This monumental event deserved its very own blog post! Folks, the coat, also known as "The Big Ugly," is not on Johanna's body at this very moment. Miracles do happen! Here's all it all went down...
Tonight after dinner, I started a bath for the kids. Jonas got in on his own first (he loves baths), and I pointed Johanna toward the bathroom, asking her to find him. I told her it was time for her to take a bath too, and she willingly got undressed all by herself. No tears!
As they had fun playing and splashing about, I put a towel over The Big Ugly without her seeing me do so. My thought was "out of sight, out of mind." When it was time to get out of the tub, I helped her put on her pajamas and then quickly airplane-carried her out of the big bathroom (before she had the chance to think about it) to zoom over to Daddy for some fun playtime.
Zack quickly picked up on my distraction technique and occupied the kids with climbing on him while I readied the toothbrushes. Thankfully there is also a half bathroom in this suite, so the kids brush their teeth and go to the bathroom in a different location than the bathroom with the tub.
Johanna went straight from brushing her teeth into reading the word book with Daddy, and he conveniently skipped the page with articles of clothing (since there's definitely a coat pictured on that page!). After that, we had our regular bedtime routine of reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, saying prayers, and me singing them "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" before hugs and kisses. Johanna did have some silent tears during the lullaby, which I'm sure were in some way related to her not having her coat on, but she willingly gave me a hug afterward and seemed okay.
We definitely weren't keeping her from putting her coat back on. If at any point she had totally freaked out or even started looking around or asking about it, we would have let her find it and put it on if needed. But she didn't even go back to the big bathroom at all, and she totally could have! I think we may have had our breakthrough moment tonight!
We don't know how the morning will go. I think we'll try to keep it out of sight but not totally hidden away and just see how she does. We'll get out other clothes and a different jacket and pretend like everything is just dandy, but if she doesn't do well with that, we'll let her "find" the coat and put it on. Hey, I'm just happy she's not sleeping in it for the first time! Hooray!!!