I write this blog entry in triumph as Eamon Wolfe sleeps soundly, comfortably, and by himself, in his toddler bed.
The battle was not lightly won, and casualities of sleep were high. But I have to say, I think we all won in the end, and learned a little something along the way. While I still can’t entirely account for the inner machinations of a two year old’s psyche, I am willing to tentatively venture a few theories and lessons learned:
1. I think Eamon really did have a scary dream about an alligator, and I think he really did start to equate it with the knocking in the air ducts. I believe that he was genuinely terrified the first night. Maybe even the second. But I am pretty sure that by the third night, he just wanted to sleep in Mommy’s bed because…well, because he thought he could.
2. I think that Eamon is a strange mixture of advanced and immature. He has this great and wonderful imagination that allows him to invent crazed alligators named Dibbtz, but not mature enough to understand abstract solutions like “Pajamas of Protection” or “Spray Elixirs of Safety.” That being said, I think he is devious enough to figure out how to open the spray bottle and dump it all over his bed, therefore necessitating a middle of the night sheet change and, depending on how tired Mommy is, a one-way ticket to the Big Bed.
3. I think that hiding two cute and cuddly bean-bag critters in the air vents so that we could “find” them one night before bed, and then call them Bobbin and Dibbtz was a stroke of genius that helped him get over the particular fear of the air vents and an alligator named Dibbtz…but not of a general fear of alligators coming to “get Eamon.”
4. I think that in the end, what finally worked was perhaps the least glamorous, least warm and fuzzy solution of them all. It was one I can guarantee will never be endorsed by Dr. Sears, but I wasn't trying to get Dr. Sears to sleep, now was I?
So, what finally got our child to sleep in his own bed, made him brave enough to stand up to the nightmares?
Here it is, parents. It wasn’t pretty, but war never is, and it got the job done when nothing else would:
1. Be so exhausted and cranky that you are suddenly scarier than any imaginary alligator.
2. Dose him up with Benedryl so that he’s too tired to fight sleeping in his own bed. After one night of sleep without being eaten by a voracious reptile, your child will realize that he’s safe…and anyway, it’s better than sleeping with his super crabby mother.
Sleep for all = Shiny, happy family