Why on earth am I rambling about Gilligan's Island and why on earth am I fixated on the portion involving the theme song's 'three hour tour'? Well, it might be because pondering those thoughts is far more pleasant than what this mommy endured last night. I'd say that for the first time in Ace's nearly 30 months of life - I was faced last night with a three hour stand-off of toddler tenacity and torture. Yes, last night Ace - who to his credit has overall being doing wonderfully in the sleep department - decided that he was not going to sleep and the stalling game began.
However, this stalling game wasn't met with calm requests for water, prayers, etc.. no - Ace went a different route. Compliance until I left the room, followed by fake tears asking for "prayers to calm him down" You see in recent weeks he has been met with a challenge to overcome: a fear of loud/unknown noises. To be fair he's had a negative association with anything that sounds like an "alarm" because when he was younger our fire alarm went off because of the steam in the shower and it terrified him. In the past few months a neighbor got a 'new' car and it has a faulty alarm... that goes off every night! SUPER! So typically once before he fell asleep - it would go off, he would fuss, we'd reassure him everything was ok... he'd fall asleep. Rinse and repeat. The alarm phobia was escalated further around the time of Mae's birth due to a house alarm going off... for the most part he's done very well getting over this.
Occasionally though he'll have a nightmare, that was two nights ago. He woke at midnight after a nightmare, swearing there was a noise... there was not (I was still awake, not even the car alarm had sounded.) Loving Husband got him out of bed, showing him throughout the house there was no disturbing or scary noise to be heard and then he asked to sleep in our bed. He stayed in our room for about 30 minutes, unable to fall asleep because his sister (who also sleeps in our bed) is quite grunty and its not conducive for most people to fall asleep to. Loving Husband scooped him up and took him back to his room, Ace was ok with this. Then the crying
Last night with Loving Husband out of the house, I was in charge of bedtime. Ace happily complied, went to bed, no fuss... and as soon as I was downstairs the stalling-fussing began. I immediately went up there and didn't even entertain the 'what is wrong' angle of his cries - he hadn't been alone long enough to get scared by anything and upon my return to his room rather than expressing what was likely the real issue (scared to be alone) he went with the 'I heard a noise' - nu-uh, not playing that game. I explained to him that wasn't acceptable behavior... and then more lovingly assured him that he was safe, Jesus would protect him, mom was here and would take care of him, and that everything was a-ok. I left him happy and calm. Less than a minute later 'crying' again. I called up to him that everything was ok, and to go to sleep. They persisted. I went back up and he said that he didn't like the noise his heater was making ... uh huh... repeat 2 more trips with equally nonsensical stories and after 50 minutes of the fussing/wailing/screaming I went in one more time told him I loved him, told him the story of the boy who cried wolf, and that I would not be returning to his room the rest of the night, good night.
From 7:50 until 8:23 there was wailing, sobbing, screaming, and his final plea asking me to wipe his nose... I almost gave in to that one since it was legitimate... but I did not and he finally fell asleep. 20 minutes later I went up to find him, tucked in his bed to his chin sound asleep. Siigh finally relief! All done......
.......until 10:30 when he woke again almost without skipping a beat, as if he hadn't just slept for two hours!? And the wails began again - although this time I was upstairs in bed getting ready to get me and Mae to sleep. So it was FAR louder. This time I was far less patient there was yelling, I was crying, and I went in one more time told him if he did it again I was going to shut his door. At 11pm that occurred - shortly after that he got out of bed (something he never had done yet, and rarely EVER does in general) and I got up and sent him back to his room. Door shut again. His final plea this go around was for me to turn his fan on (I had turned his heater off at some point so he had no white noise, something he always sleeps with...) I went back in and turned his fan on low. He calmly said 'Thanks, mom.' and I said 'You're Welcome, Ace. I love you. Good night.' and then I started to shut the door and I told him that I wouldn't latch it... and that was the end of it at 11:30.
Three hours of WAILING, SCREAMING, and sheer ridiculousness... for the first time my son was truly an unruly, disrespectful toddler. I hope to God that is an exception rather than the rule. We are certainly going to do everything in our power and decision making ability to ensure that is the case. However, the majority of that decision rests in the hands of our two year old... I hope that this three hour tour wasn't the foretelling of our future and desertion on the Island of Toddler Terror!