Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Please Sleep!!!

I am a girl who needs her sleep. Early to bed and early to rise and all that, but there better be some good solid sleep in between. So far, my little man has been doing really well sleeping (knock wood) and he wakes to eat or pee and then drifts back off again. I am getting maybe 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep if I go to bed by 10. Not to shabby for an almost 3 month old.

On the other hand, Peanut who has been sleeping in her own room since she was like 6 months old and was sleeping through the night early enough that I got lots of dirty looks from other moms, is now giving us a pretty good run for our money. For over a week now, she has fought and fought HARD to stay awake at naps and bedtime. It all seems fine until you move to leave the room (we do books and music and then tuck her in - we used to just leave and shut the door and she was out 90% of the time) and then the drama begins. Even the first "mommmmmy, mommmmmmmy" or "daaaaddy daaaaddy" sounds pained, like someone is hurting her. She says she needs to pee, poop, have a drink, get her baby doll wrapped up, get a tissue, read a book, change the name it. She has even said "don't leave mommy" which I was thankful to hear because at least she is saying what is under all of the drama instead of wrapping it up in all the other nonsense.

Honey and I have tried to think through this logically and discuss how to deal with it. We are a really good team - able to back each other up and support one another when we are clearly at a loss. There have been a few times when I have been doing the bedtime routine and the crying and pleading has just gotten to my "anger/lose control" switch and I have relied on Honey to take over mid sentence (that is certainly not to say that I haven't lost it a few times...). We began by reasoning that she is looking for more attention and control and so we calmly talked with her about going to bed, asked why she was crying, and fed into the litany of routines and rituals that she needed to get settled. At some point Honey discovered that she was afraid of the dark and we put in a night light which seemed to help momentarily. We also supplied a pillow and another blanket. When we realized the wailing stopped and she was smiling at us like she had won when we went in and asked what was wrong, and we were both working hard for the whole evening, we decided to try a new tack. We began to go in and say "it's time to go to sleep" and put her back down/in bed. This seemed to be working, but last night it was over two hours from the time we put her down to sleep to the time she was actually asleep. I finally went in close to 10pm and told her that if she stayed awake and yelling, I was going to call her friends and tell them not to come to playgroup the next morning because she would be too tired to play. Unbelievably, that worked.

Cognitively, I know that our kids, like all kids, will go through phases in all aspects of their development. We'll have these times where life is difficult. But for some reason, sleeping really pushes my buttons. I think it is because with two little ones, the only time I get for myself is nap time (if I can get them to sleep at the same time) or bedtime. The only time that Honey and I have for each other is when the kids are asleep. If I am anticipating "getting a break" and then it never happens, I am just really annoyed. As a mom, I feel like I am "on the clock" all the time, and can't really take a moment to do something for just me. I did do yoga the other night at 10pm though - it felt really good. And I have been taking a little extra time in the shower just to breathe.

Honey and I had a whole discussion about men and women and the bathroom. It seems that men are more comfortable going in there and reading and continuing to hang out and read long after they require the facilities. I am going to need to give this a try (of course not unless Honey is home...).

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