I’ll keep this short. I don’t see the point in dragging this out.
A few months ago, we were having a problem with our 2 and a half year old getting out of bed within seconds of putting her to bed and going downstairs. She was rapidly learning the art of bullshit. “I need a wee”. “I heard a noise”. “I need a drink”. “I heard Paul’s cats” (Paul is our neighbour. He has many cats). “I need a poo”. Many excuses, but she got out of bed five, six times, every single night. We tried telling her off, but nothing was working.
Then, my wife read something about taking away a toy to correct bad behaviour. Our daughter had a pile of toys at the bottom of her bed, but we normally let her keep one or two at the top to cuddle. Peppa Pig normally got the nod. And so the tough love started. We explained what was going to happen, and it did; for three or four nights, we took away a teddy. We gave her the choice of who was going, we weren’t that brutal, by taking Peppa, but tears ensued. Lots and lots of tears. We sat listening and laughing at her crying, sorry, we weren’t laughing, it was upsetting, honest, but it only took a few nights, and she was cured. No more getting out of bed, and she was no longer tired in the mornings. All was well.
Two nights ago, there were the pitter patter of feet across her bedroom, and I went upstairs to see what was wrong. She doesn’t get out of bed, anymore, I wondered if there was something wrong.
I was met with a tiny figure opening her door, and there she stood, hair like Worzel Gummidge, rubbing her little eyes, which were straining to stay open. And she spoke:
“I need a wee daddy. Here, take this”
That’s right. You guessed didn’t you? She handed me Peppa Pig. I felt like a big fat dad bastard. You hate me don’t you? Want to hate me even more? Well allow me.
When we explained to her the day after that we were really proud of her for getting up for a wee wee, that it is okay to get up for a wee wee, and we only take toys away if we had been naughty, she understood, and I felt a bit better about the whole affair, and we all moved on as a family, stronger, I am sure.
It wasn’t long before talk turned to her birthday party, which is in a few weeks. She is very excited about her birthday party. She then said this; prepare yourselves.
“For my birthday, can I have a handle on my door? I couldn’t open my door when I wanted a wee wee”.
We fitted a door just before she was born. I haven’t put a handle on it yet. Yes, it’s her third birthday soon. Judge me, as you will.