When people find out you have 6 kids, they usually think that you have this parenting stuff all figured out. After all, you've seen it all, done it all 5 other times, right? If parenting could be compared to riding a bike, then once you learn how to do it, you never forget. Just do the same thing every time.
However, there is a problem with that comparison. Kids aren't bikes. They are born with different temperaments and personalities. What works for one, might not work for another, and probably won't work for all 6.
I learned this lesson early on because our first two kids were and are very different. We potty-trained the first one in a week. So, when the second one was ready to start a Montessori pre-school and had to be potty trained first, I guaranteed the director that she would be ready. Ha. Ha. We had a few glitches in the process, and it ended up being months before she was totally using the potty with no accidents.
Here is another example. Look at this cute little sleeping angel. My 6th.
At his age, all of our other kids had pretty much the same sleeping pattern: Wake up fairly early, take 1 or 2 naps a day, and then go to bed early at night in their own bed. Not this guy.
He has never been a sleeper. When I was pregnant with him, I noticed that he didn't move around that much during the day. But about 7:00 at night, I would sit down to watch TV or read and he would start doing somersaults. When he was a newborn, I tried to take some of those cute little naked baby pictures in black and white with him sleeping all rolled up in a little ball. Didn't work, because he kept waking up and crying. Instead of taking those long newborn 3 hour naps, he would sleep 30-45 minutes, unless someone was holding him.
Fast forward to now. Ever since our travels on our recent furlough, he doesn't like his baby bed. We have to kind of bounce him to sleep and after 45 minutes he wakes up, crying. If he is on a pallet on the floor, he will wake up after 45 min., look around, see that he is not alone, and go back to sleep. If we put him in his bed at night, he wakes up and cries.
So here is where he has been sleeping:
On the floor in our room. Yes, I know. It's terrible. But, we are tired of getting up in the night, tired of him sleeping in our bed, and don't really have the fortitude to make him cry it out and learn to sleep in the baby bed that he doesn't like. I know that has to happen sometimes and we have done it before, with him and the other kids, too. But I just don't want to do it now.
One thing that does come with experience after having several kids is being able to relax when things don't go according to plan. What worked for the other kids isn't working with him. That's OK. I'm not loosing any sleep over it (pardon the pun).