It was super cute the first few times but now it's like a slow, painful death. I know it will end eventually but it's hard to remember that in the moment when our tiny window of kid-free adult time is being gobbled up by a ravenous two year old and all the parenting experts I've ever read, seen or heard are duking it out in my head.
"Do not show emotion," says TV's Super Nanny. "Just put him back in his crib and walk away. Whatever you do, DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT!"
"No, no, no," says the author of Peaceful Parenting."If he's crying, it's because he needs you. Show empathy. Listen to him. Make sure he feels safe and loved and connected."
"But he's playing you, you idiot! He doesn't have to pee again. He didn't even pee the first time you fell for it! Put him back in his crib and let him go in his diaper like he does every other night. You have to be the boss here!"
"But what if he does have to pee? How would you like to sleep in a wet diaper? If you ignore him when he asks for help, how do you expect to create a trusting bond?"
"Put your foot down!"
"Make him feel heard!"
And on and on and ON. Then just when we think he's finally going to sleep and we can have a few moments to ourselves, the big one gets up to ask some asinine question and the whole thing starts all over.
It's brutal. And not even over for the night let alone the week. (No way I can think longer than that...) So I'm off to bang my head against the wall and find out if a willful toddler actually can fall asleep in a pile of stuffed animals on the middle of his floor while yelling at his brother. Nighty night!