Every parent knows that familiar sound. The one that wakes you up from a dead sleep at night. The sound of little pattering feet in the hallway and your bedroom door creaking open….she’s awake. On good nights maybe it’d be once or twice a night. However, on those extra special nights, it’d be on the hour until one of us finally just caved and laid with her in her bed for the remaining hour of sleep before work. As I’m sure most parents reading this can already guess….this wasn’t going to work. The more we caved, the more frequent her night time visits were and the less she’d sleep in her bed each night. It was as the saying goes; putting a bandaid on a broken leg. After many sleepless nights, longer work days, countless bickering, and practically an IV of coffee, we finally said enough is enough. We decided to try an incentive that she would really work for. Something that she’s been wanting for a long time that really excited her. In our case, it was her very own fish for her bedroom. Granted much of it’s appeal was the color-changing light in the tank to be her new night light, the fish was just a bonus. Regardless, she was excited enough about it all to stick with it. Whenever she made it through the whole night sleeping in her own bed, she got to put a scoop of rocks into the tank the next morning. After a couple weeks she started waking up excited, beating me into the kitchen to get “her scoop” before I had even poured my first cup of coffee. When all the little pink and purple rocks were in the new fish tank that resided next to her bed, she got to go pick out her new fish! After only a few months, with her new beta fish “Ruby” on her nightstand, she was finally sleeping through the night, we all were.
We just haven’t had the heart to tell her Ruby is actually a boy.