do it now.

Like our newest house accessory?
Aaron does not. But I don't care.

Sadly for me it took a nearly tragic event for me to finally
install a permanent gate at the base of our stairs.

A couple of days ago a dear friends little girl fell down some stairs...had a seizure, stopped breathing and had a brain bleed. You might remember seeing the photos I took of her.

Praise the Lord that she is ok...doing well and expected to recover fully.

But the ease at which things could have gone the other way does not escape me.
Almost immediately I was sick to my stomach at the thought that the only thing that had kept me from installing a gate at the base of our stairs was money.
I did not want to pay $65 for a gate.
Shame on me. Shame on me for putting my kids in danger like that over a few bucks.
Moses has already fallen down the same stairs once.
That should have been enough for me to get my butt in gear.
Sadly it was not.
It took a near tragic experience of a close friend to shake me awake.

And here I am to shake you.

Do it NOW. Right now.
Put it at the top of your to-do list TODAY.
Whatever safety project you have been putting off...DO IT.

Let me be your warning.

Also in the world of "I have nothing to complain about because my kids are healthy"...
my three year old will yet be the death of me.

Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE and ADORE him.
Truly...he is a bright spot in my life.
He is cute and smart and funny and sweet.

But he will be the death of me.
Last night he got up at 2am...the first time.
Then again at 2:45 and 3:30 and 4:30 and 5 and 6:15 and 7:00.
He gets up and comes out.
This has become a nightly occurrence.
And most times he wakes his brother.
He gets up to play...with the loudest toys in his room.
He gets up and turns on every light he can find.

I thought I was going to lose my mind.
At 7am I had a long talk with him and I think he understood that I was very upset with him.
He didn't make a peep but stayed in his room until I got him at 8:30am.

I left him there until I could calm down and figure out what to do with him.
It was best for us both, believe me.
I would never harm him...understand that...but I know when I need to calm down and think.

So when I finally went to get him...I explained some things to him.
I removed everything from his room but his bed, dresser and a chair.

I will be putting up a gate at his door until he learns to stay in there at night.
I will unscrew his light bulbs so he can't turn them onto play at 2am.

I am hoping these things will get through to him.

What really kills me...last night I stayed up reading It's a Boy...(my absolute favorite book about raising boys)...and went to bed very optimistic about our three year old boy...he IS normal. He IS a boy. And then this.

I am deflated and exhausted.
Please pray for me...please pray that these things WILL work.

Any other ideas from someone who has been in this situation?
I would LOVE to hear from you. LOVE.

exhausted in VA.


Emily said...

I'm right there with you. My three year old is trying my nerves and for the past two weeks has also been getting up constantly in the middle of the night. I don't know what is happening. But I would like to say thank you, we now have a "seat belt" at the dinner table, and someone actually sits there and eats!

Megan said...

oh, I have been there. And sometimes I revisit.

We, too, used a baby gate for awhile. When Caris was almost 4, we started consequences for not obeying. (Taking away her tv time, her computer game time, etc. * She only gets 30 minutes of each ~ but she LOVES them) She pushed the limits..we took it away... it was important to her...she started staying her in bed.

Every child is different...find what's important ~ use it to curb behavior.

Teresa said...

Bless year heart. I don't know what advice to give, but I CAN pray. Consider it done. :) Hang in there.

Naptime Crafts said...

Colleen has been getting up early in the morning also, it was 4:30 on Wednesday, then 5:30 yesterday, and finally 6:30 this morning. We have never had her toys in her room as then we couldn't send her there if she needed a time out. We also have always had a door knob cover on it so that she can't get out of her room. She is just in the past 6 months able to reach a doorknob but knows that she can't get out so doesn't try. Fortunately Colleen knows to be quiet at night not to wake up Brighit so she just quietly calls us from the monitor until we come in on the rare occasion that she does get up. I'm sorry you are exhausted. We had been struggling with Brighit's sleeping and we think we have FINALLY gotten it worked out. Good luck and just remember that he will grow out of this. Hopefully this will help, but you probably won't read this.

Carrie said...

