That is, two data points make a pattern. (she says hopefully).
Bryn has slept by herself two nights in a row. Technically, she's slept by herself more than that, but not knowingly, and when she would wake to discover it, we would hear considerable commotion.
We were wondering how to turn the corner on this "have-to-lay-with-her-until-she-falls-asleep-and-likely-fall-asleep-myself-in-the-meantime" situation that we had fostered over the years.
One night, Beau just did it. First, a couple of nights he read stories and then said he would come back to check on her in a little while, after needing to clean the kitchen or something. She started to get used to the idea that the day was coming. Then Sunday--it happened--no pretense, only mild protesting--just books, lights off, night-night, love you, sweet dreams. Done. Not a peep afterwards. We laid in bed for about 15 minutes just talking about how proud we were of her.
Beau was out with a friend last night at bedtime, so it was really a big test for me to hold the line. Bryn, rightfully, views me as a bigger pushover, but I was determined. We wouldn't be able to recreate this momentum for awhile, so it was important. (Kind of like the time I rounded up cattle with Beau and his uncle...but the story of that character-testing moment another day.)
As we walked up to bed after dancing the evening away in her Cinderella gown and glass slippers, Bryn gave a casual pitch on arrangements: "Maybe you can sleep with me, Mommy." "Well, Bryn, I'm going to read you stories, but then you're going to sleep by yourself again tonight. You did such a great job last night." "Yeah, Daddy was proud of me," she says. "Yes, we were both very proud of you. I hope you were proud of yourself, too."
So, after two books and lights out and night-night and all that, I went back downstairs and she went to sleep. As I was heading to bed, I checked on her and she was all the way scooted onto "my" spot on the bed with the quilt all catty-wonkus. I tried to straighten it up, but must have disturbed her a little. After standing statue-still for a few minutes, all was well again. Got ready for bed, snuggled in myself, and about 10 minutes later...
Bryn had imaginary-snuggled herself right off the bed. Ouch. Fortunately, she wasn't all the way awake so I rocked her a little bit and then laid her in the MIDDLE of the bed this time.
About 1:30, I hear, "Mommmmmmy. Mama. Mommmy. Mommy, I need to show you something." I try to lay very still through all of the calling, thinking she'll go back to sleep when denied other stimulus. But it was the "I need to show you something" that piqued my curiosity, so I got out of bed to discover that she just wanted to ask again if I wanted to sleep with her. There was really no "showing" involved. Duped.
She woke up again in the 4:00 hour, but I ignored the calling that time.
The lesson here (again based on two data points) is that she sleeps like a rock when Daddy puts her to bed and very restlessly when I do. I think we should continue to test the theory some more to be sure, but Beau may have just inherited the task permanently.