Last night when H was having bathtime with daddy, she told him Santa was at the door for her. He then had to pretend to call downstairs to see if he was, all fine and good. Somehow between then and her getting into bed, she was awake and unsettled again (possibly the excitement of Santa?) and started to get out of bed every 10 minutes or so, an angry look on her face.
Whenever she's questioned lately about anything she does, her stock answer (with angry face) is "because I did." When you try to push for a reason, there is none. She has her explanation and she's sticking with it.
So last night on the first few getting out of bed times she gave that as an answer (argh, yes we broke Supernanny's golden rule and spoke to her too much), until eventually I had to make her sit in time out to think about what she was doing. The third session of Time Out and she told me she wanted to do more. *rolleyes*
So given the Santa theme, we told her first that "oh dear, Santa has gone now, he wanted to come but only if Holly was asleep" - she didn't seem to care. I tried a few more, "oh dear, Daddy wont get any presents now, poor daddy!" but she wasn't at all bothered. Eventually the only thing which worked, and we tried several different things with Santa as the thing which should make her want to sleep (roll on Saturday night...) was to take away her Elephant she sleeps with, and not allow her any other toys. This time we had angry cries and shouts, telling us she wanted it back. Eventually I went in and cuddled her and she dropped off. We didn't back down on the elephant.. but I did put Jessie Cat in bed with her so that if she woke up in the night she'd not be unsettled.
Amazingly she stayed in bed (we've had a few middle of the night wakeups recently), so in the morning I sent her to daddy to ask nicely for Elephant back, which she got. Cue one happy toddler.
I think all this is her wanting to spend more time with us, more time as a family. We've not done as much lately with Shaun's study, add to that my working hours mean I get to her later in the evening.. I do wonder whether she's missing spending time with us, and it makes me feel sad. Work want me to take on an extra day once one becomes available next year, and it's starting to make me feel sadder about quality time with H.
But most of all I feel rotten that I used Santa Claus as an excuse for her to go back to sleep. That's probably not a good thing to do, Santa just wants to know if you've been good, he doesn't care if you keep getting out of bed, because that's what most kids do.
This parenting lark and the overthinking everything can be so bloody tiring sometimes.