We moved into our current house when Cassidy was three-years-old. I was a stay at home mom when the kids were younger and being that I stayed home with the kids, we were night owls. Lauren was also a night owl except during the school year.
Shortly after we got settled into this house I decided it was time to get the younger kids to bed a little earlier than they were accustomed to and on a more normal, balanced schedule. I was also going to try to reverse my natural night owl ways and also get myself into bed at a decent hour, which still probably wasn’t what most people would consider a decent hour.
Caden was easy to train for the new schedule. I could just lay him in his crib and he would fall asleep within 10 minutes. Cassidy, however, wasn’t exactly pleased about her new mandatory bedtime. She has always been strong-willed (most people call it stubborn), had a temper and was one to make it very well known if she wasn’t happy about something.
To make it easier on myself and to keep her from raising hell and waking everyone else up, I, at first, allowed her to go to bed with a movie on. (Yes, we had a three-year-old with a TV and VCR in her bedroom because that’s just how we roll). I would put the movie in, turn off all the lights in the house, go to bed and read for a while. I knew from past experience that if I stayed up, she would inevitably come into the living room asking for a snack or just wanting to hang out with me until the wee hours. (It’s in her genes to be a night owl)
When we first began the new schedule she started falling asleep during the movie and I’d usually go in and turn her TV off, but about a week or so into it she began waking back up in the middle of the night (like 2 or 3am) and coming into my room to wake me up. She would stand beside my bed and in a very deep and angry voice (picture Satan here) she would say, “I want Cujo and Chocolate milk”. (Pronunciation of chocolate = chockitt) Being the considerate wife that I am and knowing that Les had to get up early, I would lead her out of our room to go tend to her because she wasn’t exactly whispering her request to me.
In the beginning, I was so tired that I would oblige with her request. I didn’t want her to wake the whole house up and figured that she would go right back to sleep quickly since it was the middle of the night. I would walk her to the kitchen still half asleep, wait on her to finish her chockitt milk so I could put the movie back on, turn off the lights and go back to bed.
Unbeknownst to me I was creating a monster. Literally. This became her new routine for a few weeks before I’d finally had enough of these middle of the night wake up calls and decided they had to stop. I was going to enforce the one movie at bedtime rule and there would be no more middle of the night movie requests.
Trying to break Cassidy of this habit was like trying to take crack from a junkie. (Not that I know anything about that firsthand but I have seen movies!) She didn’t take it well at all.
The first night that I took a stand and broke it to her that she wasn’t getting “Cujo and chockitt milk” was not a pleasant experience for any of us. It was as if we had the exorcist visiting us here at our home during an exorcism. She woke the entire house. I think I saw her head spin a few times and green stuff spewing from her mouth at full speed. I’m pretty sure the neighbors came outside to see what the commotion was all about. Eventually, we put her in a straight jacket and tied her to her bed, but at least then we could all finally get some sleep. Nah, really, I just laid down in her bed with her and duct taped her mouth shut. After about a week of that she finally accepted her new bedtime rules. Ha! Are you wondering if that’s really true? No, but let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience for any of us living in this house.
Moral of story: Benadryl has more than one purpose.
Just kidding. We all paid the price for at least a week. She eventually quit disrupting the entire house at 3am for “Cujo and chockitt milk” and started making her requests in daytime hours.