Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The pee fairy

For the last few weeks, Liza has been going to bed later and later each night, using a series of increasingly long and ridiculous stalling techniques that have Jason and I contemplating spanking, alcoholism, and/or child abandonment. I need water! I need to go potty! I need more snuggles! My leg is hanging out! I need to go potty! I need another book! I need another song! I need Mommy! I lost my bunny! I need to go potty! Yeah, and we need some time to watch old X-Files episodes and steal from the stash of candy you collected at the parade last week, so get the hell in bed.

Our usual routine is that Jason puts Liza to bed, doing all the singing and snuggling and stories, since by that time of day I'm not only tired, I'm tired of the kid, and I'm much more prone to lose it than he is. We kind of alternate who gets stuck going back in to settle her down, based on who is less likely to kill her in the next 15 minutes. The stalling and stalling and stalling was getting really annoying, and even Jason was having a tough time keeping his patience when we had to go in 6 times on Thursday night and she didn't get to sleep until 10pm.

Friday night Jason went out for drinks with a friend, and I was in charge of bedtime. Things go much differently when I'm in charge by myself, as I generally am a LOT more willing to listen to screaming than he is, and I have no problem being Evil Parent. I told Liza very clearly that I was going to do her whole bedtime routine, including books and songs and a story and snuggles and a trip to the potty and a glass of water, but when I left and shut the door, that was it. Period. I was not going back in there unless the house caught on fire or a wolverine snuck in through her open window (I think I left that part out of the actual lecture).

So I left, and she started screaming. I need water! I need to go potty! I need more snuggles! My leg is hanging out! I need to go potty! I need another book! I need another song! I need Mommy! I lost my bunny! I need to go potty! And I went downstairs and knitted.

After 5 minutes I went up and told her that I was still here, I loved her, but I was not going in, and she needed to go to sleep. I watched her go to the potty (again), rinsed out the potty, said goodnight and shut the door. This got me incoherent raging and kicking of walls, which settled into just kicking of walls, and she was asleep 15 minutes later. Score one for Evil Mommy!

Saturday night Jason was home, and I gave Liza the same lecture. Blah blah, not coming in, Daddy's not coming in either, go to sleep.

"Daddy will come and get me." (with a smirk)
"No he won't."
"Yes, he will."
"No, he won't, because if he tries to, I will sit on him until he gives up and stops trying to get to your room."
"You can't sit on Daddy!"
"If it means getting you to sleep earlier, yes I can."

Fifteen minutes of screaming, and she was asleep.

***

Last night, after five minutes of screaming, I stuck my head in Liza's room. She said she had to got to the potty, which is always her first stage of stalling, and despite the fact that she JUST WENT FIVE MINUTES BEFORE, she usually manages to actually go again, so it's not like we can ignore it if we ever want her to be potty trained at night.

"You're a big girl. You use the potty by yourself every day. Get out of bed, use the potty, wipe your butt, and get back in bed. We'll clean out the potty in the morning."

She was quiet after that, and Jason and I got to watch a movie. A whole movie. Including trailers. Hallelujah!

Jason checked on her before we went to bed, and she had done just what I told her, getting her diaper back on and even getting the sheets over her and everything. All he had to do was rinse out the potty and we were good to go. Score!

When Jason called this morning, I told him that Liza's first concern when she woke up was that we had to clean out her potty. I told her that Daddy had done it in the middle of the night.
"You should have told her the Pee Fairy came and took it away." Ha, ha, very funny.

Tonight we had no problem getting her to bed - as Jason was leaving the room, she said she had to pee, so he told her to go and get back in bed by herself. He went in a few minutes ago, and she was curled up under her covers, bunny under her arm, potty full of pee. He carried out the potty and asked me, "Should the Pee Fairy leave a quarter in her potty?"

No, I don't think so, but thanks for the disturbing mental image of a urine-soaked sprite sneaking into my house every evening.

1 comment:

mlf said...

I am glad this is working.