So, last night we experienced Evan on a whole new level. I have no idea what happened, but he became a crazed maniac. We put him to bed just like we usually do, following the same routine, with only one exception. We always read a book before he goes to sleep and he usually gets to keep that book in his bed, but last night we took it with us. As soon as we left the room and he realized he didn't have that robot book, it was ON.
He started screaming in this crazy, evil way and then did something he's never done before, he got out of his bed and began banging on his door, as if he had every intention of breaking it down. We've never had a problem with him staying in his bed, especially not like this. This went on for over an hour. We tried everything in our discipline arsenal, and nothing phased him. And please understand, he was screaming like something straight out of a horror film the entire time, with only short breaks to catch his breath.
What do you do when you encounter a behavior you've never seen before, and nothing you do stops it? After trying everything we knew to try and getting down right harsh with him, we realized that our going in to his room was only perpetuating the problem. He continued to throw the fit for another twenty minutes, but eventually he wore himself out and fell asleep.
But would you believe that at 4:00 am we woke to him doing the exact same thing. We heard him stir on the monitor (yes, we still use a monitor,) and then all of a sudden he was screaming and banging on his door again. WHAT! I mean, seriously, it was completely ridiculous!
It was a miserable experience, but I think we learned some things in the process. 1) Never deviate from the routine. 2) Restricting his access to us (ie time outs) really is the most effective form of discipline for our little guy and 3) We need to put some proactive measures in place to prevent this from happening again...I think we're going with the ticket system.
I used the tickets for nap time today and he did bang on his door again, but after I took his second ticket away, he only kept on for a couple more minutes. Hopefully tonight will go much smoother!