Usually when I am alone with the boys (2 nights, sometimes 3 nights, in the week), we do pretty well. I get Meatball to bed nice and early, since that's what he prefers (and you do NOT want to get on Meatball's bad side), and I get time to spend with The Boy. I also get to do a pretty regular bedtime routine with him. We've been doing his bedtime routine for awhile, even before trying to move him into his bed.
I've probably described the bedtime thing before. The signal that it is bedtime for The Boy is that he brushes his teeth. I was proud that today he actually wanted to brush his own teeth, which he hasn't done for me in awhile. Then from teeth-brushing, he gets into pajamas and a night diaper (if he hasn't already been in PJ's from having had a bath). We read Zin Zin Zin A Violin and Goodnight Moon, we talk about our day, and I sing him some songs.
Meatball got up in the middle and at the end of the bedtime routine. Probably because I waited too long to put The Boy to bed. The first time he was up, I took The Boy in and we continued watching Bedtime with Elmo, which is what we always watch when I am putting Meatball to bed and I am at home with the boys by myself.
The second time, we were just about done with his bedtime songs, and I thought I'd just chance it and leave, to tend to Meatball. He said "no!" but stayed in bed, and stayed there for awhile. He did come to the gate to complain but it lasted for less than a minute.
This is HUGE. Because it means that he gets the idea, that going to bed is what he has to do, and that it's not so bad. Certainly not worth the hours of wailing that sometimes preceded actual sleep.
And again...I feel better about it because I know that he really understands.