Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Night Before Nightmare

They. Are. Out.  Like wild animals out.  O-U-T. 

The theory behind our plan, my plan, was simple.  Since nothing seemed to keep them contained in their cribs, or at least the eldest contained, it was finally time to convert their beds to big boy/big girl beds.  All it required was a minor investment in some new bedding to have a "big kid bed" party and some of Bray's time to do the leg work.  I'd heard stories by some of my triplet friends of the conversion aftermath, but surely there was some hyperbole built into the stories to make them more entertaining, right? 


It started off easily enough.  Big party on Saturday afternoon to show them their big kid beds and they LOVED them.  They jumped up and down on the beds, explored their new individualized bedding, and laughed their heads off.  Saturday afternoon was filled with a fun family night out - dinner with Bray's brother's family and then hanging out afterward with Bray's sister's family.  All this resulted in a pretty late night out & the kids didn't go down until 9 pm, almost an hour and a half after their usual bedtime.  As a result, while there was a little rustling, the bedtime process was pretty straightforward.  They were asleep 10 minutes after laying down.  This allowed a false sense of calm to rest over Bray and me.  A very false sense. 

Nap times the next day were disastrous.  As a result, they fell asleep an hour later and woke up an hour later.  Being the parenting geniuses that we are, we waited until after 8 pm to put them down to ensure a simple nighttime process.  Ha.  Ha, ha, I say. Complete mayhem ensued.  From 8 pm until 10 pm we tried everything to calm the zoo.  First we tried singing and talking softly.  They still ran wild.  Then I tried screaming and nearly throwing them into their beds (yes, I know, bad parenting, but you come try it).  Nothing, they laughed at our furor.  Then we left.  They destroyed the room.  Pulled all the clothes out of the closet.  Dumped all the stuffed animals out.  Threw out the contents of the trash can.  (Mind you, I had nearly emptied the room of everything the day before but I forgot the trashcan behind the rocker and the one bin of animals.  The closet, well, I can't relocate that.)  I came in and described how sad I was.  How sad daddy was.  How we were going to cry because they had made such a mess.  And though they repeated, "mommy sad," so they GOT it, the mayhem continued once I left the room. 

It is now Thursday.  This, or some iteration thereof, has happened every single night since Sunday (except we've figured out how to keep them out of the closet).  We're at our wits end.  Even Bray, calm, cool, collected Bray, is at the end of his rope.  The only time we have together is between 8 and 10 and now that's shot.  Oh, and the eldest has figured out how to open the gate to the room as we discovered this week when he nonchalantly appeared in our room despite us having locked the gate the night before. 

To put a cherry on top, we took them to Toys R Us last night just to get out of the house and let them run around.  They became SO obsessed with the electric four-wheeler things for kids that they would NOT get off.  So we were THAT family with the shrieking kids in the store.  And not one, not two, but three shrieking two year olds.  When Bray tried to steer the cart to the front to pay for pull ups (the potty training regression is a WHOLE other post), only the eldest stayed with him.  The baby went one direction, and when I caught him under one arm, little lady tore off in another direction.  Here I am RUNNING at top speed with one kid under my arm trying desperately to catch the fastest one of all.  Then they all melted down, very publicly, and then we got to go home and do an hour and a half of the above bedtime routine. 

How do you survive two year olds?  Two year olds that are (a) in big kid beds, (b) simultaneously potty training, (c) simultaneously testing every limit, and vocal cord range, ever presented.  If age three is worse, as some have alleged, I'm throwing in the towel.  They can have the house.  I'll carve out a corner where I can sleep periodically but everything else is theirs and I will no longer put up a fight. 


  1. Gindi, our GGGs are about the same age (28 mths). They are still in cribs, with crib tents, because other triplet parents warned us of the abovementioned naptime and bedtime mayhem.

    I knew I couldn't do this battle for an extra year, so we're choosing to keep them in cribs until age 3ish. (Ours didn't sleep through the night the first 18 mths because of reflux, so I *really* need sleep to go well right now - for them and us.) The 2's are damn hard enough as it is without adding sleep deprivation to the mix.

    I'm wondering if this wasn't too much change for them, all at once. Perhaps you can try to scale back the potty training a bit and tackle it in all earnest again after the sleep is under control? Or perhaps continue potty training, but try crib tents? I wish I had the answer for you, but just wanted you to know you're not alone in dealing with 3 ornery toddlers.

    I'm no stranger to the in-store triplet meltdowns. I now only take them in the morning, because an early evening outing to a highly stimulating environment (like a mall or store) is a recipe for disaster.

    I'm definitely not judging you, just living a parallel life and picking my battles to maintain everyone's sanity. Hang in there! I hope you find an approach that works.

  2. I think they are way too young to stay in beds. Seriously. Crib tents all the way. MIne stayed in cribs until they were 3 years and 8 months with tents and the LOVED it. They still will ask about their cribs. By they time they moved to beds they were old enough to understand staying in bed and consequences. If you only had one in the room it would be different. But they have built in playmates. Just my opinion