Whoever coined the phrase about “history repeating itself” probably wasn’t talkin’ about our grandson. Nope. I think perhaps those three little words have more to do with events like boundary skirmishes, Hatfield/McCoy-type feuds and world wars. Well, it could apply to him a bit, as our charming little Ben IS giving his parents one heck of a time getting himself settled down at bedtime, much like his big brother did. It was bound to happen. I mean … the cute little guy is kneecap deep into his ticklish twos.
I recall Ben’s older brother playing a similar bedtime recreational sport but with his own twist. Jacob was about the same age as Ben when he learned how to catapult himself out of his crib. It was suspected he was a miniature Spiderman with a sticky substance projecting from his fingertips, aiding in his crib rail launching.
Jacob quickly graduated to a “big boy” bed to limit potential and imminent bone breakage. However, he was relentless in his effort to self-determine when he would be sleeping in it. Jacob would come out of his room after his bedtime ritual of a drink of water, prayers and bedtime story. Thirty seconds later his door would open, followed by a stealthy little Jacob toddling down the hallway and peeking around the corner. Armed with the latest parenting technique for the situation, a response was employed. Each time one parent, without saying a word, turned him around and marched Jacob back to his bed.
“The first night I stopped counting at 250 times he came out of his room with one of us bringing him back,” Katie remembered, not so fondly.
Those were some tough nights. I remember chatting on the phone, offering various solutions to our daughter. Yep, it takes a village to outsmart a 2-year-old. FYI … sometimes you just have to wait them out.
I could relate. Our youngest gave us similar challenges. We figured Ricky just didn’t like missing out on what was happening in the family room before his mom and dad’s bedtime. He also insisted on coming out of his room after tucking-in. At one point, we installed a sturdy baby gate across his bedroom doorway. But much like Jacob, he was also an accomplished climber. Don’t be surprised if you someday read about these two at the summit of Mt. Everest, waving an American flag.
Katie was probably 9 when she attempted to assist her parents in keeping her little brother in line. She recorded into her kiddie tape player “The Land Before Time” dinosaur movie onto a cassette tape. She even narrated the action parts where there was no dialogue. It was a very noble endeavor. The theory was for Ricky to fall asleep while listening to the tape. It didn’t work.
Did I mention Ben could easily climb out of his crib if he wanted to? He rightfully chooses not to as a result of falling out one time. Scared the little guy. Now he just stands there and sobs for his momma. Oh, the drama. It is so pitiful and can’t be ignored for too long as Jacob and Ben share a room. Seems older brother needs his rest. Yep … payback was inevitable.
To be helpful, this grandma had a serious discussion with Ben on Sunday. Sitting him on my lap before he left for home, I gave him a cute little stuffed puppy with big floppy ears. Ben snoozes with the stuffed animal when he naps at our house.
“Now Ben … did you know this puppy is magical?” I asked, with the most fake serious face ever.
The wide-eyed boy shook his head in the negative. He continued to listen attentively.
“When your mommy or daddy put you to bed at night you have to hold this magical puppy real tight and he will help you go to sleep. No more crying, OK?” I told Ben.
Sadly, Ben’s mommy informed me the next day that the magic puppy didn’t work. The good news … it was the first thing he grabbed when he woke up.
“I have a magic puppy,” a delighted Ben told his mommy.
Now that I think about it … perhaps 2-year-old conflicts should be added to the list of “history repeating itself” along with worldwide conflicts and weather catastrophes..