Free at last – at least for now

By Staff
Melissa Dozier-Cason
This week my husband and I have been liberated from a dictator known to us as Cameron – our three-year-old son. We consider ourselves to be fairly strict parents, but the tactics that work on Jordan, our oldest, don't seem to faze our little one.
Dictator Cameron throws fits when he doesn't get his way and he only does what's he's told part of the time. He is punished for these actions, but no child is perfect. But for the most part, Cameron is a good kid – until bedtime.
Bedtime at my house, at least where Cameron's concerned, is a nightmare.
Until recently the child slept with us, and I can't express enough how awful that has been. Just imagine having a child play with your hair, kick, and move continuously all night long. Now you know what it was like in my bed every night for the past 18 months.
We tried everything to get him out of our bed from rocking him to just letting him cry it out. The problem with the latter is that he wouldn't stop crying until we'd give in. In fact, he'd just get louder and louder if he didn't get his way. So in the end, we'd just go in and get him because we had to sleep sometime.
A few days ago Jimmy and I were talking with his mother, Carol, about Cameron and she told us to just be like the Super Nanny. We all joked about having her visit our house, but that night we put him in his bed in an attempt to regain control, and at 2 a.m. I woke up with no Cameron.
I went into the boys' room and found Cameron sound asleep on the top bunk with his brother Jordan. The next night, the same thing happened, and then it was official: We had regained control of our bed. We told Cameron that he is a big boy, and big boys sleep with their brothers not mommy and daddy.
The key to keeping our bed liberated is not allowing the dictator to ease his way back in to our territory. Cameron can easily reinvade our space by saying that he is scared, or he doesn't feel well. We can't give in. If we give in an inch, he will take a mile and our freedom, and sleep, are at risk.
It will be hard for me not to let him back in because Jimmy is about to leave for two weeks. I will just have to be strong and fight the war because if the dictator returns to our land, the rest of the troop – my husband -will try me for treason, and the punishment will be no sleep ever again.
Now that our household has been liberated from dictator Cameron, now I would like to offer some words of wisdom:
Never, and I mean don't ever, let your children sleep in your bed.