The monsters were a smoke screen, as we'd suspected. I think that Ada subconsciously realized that she'd just lost a very big control lever (the toileting) and found something to replace it. I don't think this was a purposeful decision, but the time proximity between her starting to use the toilet and her belief that she can not sleep alone is just too much to ignore.
She will go to sleep if one of us is lying with her in bed. I refuse to do this, leaving it to Chris to coax her to sleep. But a few nights ago I thought I might give it a try. After ten minutes I was fuming, and got up. Ada immediately freaked out. She followed me downstairs, and Chris took her back up. He spent a good chunk of time trying to get her to stay in her room; she shrieked her opposition. It was horrifying. I sat on the couch not helping at all, but I don't know how I could have helped if I had tried.
I don't know what to do with Ada other than to meet her stubbornness with my own resolve not to let her take over. I was apparently not like this when I was a child. I was, to use my father's phrase, more "go along to get along" when I was Ada's age. When I talked to my parents about Ada's new-found refusal to sleep alone, my father also told me that I might have been taught not to wake up my parents by seeing what my tired, cranky father was like when he got up too early. So where does Ada get this stubbornness, and what makes me respond in kind?
Compared to me, Chris is generally more practical about Ada-related matters, wanting mostly to get through a given crisis without permanent scars on any of the three of us. On this night he attempted to keep her in her room while she screamed and threw things. Just as I was starting to cry, the screaming stopped and Ada yelled: "I ripped a book." "Daddy, I'm ripping a book! Mommy, Mommy, I'm ripping a book"
Right, she's four. She knows ripping books is bad. In fact, we talked about it earlier this evening. So she does the worst thing she can think to do; she rips up her books.
When Chris let her out of her room, she told him, "Daddy, I ripped books. I was too mad!"
How can it be that I have absolutely no idea what to do with my maddeningly smart and stubborn 4 year old?
We moved Ada's bedtime up a half hour based on the idea that if