A little over a month ago, my wife returned to school to get an extra certification as a teacher. This certification, called an O-92 (or something like that), would allow her to hold an administrative position in her or any school. To start the program, she began with one night class a week running until the end of July. This one night class has proven to be a sticking point with our son. Every time she leaves to go to class, this happens to be every Wednesday night, our son can't bear to see her go, shedding crocodile tears and begging her to stay. As soon as she leaves, he returns to normal and he, along with his sister and myself, commence our evening activities. Normally these include playing outside, eating dinner, and getting everyone settled and into bed. There have never been any issues, they cooperate fantastically (95% of the time), and in my mind the evening goes well. Aside from the he fact that our son never wants a to see his mommy leave, there is one other ritual that seems to have become a mainstay on Wednesday nights when my wife is at class. Despite the fact that he seems exhausted when I put him to bed, it takes him forever to actually fall asleep. Every Wednesday that my wife has been at class, I have caught him leaving his room and running around the upstairs of our house. A few times, I have been sitting outside by the fire or talking with friends and I'll look up and see him staring down at me. There was one time he actually started cleaning my wife's studio probably because he was exhausted and playing would have been too much for him. While I find it cute to be sitting outside around the fire pit and look up to see an adorable face in the window, it is always way past his bedtime and he is always cranky the next day.
So his little habit continued last night as well. He didn't shed as many crocodile tears as normal when my wife left last night and I was able to quickly take his mind off of it by showing both him and his sister a chair I had built the night before. We had a great evening after that. We all had nice dinner together, played for a while before and after that, and putting both of them to bed went without a hitch, or so I thought. They both looked tired from dealing with the heat and humidity of the day, their eyes were rubbed extra it seemed, and the yawns were perpetual. So after both of them were down, I began getting things ready for work the next day, cleaning up the house, and getting settled. My wife got home a little over an hour after our son went to bed and as is normal for her, she went up to give them both a kiss. Apparently, our son was not asleep. Rather, he was wired. Thinking nothing of it, she came back down and we sat in our living room and talked. Right around ten o'clock, we hear the pitter patter of feet in our kids bedroom (they both sleep in beds in the same room now). Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal as our son sometimes gets up and runs around and usually goes back to bed. Well, last night he decided to wake up his sister. That we were not happy with. She is almost 2.5 years old and she shouldn't be up at 10 o'clock. So my wife tried going up there and talking to them. Nothing came of that. Not having anticipated our son waking up his sister, we never put any reprecussions in place should he decide to do so. The most we could do was to limit them to their room. It worked, but after about an hour, I wanted to go to bed and didn't want to have them running around while we were sleeping. So it was my turn.
I walked into their room and saw them both playing and talking on one bed. My tactic was as follows: "I'm going to take a shower. If the two of you aren't in bed by the time I get out, I'm closing the door. I won't be upset, but I'm closing the door so I can go to bed." (Note: their bedroom door has a child proof handle over the knob so they can't get out if it is closed, simply for their protection). Well, as it turns out, I get in the shower and hear their door get slammed in the middle of my shower. Works for me, I thought to myself. I dry off, get out, and standing on the other side of their door, I hear them trying to figure out how to break out of their room. "Hold this hear and I can get the door open," says our son. "Do it this way, do it this way," responds out daughter. I chuckle to myself and think that it is only a matter of time before the two of them break out. I took about 15 minutes. At that point, I don't know what happened because my head had already hit the pillow and I was on my way out to dreamland. They eventually fell asleep. I don't know when or how they did it, but when I came downstairs this morning, their door was closed again. I am not sure what the lesson here is yet, but I do know that our doorknob child locks are now useless. Awesome. Cheers to having creative children who are problem solvers extraordinaire.