So Diesel, Choo-choo, and I went on another little camping trip. It all started with a lot of stress during the packing and preparations, which led to disagreements between my husband and I since we weren’t able to head to our original destination. My fault, yes, but still annoying to us both nonetheless.
Choo-choo had been acting up so much last week that by Thursday, I already decided I didn’t want to go at all. I was going to send them on their merry way without me. The only reason I changed my mind was the expression in both my husband’s and my son’s eyes. The look of sadness at the thought of me not sharing in the fun new experiences.
We had a good drive to our destination. Once the camper was set up, we played and ran around. Dinner was delicious and actually on time. Then came the moment I had dreaded all along: bedtime.
I just knew how it would play out. Choo-choo would scream and cry and beg to go back home, even though home was too far away and his bed in the camper is the EXACT same as the one in the house. It’s even set up the same with his toys and stuffed animals. But that wouldn’t be good enough for him. He would throw fit after fit, leaving us both in tears.
How on earth was I going to deal with this again?
Choo-choo and I did the same bedtime routine we do every night. I wanted him to have as many comforts of home as possible. I held him a bit longer, until I actually fell asleep. We sang his bedtime songs, and I laid him in his bed. And the crying started.
I managed to keep my cool, though. I spoke in soft tones. I wiped his tears and gave him hugs. I never yelled. He still refused to sleep.
When I calmly laid him in his bed yet again and began covering him, he cried that he wanted Diesel. Of course, Diesel walked down from our bed and was ready to take over. He knew there was a high possibility of me breaking down into tears along with our son.
But not this time.
I calmly put a hand on my husband’s chest. “I can do this.”
After watching me for a moment, he kissed me goodnight, said goodnight to our son, and returned to our camper bedroom. I, meanwhile, turned to Choo-choo again. I had a plan.
“Would you like Mommy to sleep on the sofa next to you?” I asked him. This is, after all, what Diesel has done every camping trip this year when Choo-choo wouldn’t go to bed. Though it had never worked when I attempted it before, I thought it was worth a shot.
Happily, Choo-choo agreed. “You sleep on sofa by me,” he told me.
I placed him in his bed once more, he covered himself with his blanket, and I wrapped him and all his stuffed animals with one of my shirts. I then found a comfortable position on the sofa. We both drifted off to sleepyland.
Was this a perfect solution? A lot of people would probably say no.
I am not one of these people. While Choo-choo woke up several times the first night and neither of us slept all that much, we both got eight uninterrupted hours of sleep the next night. That’s a total win in my book!