Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Anyone else tried emotional blackmail on a two year old?

It's as well that good things happened this week. After dropping my purse by the ticket machines at Bond Street tube station - a shopping assistant from Russel & Bromley found it and phoned me to arrange for me to collect it from her.

The purse didn't have any credit cards or cash in it - but it did have a load of other personal and useful stuff in there. It was also a purse that I bought on honeymoon, so it was special.

The funny thing was that at the time I wasn't too bothered about losing it - I had a feeling I'd get it back. It's probably because I'm so busy at work that I didn't have space in my head to get wound up over my carelessness.

By the way, I bought her a box of chocolates for her trouble. It saves a lot of hassle when you get a purse returned.

But here's the reason why I have to remember the good stuff - Peaches is finding it hard to go to sleep and I'm found that incredibly hard to deal with. Recaro is out with friends this evening and I was putting Peaches to bed without any back up. I really didn't want to give in and let her run around until she was exhausted.

I realise now that I'm only talking about taking 1 hour and 10 minutes past her bedtime for her to finally fall asleep. The thing is, I felt so put upon and bossed around by her, that I ended up in tears.

Of course, this is after she's screamed for a while too, but she sounded so cross that I thought she'd be sick. Oh - and I had to take a call from my mother in law mid way through. There was no way I wanted to admit to her what I felt like, all I could say was that Peaches was going through a phase of having trouble settling.

There's so much that's bad about this. I was really struggling with keeping myself in the position of being the parent. I even had to walk out of the room so that I wouldn't start stamping my own feet in a tantrum in front of her.

In the end, I'd run out of all my tried and tested options and wanted to cry and make Peaches feel bad. I wanted to manipulate her into wanting to make me feel better by going to sleep. I'm totally ashamed to say that this worked. I sat on the floor with my head bowed looking really sad and she gave me a cuddle and agreed to get tucked up in bed again. I then read her the same story six times in a quiet dull constant monotone until she slept.

Usually I don't mind reading her story books, but I was having to read them so many times I thought I'd go insane - fortunately my frustrated monotone sent her off to sleep in the end. I feel so mean - she's always gone to bed so happy. I feel that I've let her down by losing control and exploiting her sweet - though wakeful - nature.


Jennywenny said...

Seriously, you felt guilty after all that stress! Give yourself a break!

Reluctant Housewife said...

Yes. I've been there. I used to have to sing Monkey to sleep every single night. There were nights I'd sit in his room and sing to him for over an hour before he finally fell asleep. It was exhausting. But, if I tried to get him to stay in bed by himself, he'd flip out - screaming, crying, tantrums. I used to get so frustrated and discouraged. So I sang.

Eventually, though, he got older and calmer and it sorted itself out. Now, after a quick story time and one song, he goes to bed on his own and falls asleep by himself. Hang in there. It will get easier, I promise.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I think we've all been there! (just this week actually). It can be very frustrating parenting a strong-willed child, and certainly feeling bad about how you do it doesn't help. It's always easier to look back and say "it was only an hour" but that hour can feel like eternity!

in answer to your title, which time?!.

scrappysue said...

newsflash - you're HUMAN!!! - and she's 2. she'll grow up and learn to sleep on her own and you'll still be human - just a very tired one.

been there. done that. now i go to bed before my kids do.


remember - you're in charge and girls love to remind you that you should know that.

The Dotterel said...

Sue's got it in one! And remember, it's all still part of the old 'I'm learning to assert myself' routine.

Working mum said...

Oh, I feel for you. A friend of mine is going through the same thing. I hope it settles down soon. I don't really have any advice; my friend is trying an 'Oopys Daisy' doll as big as her daughter as a comforter.

I never had a problem with Izzy going to sleep, I've always done two stories and a lullaby and then she's settled, but she has now started waking up several times in the night and coming for a cuddle. The nursery nurse at school says it's an emotional need because she's so tired from her first term at school. So I'm pretty tired as well by being woken up, but it will pass.

All part of motherhood!

gigi said...

I think every mom has had those moments of insane-ness. They do grow up so fast but some of their phases take for ever to get through. You are a great mum and she is '2' and that says it all.

Polly said...

Oh we have been through this tonight ourselves with our little boy. So frustrating. Thoughts are with you from one frustrated mummy to another!

Expat mum said...

Came over from Fat, F and 50's blog. Oh memories of that phase. Little ones are very manipulative so you have to be determined. I remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs when my middle child went through a phase of getting up. It would go on for almost two hours and I would just put him back to bed. Because of that I think, it only lasted two weeks, thank god.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Of course we say we never will, but we do, oh dear we do!!