The problem isn't that no one gave us the manual on how to raise a child.  Almost the opposite:  there are a million books on parenting - so which one is right??
Being on the same page about parenting as one's partner, or not, can be stressful.  I feel blessed that my wife and I have been pretty open to each other's parenting styles, and we have learned quite a bit from each other's successes in finding what works.
I'd like to share a couple "Flashes of Toddler Brilliance" that we've discovered.  These are things that just seemed to work really well in lovingly dealing with toddler challenges with our first little one, D.
Flash of Brilliance #1:  "Can you cry a little softer please?"
Full credit for this goes to my wife, who discovered that during a certain phase, if D was upset and crying, and if my wife was holding her, she would politely ask D. if she could cry a little more softly -- and she would!!
Flash of Brilliance #2:  "I'm sorry, that's not available."
This one goes to daddy.  At some point D. was just not happy with any food I'd offer her.  For example, I would give her a small apple and she'd say, "No Daddy, not that apple, I want the other apple" (which happened to be gigantic and I knew she'd never eat more than a few bites). In some cases, no big deal, but I didn't want to let this get out of control.  So occasionally I would say, "I'm sorry, that other apple is not available.  You can have this one (the original), this one (second option, also a small apple), or NO apple.  Sure enough, she'd pick one of the two small options.
Would love to hear from you -- what flashes of brilliance have you discovered with your toddler for bedtime or anytime?  Fun to share, and you might really help someone else by sharing what has worked for you!