems with her calling out and neeeeeeeeding something from us right after she laid down.
She was no longer bugging Maggie which was good, but still...
Namely, she just had to poop.
I mean, I seriously think she conditioned herself to have to poop like 2 minutes after she went to bed.
This led to me saying insane things like, "You had that poop in your bottom before you went to bed, and that's when you are supposed to poop...before bed."
Then I'd poke my head into the bathroom to check on her like every 30 seconds, and I'd say, "Did you squeeze out all your poop?"
WHO AM I??? I mean...I just can't even...
When she turned 4, I even tried telling her that kids who are 4 only call out in case of emergency.
Every now and then, she'd earn back 1 of the stuffed animals we had to take away, but not very consistently.
There was nothing we could do that would make her stop. We just started praying that God would give Gracie a heart that wants to obey.
Gracie is quite self motivated which will hopefully be a huge asset in her decision making as she gets older, but it can certainly present some parenting conundrums. I mean, I can't make her want to obey.
Well, I'm happy to report that the last couple of weeks have been awesome! Gracie has been going to bed like a champion, and I'm so, so thankful!
I know it might seem like a little thing, but I'm so thankful that God cares about the little things, too.
It also builds my faith. I know God is powerful enough to change the heart of my
stubborn strong willed daughter, because I've seen it. Believe me, Gracie's heart didn't change because of any excellent parenting techniques.
I can trust that God will change hearts that need changing...including mine.