Okay, if you haven't read the post I made earlier today, read it first before you start this one.
Matt got a last minute invitation to attend a Naturals game tonight (convenient), so I am flying solo on the bedtime experiment. I'm taking a wild guess that the entire night will be blogworthy, so I'm writing this by way of introduction, and I'll just keep a timeline of events as they happen. Here's my plan. It's now 8:00. Both kids are dressed and ready for bed. I will put Ethan in bed at 8:15 and leave the door open. Then I will go to Abby's room and read her a book. From the chair in her room, I can see Ethan's door and most of his room, so I will know if he gets up. I've taped his light switch so he can't turn his light on, so he will only have about an hour before it gets really dark.
Here goes nothing!
8:15 Ethan's in bed on schedule.
8:16 Abby and I crack open My Little Pony: Golden Egg Hunt.
8:17 I see a blond head peek around the door frame. I get up and calmly tuck him back in. I calmly tell him if he gets up again I will put the gate up. He has seen the gate, and he is NOT a fan. I head back to Abby and the egg hunt.
8:19 Blond head sighting again. By the time I make it to his room, he's already back in his bed. I tell him (clamly) that since he cannot stay in bed, the gate will go up at his door. I put the gate up (which only takes a second thanks to the 25 minutes I spent earlier trying to figure out how to make it fit right). He is saying uh-uh, but not too sadly, and he's staying put. I return once again to Abby's room.
8:19:30 E appears at the door and pushes on the gate. It holds fast. He utters a few "no's." I tuck Abby in and head down the hall. He runs for his bed. I'm sure he thinks I'm coming after him, but this is new, calm mommy. I just close his door (the gate is just on the outside) and go to the living room.
8:20 Door opens.
8:20:20 Door closes.
8:20:40 Door opens
8:20:45 Door slams shut and immediately reopens.
8:21 Whining begins.
8:30 Whining has progressed into full blown sobbing, punctuated with cries of "I'na get outta here!" and "I want my mommy daddy sissy!" and "Where daddy go?" I feel you on that last one, little guy.
8:38 Crying abruptly stops. The door closes, and I can hear the banging of toys. The door opens, and E peers out. He throws out a couple of cries for good measure. Waits, and when I don't react, starts the wailing again.
8:42 Crying got old. He's playing with his toys. Has it REALLY only been 27 minutes?
8:53 He appears to be rather artfully stacking a deck of playing cards against the gate.
9:06 It's pretty dark now, and the entire deck of cards has been woven into the gate. He's fussing again, though it's kind of halfhearted.
9:16 He closed the door, then opened it again--I guess to see if it would trick me somehow. Didn't work, so he's crying louder now.
9:17 I'm hungry but I don't want to turn on the kitchen light.
9:30 This is getting really old. I've been thinking about it, and I'm going to slightly modify the plan. I'm going to speak to him, calmly, and say"If you go to bed, I will take the gate down."
9:37 Didn't work. Back to plan A.
9:40 How about Plan C? He's so pitiful. I say, "If you lay down, I will come snuggle you." He's in bed before I finish the sentence. I take down the gate, go in, hug him, kiss his cheek, and say, "If you get up, I will put the gate back up." I walk out.
9:45 HE'S ASLEEP! Exactly an hour and a half was all it took. But, I remained calm the whole time. And I bet (hope) that tomorrow night just the word "gate" will send him scurrying off to bed.
9:46 I'm getting a snack and going to bed myself. Being a calm mommy is exhausting.