Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DeJa Vu ... Big Boy Bed

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Aaron Jr. in his own big boy bed tonight.

After Aaron passed away, I wanted Aaron Jr to sleep in my bed with me... so for the first 10 months or so, he slept in our bed. It became 'our normal'. Then last September, we transformed the crib into a toddler bed... see last year's posting. And I started having Aaron Jr sleep in his own bed. Well, that lasted about a week... maybe even less. He was coming into my room in the middle of the night and I was too tired to take him back to bed. So, it has been a whole year again of him sleeping in my bed. It was nice though. It is hard to sleep alone. It was nice having him there.

Well, last Sunday night, we had a talk and I told him that he was going to sleep in his own bed again. At first he was excited about the idea, but then when bedtime came and reality set in, he was so sad. He was crying and putting up a fight about it. He seriously seemed devastated. So, I did what any good parent does... I bribed him with a Happy Meal at McDonalds the next day if he slept in his own bed that night. Instantly, he stopped crying and he was ready for the challenge. So I read him some books, prayed with him, then sang to him to get him ready for the night. He still fussed a little when I was actually leaving the room, so I sat with him and held his hand and sang to him until he fell asleep. He did great. He slept there all night. So the next day, we went to get him a Happy Meal.

Well, the next night, I was getting him in bed and I read to him, prayed with him, and sang to him and was getting ready to leave him and his face was distorted and quivering and he was literally FIGHTING back his emotions. He was trying so hard not to cry. When I finally asked him what was wrong, the floodgates opened and he begged to sleep in my bed with me. When I told him that he needed to sleep in his own bed, he was so sad. It was breaking my heart. So, I did what any good mother would do and I bribed him with going to the store the next day to get a treat and rent a movie. :) It worked. He slept there all night. Although, I think it was that night that he yelled to me from his room in the middle of the night and asked me if I would 'sing him a song with my mouth'. :) So, I went in there and sang to him and he was asleep really quickly again.

Well, I haven't had to bribe him since then. He has continued to say that he wants to sleep in my bed with me, but when I tell him he needs to sleep in his bed, he never argues about it. In fact, when I tell him he needs to sleep in his bed, he then asks 'will you read me some books and sing to me?' And when I tell him I will, he gets really excited.

It has been just as hard for me as it has been for him. I miss having him right next to me. I worry that he is breathing okay in his own bed and that nothing is covering his mouth or head. But more than anything... I am lonely. The past week, my sleeping habits have been not so good again because I am lonely when I go to bed. Yes, I was lonely missing Aaron even when Aaron Jr was right next to me all this time... but now I am literally ALONE. So, it is lonely. But, it is what is best. Aaron Jr has a nightly routine and he seems happier having that routine at night. He goes right to sleep after reading, praying and singing. It makes me happy to spend that quality time with him where he is calm and his attention is on the task at hand. We laugh together, he jokes with me, I joke with him, and it is more 'quality time' than we get during the day when he is so full of energy and doesn't want to stop long enough to have a conversation. At bedtime, he sits still and we actually get to talk. I am loving our bedtime routine together.

Here's hoping I can stick with it this time. :) I totally plan to. We are at 9 nights and counting...

p.s. is it normal to still go in and check on him about 10 times between him going to sleep and me going to bed? Am I too paranoid? :)

* * *


Anonymous said...

Well done Leslie.

I think you should check on him as many times as you need to, my dear!!



Momza said...

I'm with Jane on this. Check on Aaron Jr as many times as your heart needs to!
Ya done good Momma! Isn't McD's wonderful for bribery? lol love it!


Tawnie said...

Good job Les! I would just say get yourself a little bedtime routine and tuck yourself in earlier too. :)
Interesting how bedtime really is the best time for good conversations with the kids. Sadly, I am so worn out and tired that I don't have the patience for it most the time. I need to work on that. love ya.

Kristi said...

Good job. I think it is good for kids to become independent sleepers. We are still working on that with little Spence. He STILL comes to our bed every night. I am glad you did this. It is another step toward moving forward.
We miss you guys. Tell Aaron we love him and miss him.

Leslie said...

Im the same way! I still go and check on my kiddos. And my oldest is 11. Youngest is 2. So I feel ya!! You do what you gotta do! What a good mom you are!

AlanaBD said...

GOOD WORK, MOMMY! As you know, Braeden still sleeps with me. And, I LOVE IT! I know, and hear it over and over again how I need to move him to his own bed. But, I'm not ready, yet. And, that's okay.

I LOVE your new background and pics! Now, I wanna do mine, LOL!

As, Dora would say, "We did it, we did it, HORRRAYYY!" Proud of ya!

Love, Alana

Claire said...

Not paranoid, no. You're a fantastic Mum!

AlanaBD said...

P.S. Now I know that I can wait until Braeden's almost 4 til I transfer him to his bed...cause it CAN be done. LOL

Grandma a/k/a Kathy said...

Hi Leslie, we have never met, but I have blog stalked you from my friend Becky's blog and have enjoyed reading your blog as well. My heart goes out to you in the loss of your husband at such a young age. Imagine my surprise last night when I was talking to my niece (who recently lost her husband to cancer at age 35) when I told her about your blog and she should read it and it might help her get through this rough time in her life. She said, "Are you talking about Leslie Harkness?" I am her email friend. NO WAY! What a small world, huh? So I am glad you are helping Stephanie at this time and am very appreciative of your willingness to help others who have suffered the same loss as yourself. Thank you.
Steph's Aunt Kathy

Clippy Mat said...

you are a wonderful mother and Aaron is blessed to have you. sometimes it's really hard to do the right thing. Stay strong. :-)

Allred Mom said...


I checked on my boys for a really long time. I don't think it is paranoid at all. It helped me sleep better knowing that they looked peacefully sleeping, too.
I'd even take those chances to kiss them on the cheek and whisper that I loved them, even though I had done that, too. It is part of being a mom and you are a wonderful one!

Kim H. said...

I don't think you're paranoid either. I always check on both of boys several times before I go to bed and even during the night and they are 15 and 7. I love looking at them sleep. Like Allred Mom above, I sometimes whisper to them things I don't say during the daytime hours. Especially to my oldest boy, who will always be my baby no matter how old or how tall he gets. (And he's tall at 6'3" and 195 lbs.) :) Blessings to you!

Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Ahh woman you are so strong and brave. I hope to get your strength one of these days. Im in the 10th month of losing Randy and cannot imagine putting Alek in his own bed yet (I also have to pick the battle of stopping nursing). He has slept with me all along even when Randy was alive he slept with us (Randy slept in his chair for the better part of Alek's life because it was more comfortable for him), but since Randy has passed I cannot imagine sleeping without Alek. I know I have to work on it sometime soon for his own sake..I feel your empty heart and lonliness. My heart actually felt that alone feeling as I read because I know how bad it will be for me. How I still wish we lived closer so we could chat the night away as our boys played together. The life we live is one that cannot really be explained or understood until it is lived......and I am sure it is very different for everyone, but somehow similar....We are young woman who loved our husbands dearly and have there beautiful child and are trying to live life without them.........Well I will continue to keep you in our prayers and good job!!! My kid has been potty trained since 19 month ( WHAT A BLESSING, NO idea how that happened since Randy passed away when he was 18 months)due to JUNIOR MINTS!!!!
Kate and Alek