5:30 am rolled around.
"Mama? Can I come in your room?"
"What have I done?", I wonder to myself... Gone are the days that my toddler stays in her room until 7 am, when her clock turns yellow. But the reality is this is just a phase. She'll be back to sleeping until 7 am in no time.
She enters my room, and climbs on my bed.
"I love you, Mama."
"I love you, too."
We snuggle up. Daddy has already left for the day, and the three of us (Caroline, Mama, and our dog, Moose) all enjoy the king size bed together. It's wonderful. Not perfect. I'd rather be sleeping until 7. I'd rather my husband be in bed with us. But it's close to perfect when I see those beautiful brown eyes looking back at me. It's close to perfect when she snuggles her cute little butt into me, and touches my face with her soft tiny hands.
I try to enforce quiet time. But we end up chatting. She asks some of her best, most inquisitive questions in the early morning and late evening hours. So, I indulge her. Lately, it's been all about babies. "Why can't boys have babies?", "How does the egg and sperm grow into a baby?" She asks some fabulous questions.
We stay in bed as long as I can keep her there. These early mornings are a result of some big life changes around here, which is why I've allowed them to happen. We've uprooted our daughter a bit. We quite suddenly sold our home, and moved into an apartment for the time being.
Our routines fell second to selling the house. They fell second to having contractors come out to fix things, paint, stretch the carpets, etc. The routines fell second to the showings and open houses. We had to work around everyone else's schedules, and it's caught up with us for sure!
Our daughter is tired.
When she's overtired, she wakes up early. Babywise taught us that at a young age. If we put her to bed too late, she'd wake up early. If we put her to bed at a reasonable (earlier time), she's always slept longer. So, while her bedtime hasn't changed... her total amount of sleep has from missing naps, etc. She's just overtired from the last month of working around everyone else.
So, while we are now settling down, and back to our daily naps, and consistency- all is different, and she's still catching up. There are daily screaming fits- yes DAILY. They last a LOOOONG time.
Two mornings in a row now, it's been first thing right around breakfast time. Yesterday she yelled about needing more peanut butter on her english muffin. Today it was more apple juice in her already full cup that had spilled a tiny bit. Small things, but they turn into massive fits if I don't cater to her every whim...which I don't. We've never parented that way.
Among all of the fits, I know full well that this past month of craziness has caught up with her and she's tired. She takes longer naps than usual. I let her because my goodness she needs it- we all do right now.
And then, I have suuuch proud moments. Our daughter loves her sleep. She also knows that she needs her sleep in order to grow, be happy, and have energy. She can tell you all of the reasons that sleep is necessary.
I can probably count on one hand the number of times in her entire life that she's fought us on sleep. Her clock turns blue at bedtime, and she accepts that it's time. Now, don't get me wrong, she might fight the getting ready part at times, or some small detail, but rarely the actual act of it being bedtime.
She gets in her bed for naps, and if she isn't tired yet, she knows to stay in bed and have quiet time. She "reads" her books, talks to her stuffed animal friends, etc. She'll stay in there nice and quiet the entire length of nap time, even if she's not sleeping.
And when she needs extra sleep? She knows. She owns it. She figures out what to do!
This is why I love the lessons that Babywise teaches. This is why I love Babywise so much. We see the rewards of using it all of the time.
How does Babywise promote this? Sleep with Babywise is never a surprise- and therefore, never a fight. It is a part of routine during the day and night. It is normal. It is expected.
Today? After her screaming fit over apple juice, she calmed down using her calm down cards (I'm so thankful to have these in our toolbox), and she then played on her own while I got some things done. Then, she had a nice long bath. She played and had fun. When she was done, it was my turn for a shower. Right before I got in, I went to check on her. She'd decided to lay in her bed.
I asked her if she was tired. She said "yes." I tucked her in and gave her a kiss. "Thank you," she said. I told her that it was such a great idea to lay down if she was tired, and that I'd be back after my shower.
When I returned, she was asleep. I smiled and closed her door so she could rest longer.
Today's schedule- totally in the toilet because of this nap LOL! But I am SO very ok with that.
Our 3 year old daughter recognized that she needed sleep, and she took a nap- all on her own. How awesome is that!? Thank you Babywise for helping us to instill such good sleep habits with our daughter.