We finally bought Aidan a bed a few weeks ago. He needed it. I’m not sure how he didn’t figure out how to climb out, but the end was coming. He was about to figure out.
And we argued over where the bed should come from. Their father wanted one off of Craig’s List. While that was a good idea, except I had no time to check out beds at different house to make sure they were well crafted, I wanted a new bed for Aidan. Aidan is the youngest of three. His crib, dresser, bookcase, changing table, and rocking chair were all hand-me-downs. Most of his books, clothes, and toys are hand-me-down. All hand-me-downs are once or twice or, in the case of the changing table, fourths. For now and forever, the majority of what is his will be cast-offs from others. So for the love of God, this kid needs something new and utterly his beyond a toy or t-shirt here and there. We got him a bed at a children’s furniture store. Dark walnut, simple, and well-made.
My father and I took down the crib and built up the bed. My mom gave me a bed rail, and I placed a set of sheets from the cupboard on the bed; while, I wait and search for the perfect set for his room. Mismatched furniture and a bed. It was a boy’s room. A child’s room. My baby was growing up. I refused to put the crib on Craig’s List.
That night I remembered the advice handed down from mother to daughter. “It only takes three times. Three spankings. Three nights.” Hold the line for three times, and the line is scratched in stone. I remembered it took three nights with Evan and then with Sean. The first night it took two hours of putting a boy back to bed over and over and over. The next night it was only an hour. The final night it took only 30 minutes. The fourth night and on was fine with the occasional rebellion to check that scratched in line.
I was prepared for the first night. Two hours of putting Aidan in bed over and over and over. As I texted Kat. As I read up on Facebook. As I read articles. It was a bitch, but it was done.
And then the next night happened. It took an hour and forty-five minutes. Are you kidding me?
The next night took an hour and a half. What the hell?
The next night took an hour. At least it’s decreasing.
The next night it took an hour and forty-five minutes. Well, f- me.
At this point, I started to wonder was this epic battle because he was older than his two brothers when he got his bed. They were only 22 months. He was nearly 2 and half years. Or was this youngest of mine much more stubborn than his brothers? God, I hope not. Those boys are stubborn. And I have proof. Their teachers tell me so.
The next day he didn’t fall asleep in the car on the way home from picking up Evan from his half day. (Remember the week I didn’t write at all?) That took an hour. That night the battle raged for an hour and half.
That night Aidan had his first bout of insomnia in his bed. I was praying that it would wait until he had settled into his bed and that he realized his mother was much more stubborn than a two-year-old. As poor luck would have it, Evan had come to my room to sleep with me. For two and half hours, I sent Aidan to bed or put him in bed or cuddled with him or do everything possible to get him to sleep. For those two and half hours, poor Evan was awake too because Aidan adores Evan and must have him up. It was f-ing hell.
Oh and the next night, it took an hour and 45 minutes to put Aidan down.
It took ten days. Sort of. The naps are going well. But I still stand in the hall outside his door. At night, the battles are fought for 30 to 45 minutes. Now that I think of it, we are not out of the woods.
He’s had two more attacks of insomnia. I think. They come once a week. He had one last night, which lasted three hours, which may be why I can’t remember more of the Sleep War. I’m still fighting it.
When Aidan has insomnia, he’s awake. He doesn’t want to cuddle. He wants to play and roam around. He wants to hang out with his brothers. And I’ll admit if I’m woken up, I’m not a problem solver. Even as I type this, I’m thinking of solutions, which will be forgotten under the hazy of sleep deprivation at 3am. I know I can’t stand at his door for three hours putting him back in his bed. I don’t have the stamina. He doesn’t cuddle and fall asleep. But what if I read to him or pile books for him. I could get a baby gate for the boys’ big room. I could give him milk.
I don’t know. I should have a check list of solutions. I should do research. I should go take a nap.