I had to do the same thing, so yes my living room looks like toy town, I also run a hepa filter to drown out the nosie he makes, he is five and was a great sleeper till we put my in a big boy bed at three. You sound like you are on the right track, it does get better :)

Emilie said...

You did all the right things! And, rest assured, that's a normal, healthy boy for you. He's old enough to understand.

Anonymous said...

We all know that you love your boys more than anything but boys sometimes can be a handful:) For our Jacob we turned his doorknob backward so we could lock him in his room after finding him running on the deck at three am one time. We have had two more boys and never had to do that. Take care it will get better:)

Whimsical Creations said...

Hugs, it will get better.

Hope you get more sleep tonight.

venus said...

Oh hang in there! It DOES get better, I PROMISE! My oldest daughter was the same way. It was like clockwork. She would get up at 2am, wide eyed and ready to play. We had our bed (well it was more like a futon) on the floor and we would put on a video and she would sit there and watch. No lights. No drinks. No food. The bedroom door locked. I would drift in and out of consciousness and avoid any interaction with her. She EVENTUALLY fell asleep... at freakin' 6 am! But I would wake her up at 9am and try to keep her up until nap time. This happened for a period of 2 months. I nearly lost my insanity...

She's 12 now. The best daughter I could ever wish for! AND she sleeps through the night! THANK GOODNESS!!!!

Amy said...

I read somewhere about putting 3 dimes in their doorway at night. Each time they get out of bed, a dime gets taken away. In the morning, they get to keep whatever is left. I haven't tried it, but we're going to start soon. :) (Ours isn't for the middle of the night, though! Thank goodness!) Good luck! :)

Kelley said...

I have 2 and 4 year old boys. It's exhausting. Year 3 was SO VERY VERY difficult. Hang in there. The only thing I can say is SURVIVE. It's hard. 4 has been a little bit better. Don't give up. I seriously thought I needed medication for an entire year. I think my husband thought he had lost me forever. It's getting better! Praying for you.

Paul and Cheri said...

Crystal ... you are a GREAT momma. Don't worry about raising and surviving your very precious strong willed and independent 3 year old. It will get better! And as a side note, there was a total solar eclipse this morning between 2 and 2:30 am. He could just be sensitive to the universe switching the order around! Hang in there ... it'll get better. Sleep well and sweet dreams to you ALL tonight! And thanks for the safety notes! Parents really do need to be proactive and aware! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Welp, my advice is that some kids are just a little bit tougher than other kids. I have found that my Daughter, now 6, sleeps MUCH better if I take away the night light. As scary as it seems for them, its the best thing I've done for her. She would stay up until midnight, then be very naughty and cranky from the lack of sleep. Also, I have in the past put a slip on door knob cover. Worked wonders until she figured out how to take it off! I think coupled with consequences good and unpleasant will help.

AikoArt said...

I feel a little funny sharing, as I do not have the experience that you do with boys. I have a 16 mo strong willed daughter. I just wanted to share the Sleep Sense Blog by Dana Obleman.

Not that you should necessarily take on the program, just a great resource for sleep questions. We began doing the program out of desperation for sleep. You can actually write in & ask questions that she often will answer or has answered in the archives. It truly saved me.....REALLY! I was losing so much sleep, I couldn't operate properly keeping 3 little ones under 1 year of age. We know multiple people that have had great success & were are amazed like us. Dana is an expert & a mother. Hope this helps!
Best of the best to you & your splendid family.

Cora Anne Designs said...

I've been reciting Colossians 3:23-24 lately, it helps me keep my parenting in perspective! Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Have you read John Rosemond?

Sara said...

WOW! I just read this, and that is EXACTLY what my two year old did to me last night! Thank goodness there is someone else that has gone through this! I was wondering what was wrong with him. Did he think it was daylight cause there is snow on the ground making it lighter?? LOL... anyway, I will be reading all these comments and looking forward to more info about how it's going!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

My HIGHLY energetic, strong-willed 3yr old Bubbalu has been doing this too. Not to the extreme that you are describing, but staying up to play in his room (un allowed, mind you) till 11 or even 12 at night...then up and at em at 6 AM. SIX! I need MUCH more sleep than that.

Unscrewing the light bulb? NEVER crossed my mind. THANK YOU.

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