But it didn’t last. In January, 2012, she and I visited her grandfather’s place – there was no way she was sleeping on her own there – and when she came back she wanted to co-sleep again. I’m told this is a pretty common occurrence. Illness and travel often cause the child to want to go back to the familiar.
Suddenly, very shortly after her birthday in early January, Mallory announced that she would be sleeping on her own. Irene and I went along with it. The rules were similar to her 2011 effort:
- Hall light on.
- Night light on.
- Mommy or daddy read her books before bed and remain until she is asleep.
But we added in a digital clock so she could tell the time. And the following rules:
- Daddy is not to be woken before 7am.
- If mommy is up before 7am you can get up and go to her.
- If you wake up on your own before seven you can do what you want. Wake up with daddy before 7 and please see rule 1.
So over the last few weeks she’s been collecting a variety of crafts projects and drawing materials in her bedroom. And most days she comes to wake me at 7am. She often reports she got up earlier but played by herself or drew a picture or did something else.
Sometimes I hear her get up, go to the bathroom and return to her bed, all without coming to see me. Once, after I had dimmed the hall light, she got up to crank it to full and went back to bed.
She seems much more sure of herself this time. There’s been one night where she woke up scared and ended up joining me. We haven’t travelled yet, so there’s still that test to take. But I’m crossing my fingers.