Parenting Mistake Number 1...

Friday, July 29, 2011
Before I had Ethan, I was one of those childless people who said things like: 'When I have kids, I'll never let them into my bed', 'I'll never make two separate meals - if they don't like what I make then they won't eat' and 'I'd never put up with THAT sort of behavior (when a child had a meltdown in a supermarket)!' Yes, I was the childless person that parents probably wanted to smack if I said anything even close to those things in their presents.
I thought being a mom a bit later in life would be a good thing. I thought I could benefit from other parents mistakes and know exactly what not to do. The thing was that I wasn't a parent and had no idea about the unbelievable love you can have for your child. Now that I am a parent, I have had to go through all the trials and hardships that go with making my own mistakes all for the love of my child.
When Ethan was about a year and a half old, we went though a scare where doctors said words like 'Lymph nodes', 'surgery' and 'Biopsy' all in the same sentence. It was an awful couple of months. During that time, Ethan came down with the flu. I was terrified to leave him and took him into our bed (my old self would be shaking her head in disapproval) and that's where he stayed for a long time to come.
We've always been able to get him to go to bed on his own in his room, but at some point of the night, he'd almost always end up in bed with us. Once you make that mistake, it's difficult to undo. In the following year and a half we tried giving him a big boy bed, an even bigger big boy bed and then I even slept with him in his room for a while hoping he'd get used to sleeping in his room again (my old self would have been appalled by sleeping separate from my husband for any amount of time).
In the end, a star chart did the trick. He started sleeping through the night with the intensive of a toy after 2 weeks. Once he got that toy though, he slowly started waking up every night around 3AM. Exhausted, for the last couple of weeks I almost always ended up back with him. We're on star chart number two now and he's now slept through the night without me for 3 nights running (ahh, glorious, uninterrupted sleep). This time we've pointed out that if he doesn't continue sleeping through the night his reward will be taken away! This parenting never gets easier.

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