Thanksgiving came and went and of course was delicious and relaxing.
We were still at my mother’s house a couple of days later when my boys were still having difficulty going to bed. There was so much going on during bedtime, that every night it took an hour or more of them wanting mom or dad before finally falling asleep. After three nights of this, we had a little talk.
“I know that it is harder to go to bed with so much going on, but Mama needs to help clean up so I can’t spend too much time in here with you guys. So tonight I can lay down with you for ten minutes, and then I need to go and there won’t be any fussing. Ok?”
So I laid down with them for about ten minutes and then I got up to go.
“Mama no go! Mama lay down!”
“I’d love to lay down with you longer, but I need to finish cleaning up the kitchen.”
“Ok. Mama clean up kitchen and then mama come back and lay down.”
So I said “Ok, I’ll clean up and then I’ll come back to check on you but I won’t be able to stay”.
I left and they didn’t fuss at all. I went back to the kitchen and of course, everything was cleaned up already so I just put a couple of toys away and sat down and relaxed for a minute.
My mother was getting the leftover pie ready for our last go at it and I could have left the boys because they were quiet, they were happy and they probably would have fallen asleep on their own at this point. But I told them that I would come back. I sat there for a moment, seriously pondering my choices: hang out with the adults and eat the leftover pie or go back in and probably create more of a problem when everything was going just fine.
So I kept my word. I went back into the boys’ room. Both of them were almost asleep and I pretty much woke them back up. But I built trust that evening. It took another 15 minutes to get out of there again and it took them even longer to fall asleep. But for that one evening where I missed eating the pie (and my ice cream was mostly melted) I gained many more years of trust.