Chloe had been doing a really great job of going to bed on time, which we set at 8 pm, for months. We were a bit worried about daylight saving time this spring, but both the time change and her new bed didn’t change her bedtime routine. It wasn’t until this July, when she caught a cold, that everything went haywire. The entire month of July was a huge challenge for us. I was 8 months pregnant and in no mood for these bedtime battles. I was also exhausted during the day, and her sudden no-nap schedule was wreaking havoc on me. I thought for sure that she’d be exhausted by the end of the day, but she seemed to have never ending energy that was driving me (and my husband) mad. We were lucky if she was in bed by 10pm and asleep by 11. This meant my husband and I had little to no time to ourselves or each other. It meant I wasn’t getting any sleep (because she was awake) and was cranky. Something had to give, and we didn’t know what to do.
What’s that phrase? Threenagers? One night Chloe would not go to bed. After three hours of bedtime battles, my husband threatened to take away her Mickey car. Chloe sat on the couch and said, “Go ahead. Take it!” This went on for 45 minutes. He took her car, her castle, random toys and the kicker… her birdie dress, her most favorite shirt in the universe. He said she could earn them back when she behaved at bedtime. She sat on our couch, as smug as could be, and egged him on. “Are you gonna take the big tv too, daddy?” Ohh, we were seeing red. Nothing seemed to register with her… until the next morning when she realized all her belongings were gone. So she did what any normal 2.5 year old would do: She tore apart her room looking for her toys.