Saturday, January 9, 2010

An evening off

BOTH kids are sleeping. I am pinching myself because it is 8:20pm and we haven't had a two hour battle over sleeping this evening. Honey is actually working out and I am having a celebratory glass of wine while I type away.

After several long days with naptime and nighttime battles with Peanut, and me calling for backup or for someone to talk me off a ledge on a regular basis, I decided she was overtired and that we needed to move nap and bedtime up a little. The first day we shifted nap from 1pm to noon, it worked like a charm. After a few minutes of silence, she complained and requested a tissue. When I didn't reply, she got one and blew her own nose and went to sleep. Hallelujah!

We decided to move bedtime up as well, hoping that was the key. That night was a whole other story though. Another two hour long horrible screaming and crying nightmarish scene unfolded, and Honey and I were left questioning our sanity, parenting ability, self control, and our daughters health. After she finally fell asleep (in different jammies and socks, a new blanket, no stuffed animals or babies in the bed, and no canopy, with a promise of no TV tomorrow - a little bit of conditional parenting happens when you are tired and insanely sleep deprived), we determined that:
1) two year olds are difficult and sometimes they have sleep issues,
2) most two year olds do NOT take two hours to fall asleep on a fairly regular basis like Peanut does. This is from the time she gets into bed vs. the time we begin bedtime - tack on another 30-40 minutes for that.
3) she has no idea what she wants and therefore, we will never be able to satisfy that need,
4) we need to stay calm and controlled when we are dealing with this, otherwise it escalates fast, and
5) having her cry is better than us losing our temper. If we need to walk away and take deep breaths or count to 10 while she screams, so be it.

So today, Honey was in charge of napping, and while Peanut went down for a nap, she did not sleep. We decided that she should remain in her room for rest time regardless. We also determined that it was time for the big guns. We spiked her strawberry kefir with melatonin this evening at dinner. We are oh so hopeful that she wakes up happy and well rested. It remains to be seen if this will help with the routine wake up at 1am we have had this week as well. I really can't imagine what a night without her waking might feel like, even though ti used to be the norm.

Honestly, right now I am just happy to have a small amount of time for a break from the kids. I'd say during the week that there is about a 20 minute period where they both sleep at the same time during the day. So when the evening rolls around, I am really looking forward to punching out on the time clock for a little bit. Having that taken away for so long is extraordinarily draining. This week I did have a mothers helper for two afternoons, so I got some exercise and a whole bunch of chores done (I had no idea how productive I could be in two hours!). I can only imagine what these sleeping issues would have been like without that help. This feels a little luxurious, sitting here with my wine...

I'm a little hesitant to allow myself to fully celebrate anything yet. I could start dreaming of calm (or wild!) evenings after the kids are in bed, all the loose ends that would be tied up (read: crap on my desk), and the new glow that folks would see and wonder why I'm so happy and well rested. But I won't, not yet anyway. I am still waiting for that darn other shoe.


Julie Brann said...

First of all, your kids are adorable! I love reading your blog, even though I haven't posted a comment yet. I can totally relate to all of the struggles--I know what helps me get through the rough times is telling myself that "this too, shall pass". It's not easy having two--I know I had (and still have) a rough time adjusting to it all. One thing we tried with Sophia when she had a hard time stying in bed was putting a little homemade mailbox on her door. We told her that if she stayed in her room all night, there would be mail in her box in the morning. I would write her a note and sometimes leave a little surprise in there. It seemed to work, altough there were still a few bumps in the road. Hope things get better sooner rather than later!

Laurie said...

I love this idea Julie! We have done almost everything we can think of in our sleep deprived brain addled state. I think this may be our afternoon project!