I am so tired. My sweet little boy, the "good little sleeper" who has been the recipient of my bragging for over a year now, has decided to switch up his routine. More specifically, he somehow no longer needs sleep.
Robby's bedtime routine was the source of pride for Scott and me for a long time. Unlike most children, he went to bed without complaint. We simply told him it was time to go to bed, he would get Black Bear, and we would put him in his crib. Some nights we would hear him playing, but he quickly fell asleep and wouldn't wake until the morning.
His routine started to change a few months ago. His new race car bed has worsened the situation. He still goes to bed without complaint. He enjoys looking at the stars on his ceiling, the moon on his wall and being covered with his Thomas the Train blanket. Only now, he doesn't stay in bed.
As soon as we close his door we hear him hopping out of bed. He continually opens his bedroom door, asking to be covered up. How can you say no to a child who wants to be covered? He's got us right where he wants us because neither Scott nor I have the heart to deny him this gesture.
This has been our new routine every night, lasting for one to two hours. Robby comes to us to be covered up, and Scott and I take turns obliging. We warn him that we are not going to keep covering him, and sternly tell him to stay in bed. He promises that he will stay, and then pops up as soon as we leave.
I'm tired. By the time we put Robby to bed, I am ready to take off my leg and rest. Now I need to keep it on so that I can indulge his game. Sometimes this game continues for upwards of two hours. This necessitates my wearing my prosthetic from early morning (6:30), sometimes earlier, until late (10:30 or 11:00). This is 16 straight hours. In addition to being tired, my residual limb is becoming sore.
I am going to start taking off my leg when I sit down for meals. Unfortunately for Robby, this will mean he needs to be strapped into his high chair instead of sitting in the "big people" seat. Whenever he sees that my leg is off he takes it as an opportunity to hide my prosthetic so that he has more time to steal the ice cream and hide. On the rare occasion that he isn't hungry for ice cream, he takes it as an invitation to grab my leg and start running, hoping to play "chasing the baby."
As with all uncomfortable stages in parenthood, this too shall pass. In the meantime, I keep reminding myself that he won't be playing this game when he is a teenager. I am eagerly anticipating the time when Robby is a teenager (although he will probably insist on being called Rob) and wants to sleep. I began plotting my revenge when he was a newborn, during the never-ending nighttime feedings.
He doesn't know it yet because he is only three, but it would behoove him to stop this nighttime game soon. If he continues, I'm going to wake him up early during breaks from school and when he is home from college, expressing a desire to share our feelings and to bond. I have begun to flirt with the idea of constantly lecturing him about sex well into adulthood.