We’ve been had. Swindled. Conned. Tricked. Duped.
And all by a four year old.
It all started a few weeks ago. Baylor started getting up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom. She would come into our room and go into our bathroom. I didn’t think anything of it until the number started growing to 6-7 times a night. And then requiring a tuck in. Or a glass of water. Or to sleep in our bed. It was clustered over about 2 hours each night. Just as soon as I would decide that something had to be done, she would sleep through the night. She’s always been a sleep terrorist, but at this age, it’s unacceptable.
During a particularly ugly argument, B broke down crying and said “Mommy please. I just have to go to the bathroom”. It’s not the crying that gets me, it’s the good manners. I decided to take her to the doctor, convinced that there was something physically wrong.
After an examination, the doctor asked Baylor to describe what she does at night. Bay went into great detail about how she gets out of bed, walks by the kitchen, across the carpet in our room into our bathroom, turns on the light, closes the door….all the while the doctor is looking at me with a face that says “yeah, you’re kid’s fine. She’s just trouble”. His suggestion was to tell her that she was not to use our bathroom but rather she needed to use her own bathroom. And she did just that – six times in one night. And left the light on and the door open causing her brother to wake up at 4:45am confused about what he was supposed to be doing. Awake? Asleep? Hungry? He didn’t know. He just knew he was pissed that he was awake and everyone else would be awake too, except B who slept through it all.
After a subsequent conversation with our doctor family friend, I finally agreed that it was behavioral and not physical. But no amount of threats, attention or conversations was stopping the behavior. And my overall appearance is sketchy at best, let alone with little sleep. I was getting desperate.
While at the mall shopping for a birthday gift, Baylor fell in love with everything at the Disney store. And that’s when I settled on bribery. I told her that if she could go four nights without getting up more than once and without waking anyone up, she could pick out anything in the Disney store. She agreed and was excited. We drew out four Mickey Mouse heads on the chalkboard for her to circle each morning that she did what she was asked.
The first night went horribly. She was up multiple times and a fight broke out at 1am trying to get her back to her own bed. But the next three nights went swimmingly. Which is when it dawned on me – we’ve been had. We just bribed a kid to do what she has been doing for years and is perfectly capable of doing. We’re rewarding her for sleeping like she has always done.
And to her, I say well played Baylor. Well played.