It's mostly my fault really. I confess that I was feeling a little smug about how smoothly sleep was going in this house. It had been months and months since there was any kid-related interruptions between the hours of 8 pm and 7:30 am. C and I had a new routine of waking a little earlier than we needed to in order to have a cup of coffee and read news, etc. We'd go up to get the kids together at 7:30, well rested and ready for the day.
Then potty training happened and Brighton started waking up at night to go potty. As I've mentioned, she comes down to get me when she needs to go and it takes anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes to get her back into bed (and sometimes a screaming tantrum). That was bad enough, but then she started appearing at my bedside between 6:00 and 6:30 am. This is where I made a mistake. One morning I was tired enough to pull her into bed with me. She was pretty quiet just laying there so wasn't a big deal. But then it happened again, and she was feeling chattier so I gave her my phone to play with.
Well naturally I successfully taught her that if she comes downstairs the minute she wakes up in the morning, she gets to play games on mommy's phone! And hang out! And drape herself over my face while I attempt to snooze a little longer!
This morning she appeared at 5:40 and that was ENOUGH. I took her back upstairs, she went potty and I tried to get her back in bed. No dice. Screaming, pounding on the door, insisting over and over that she needed to go "more potty." She finally stayed in her room as of 6:30 but as far as I know she did not go back to sleep. And that was the start to the day.
I know this has to be nipped in the bud. Until a few weeks ago she was sleeping til 7:30 every morning and napping every day. Now, she's up 1-2 hours earlier and napping sporadically. This results in predictably bad behavior due to being tired. Not to mention, I don't want to start being harangued that early every morning. I am my best parenting self when I am showered and adequately caffeinated before I see their darling little faces. It's a loooooong day staying at home with kids, and bedtime has been creeping later and lasting longer with my daughter the master manipulator. She's infringing on my time and it's making me cranky!!!
I'm investigating options like one of those visual alarm clocks that changes color when it's ok to get up. No matter what, it is going to be a painful process of training her that she cannot get up until a certain time. Multiple days of starting every day with a fight and too little sleep for both of us. Not to mention, she won't take herself potty so I will have to get up and take her to do that before she goes back to her room regardless.
Silly me, thinking sleep issues were a thing of the past...