Bedtime Fear

Bedtime Fear

I feel as if the more ideas I have for my blog, the less time I have to sit down and actually write them out. I’m hoping that will change soon, but as of right now, it’s the sad truth.

Now that I have the time to sit, the myriad of ideas that have popped up in my head over the past few days/weeks have flown the coup. My mind is completely blank. So, for now, I’m going to sort of go with a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing and see where it leads me.

Briana’s vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. I’ve stopped trying to record every new word that she learns, because there are simply too many of them every day, and I was having trouble remembering which ones I had written down and which ones I hadn’t. It was taking up a lot of unnecessary time and energy, and I’m a little short on both of those things. So, suffice it to say, she’s learned a lot of new words. Some of those words are Frozen related. Olaf, Ana, Elsa, etc. Of course.

The potty training thing is sort of at a standstill. It’s frustrating because she was super good about it all for the first week or two, and now she’s sort of being difficult about it. She’ll happily announce “potty” after she has gone in her Pull-Up, but she won’t tell us before anymore. For a few days in there somewhere she refused to pee on the toilet OR in her Pull-Up, but would wait until we put her in a diaper for her nap and then go in that instead. What I get out of that is that she is getting the bladder control and just refusing to go on the toilet? I’m not really super worried. At this point my biggest concern is whether to keep on with the potty training or just give up for a couple of months and go back to diapers. I’m really hesitant to go back to diapers because I don’t want her to think it’s no big deal…but right now it’s kind of not a big deal. Does that make sense? I don’t know.

Briana can count to three. She spontaneously demonstrated this a few days ago. “One, two, fwee!” It’s so adorable. I’m wondering if she’ll count higher in the next week or so. One of her favorite books right now is a Frozen counting book that goes up to ten. She’s been requesting it a lot, so we’ll see.

A few nights here and there over the last few weeks, Briana has been getting absolutely hysterical around bedtime. She usually just goes down as easy as anything after her story, but several nights when I have closed the door, she has lost her ever-loving mind. She screams and cries and sobs and begs for “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” And it’s not that “wah, I don’t want to be alone” cry, but that genuine terror that rips at your heart and pulls you back into her room very quickly because you HAVE to make it okay for her. That gasping for breath, hiccuping, cry so hard she gags kind of cry.

I thought maybe it was fear of the dark, but she already has a nightlight. She always has. It’s dim, but it projects a little drawing of a princess and a castle and a horse (or is it a unicorn? I’ve never looked that close) onto her ceiling, so it provides decent light. Nevertheless, I started turning on this little light stuffed animal thing that projects stars and moons onto the walls and ceiling as well. (She says “wow!” every time I turn it on.) That didn’t do the trick either. The only thing that I can figure out is possibly a return of separation anxiety? We haven’t had a problem with that since before her first birthday, but I hear that it comes back in the toddler years sometimes.

At any rate, it’s heartbreaking. I will go in there and rock with her and sing to her and talk to her until she is all calm, almost asleep even. But as soon as I lay her in her bed, kiss her forehead, say goodnight, and walk out and shut the door, she starts screaming again. Three nights in a row it took two hours to get her to stop screaming. If I leave the door open, she gets out of bed and follows me into the living room. I’m kind of at a loss. I can’t let her scream like that, and I won’t listen to people who suggest it. This isn’t her screaming and crying to manipulate me…this is genuine fear. She just isn’t old enough to tell me what she is afraid of yet. I need her to know that I will be there for her when she is afraid. Always. I refuse to trivialize her fear just because I don’t understand it.

Tonight, I read Briana her bedtime story with her already in bed, and let her hold onto the book after I shut out the lights. She cried, but this time it wasn’t hysterical, fearful crying. It was “I’m tired but I don’t want to sleep” crying. So I let her cry and it stopped within 30 seconds. I’ll try that again tomorrow I suppose, and see if it helps in the long run.

Anyway…perhaps tomorrow one of my brilliant “I should totally blog about that!” ideas will crop up and I’ll remember to jot it down so I can actually write something entertaining!



2 thoughts on “Bedtime Fear

  1. Oh man, sounds so familiar.
    I would give up on the potty training for now. You can’t make her go in the toilet, and if you KNOW she can do it but refuses – give in. Eventually, she’ll be potty trained. No one goes to first grade in diapers (or as you would say in Israel, no one goes to the army in diapers). Remind me how old she is . . .? You can take a look at my blog for our potty-training story, I’m pretty sure it’s all up.

    The bedtime thing is another issue. If it’s not fear of the dark it’s probably attention. Is she in a toddler bed? Try to stick to a routine. For us what works is saying we’ll be back in a few minutes. Somehow it makes the separation easier. Even if in a few minutes we only pop in for five seconds. We haven’t completely solved the issue, though, and from what I’ve seen (from my siblings), it’s never completely solved.

    And about so many things to say but can’t say them – yeah, me too.

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