Last night I made a parenting mistake.
At bedtime, I asked Lucy to lay down so I could put her "pants" on. Her silk, pink, pajama pants with puppies on them. They're soft. She likes them. Except for last night. As soon as the pants touched her leg, the screaming started. "NO PANTS!! NO PANTS!!!"
Lately we've had some bedtime battles. I thought this was another form of bedtime resistance and I disciplined her for refusing to follow directions/refusing to go to bed. After we sorted out that bedtime was not optional, her behavior improved immensely. She submitted to her pink silk pajamas. She was very sweet and gave me and Tommy hugs. And then she walked over to her drawer, pulled out a pair of too-small worn-out footie pajamas, and said, "Mommy, it's BEDTIME. I need jammies!"
The soft, silk, pink pajama pants are no longer in the category of "jammies" because I labeled them as "pants" when I took them out of the drawer. And apparently we don't wear pants to bed. Only "jammies." I tried to reason with her. I tried to explain that she was WEARING pajamas. No luck. A compromise was reached though. Lucy wore the pajamas (the "pants") I picked out for her to bed without any further argument. But, she also brought her footie pajamas to bed with her. She informed me, "I NEED my jammies," and slept cuddled up with them like a blankie.
This morning when I went to wake her up she was sitting cross legged in bed with her footie pajamas in her lap. When I opened the door, Lucy said, "Hi," in that flat voice that means I'm in trouble. I said, "Hi Lucy! How are you today," and she responded by holding up the pajamas and explaining, "THESE are jammies." In case I missed the point last night. Then, to further drive home her message, she carried the jammies all over the house today. When I picked her up from daycare, the first thing she did was grab her pajamas and announce, "These are jammies. I need my jammies." I asked her if she wanted to put them on right at that moment, and she replied (in a "duh" tone of voice), "NO. It's not bedtime!"
Bedtime came around. I was excited to put Lucy in her pajamas so the argument could be resolved. Lucy was excited for her pajamas. Then bath time happened. I ran the bath. I undressed Lucy. I reached over to pick her up to put her in the tub, and she was clutching the pajamas to her chest. "MY jammies."
"Yep. YOUR pajamas. Now put them down and get in the tub."
I had to pry them out of her hands to bathe her. There was lots of screaming. I dried her off and put the pajamas on her. As soon as the fabric touched her skin, she was a happy kid. When I put her to bed she was hugging herself saying, "My jammies."
Now the challenge will be getting them back off of her again tomorrow!