Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Never Want To Go To Bedder

Dear Mrs. Piggle Wiggle,

First of all, let me start out by saying that you were one of my favorite book characters when I was a kid. It was a special teacher that first introduced your stories to me, and after reading all of them as a child, I grew up and continued to share them with my own students when I was a teacher.

Well, it seems that I have a new need for you these days, not just as an entertaining heroine saving children and their families from selfishness, poor manners, and selective hearing, but as advisor to one of my challenges as a parent. You see, my two year old, Julia, has been FIGHTING going to bed every night. She's been fighting it for much longer actually, but for the past two weeks or so she has been having a MAJOR TANTRUM as soon as she's been left in her room alone. She will cry out that she has to go potty, or that she forgot something, all pleas to be rescued from her room. I will go in and she will be okay after awhile and I will leave and then as if on cue, the screaming will start again and she will be SO UNHAPPY. It's really a terrible ritual that has come about.

Last night I put on my ipod during the screaming, so as to shut it out. (Mrs. P, this is a new electronic device which both stores and plays music.) I don't want to seem unsympathetic, I feel really awful that she's so unhappy in there. At the same time, I can't rescue her. My reassurance seems to make it worse. Oh it's just so hard to know if I'm doing the right thing. I know there's some clever solution out there somewhere, but unfortunately I haven't found it yet. I think these flare-ups are compounded by lots of things that are new in her life, like being potty-trained, and having an imagination which invents red things with horns. She has been sick too, and jacked up on albuterol, and it seems to be an unfortunate combination of factors which have created this phase.

So. Here we are in a quandry, and I have nobody like you, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to send over the "Never-Want-To-Go-To-Bedder" Solution. I do remember what you recommended to the parents of those kids who never wanted to go to bed. You advised the parents to just let the kids stay up as long as they wanted, until the kids were so tired they WANTED to go to sleep.
I'm afraid this wouldn't be a solution for our family as my child is quite a bit younger than those you advised in that story. She isn't allowed to play Parcheesi either, which was one of the major pasttimes of the afforementioned family.

In conclusion, if you have any creative solutions I would be so appreciative if you'd send them my way, hooked to the collar of the family dog, perhaps, as you like to pass the cures paraphernalia on in such ways. Back then it was, "Oh, just send it home with Jordy after he's done playing at your house." I wish my kids could play in your house. It sounded like so much fun. And all that mess, what heaven for my toddler.

My deepest regards,
Tia

1 comment:

FOUR DINNERS said...

Dunno if this helps...my daughter Jacqui is now 16 and fine... she went through a spell of screaming the place down when left in her cot to sleep at night.... after a few failed attempts to calm her we turned the music/TV up a bit - used the baby monitor to check she was really ok...eventual solution...sang to her for 10 minutes...not lullaby's though....punk classics....Anarchy in the UK, Pretty Vacant etc....she's turned out well balanced and an A* student...(only downside in my wife's view? Jacqui likes my old punk singles)....

Try not to worry too much...she'll be ok...promise