So, at this point, we're kicking ourselves in the butt. We tried something new on Friday night, and it seems to have done the trick.
For the past four weeks, we've been doing what is referred to as "The Supernanny Method," and that is to just repeatedly put the child back in bed. The first night we did it, it took about 50 minutes. After four weeks, it was still taking us around 35 minutes. From everything I had read online, this "method" should have solved the problem within a week or two. Very frustrating.
So, after much debate and thought, we decided to try just ignoring him completely. We put the baby gate in his bedroom door so he can't get out and get into any of the other bedrooms. We also removed all toys and books from his room so he can't just play. Friday evening was our first night of this method. Matt and I both stayed in his room and kissed him goodnight, and told him (more than once) that he was to stay in his bed and go night-night. We then walked out, went downstairs, and ignored his cried. He stood at his bedroom door and cried (hard) for about 40 minutes. It was brutal. I had planned on not going back up there no matter what, but I think he had Matt just as upset and I, because after about 30 minutes, Matt suggested I go up and just try to calm him down a bit. So I did. I gently ushered him back to bed, covered him up, and told him again that he was to stay in bed and go night-night. He screamed harder when I left, and I immediately regretted going up there, but after about 10 more minutes, he was finally out. *sigh*
Saturday evening, we did the same thing, and he only cried for about 7 minutes!! Matt and I did a celebratory dance in the living room!!
Last evening (Sunday - night #3), I wasn't quite sure what to expect. There was a lot going on at bedtime. Our upstairs - even with our new central air - is at least 15 degrees warmer than downstairs, so Matt put in a window unit in the office and we were using 2 fans to circulate air upstairs, so it was kind of loud. Also, the second we walked downstairs, the neighbor girls rang the doorbell. So I thought for sure we'd have WWIII on our hands. However, much to my sup rise and pleasure, I'll be darned if that little boy didn't even cry for 30 seconds!!!!! He did get out of bed, grab his sippy cup, and take it to bed with him, but that (surprisingly) didn't bother me. He was asleep in his bed with almost no fight! WOW!
I'm hoping we continue like this and he'll get the point and just not fight it at all. Matt and I have our evenings back! YAY!