Thursday, April 8, 2010

s is for severely sleep-deprived

I am thisclose to taking Bean in for couple's counseling, for surely if there ever was a couple who needed the counseling it is Bean and her once-beloved sleep.

I am guessing there was some cataclysmic event that sent them both over the edge, all FINE! FINE! I'M NEVER SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN! (slams door)

We've tried to talk to sleep, reminding him that he is much older and wiser than Bean and he really needs to take the higher ground, but his response each time is to quietly sigh and then say that he'll be there for her when she's ready. But she has to take the first step.

Try to make a toddler TAKE THE FIRST STEP. And into SLEEP, at that? Yeah................ so.

We are mystified. Beyond mystified, we are STYMIED, people. As soon as we put her in her crib (or any crib, since this is happening even when we're on the road as we are this week in Portland)--- there are tears and crying out for DADDYDADDYDADDYDADDY!!!! (Chip has spent the last two nights laying on the floor in front of her crib until she falls asleep) And that's not all, nope. We have Early! Morning! Waking! (like FOUR O-CLOCK IN THE MORNING, EARLY MORNING) And she won't go back to sleep. WON'T GO BACK TO SLEEP, PEOPLE. She wants to be up! For the day! AT FOUR O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. This is the kind of thing that makes me die inside. At this point in our early parenting career, we feel a little bit ENTITLED to the early morning sleep. WE'VE EARNED IT. So this kind of freakish return-to-babyhood stuff WITHOUT the benefit of the chubby baby thighs and the baby smell? TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.

We've tried reasoning with her, telling her to go back to sleep (TEARS AND SHOUTING). We've tried to lay her back down (TEARS AND SHOUTING). We've even brought her back to bed with us and while we mostly avoid the TEARS AND SHOUTING---from Bean, there is plenty of TEARS AND SHOUTING from me and my liver as she pummels me with her little feet of fury. Also: there isn't any additional sleep having from any of the three of us.

There was a point yesterday evening, just as we were about to eat dinner, when Chip looked at me through nearly-crossed eyes and said, "I can't figure out why I've wanted to just lay down and DIE today. That, or fall asleep." I had to remind him that he'd been awake since BEFORE THE SUN ROSE.

So. Before we ship her off to Intensive Couples Therapy I'm begging for merciful help from all you nice people. Tell me what is wrong. Tell me what to DO. And tell me that this isn't going to cause me to BURST INTO FLAME, though I'm afraid that it already has (FLAMES! ACTUAL LIVING FLAMES OF FIRE!).



Rose said...

Well it sounds like you're willing to try just about anything... and since you asked... I'll offer a suggestion!

I think it's time to convert her crib into a toddler bed (Is it convertible? Most are). You can leave her favorite stuffed animal friends in her room and maybe some books. Then, she can stay up and play until she's ready to go to sleep... and then we she wakes up in the morning, she can play with her toys instead of screaming?

Okay, so maybe that won't help her SLEEP, but it might help the endless screaming?

Um... for sleep... what time do you give her a bath? You could start trying to giver her one right before bed... with something lavender scented. Maybe you could spray some lavender mist in her room.

The other thing I would check is the curtains in the room, how dark or light it is in the morning. My kids like to get up when the sun comes up... which SUCKS in the summer... so if she's seeing hints of daylight... consider getting some daylight obstructing curtains... maybe that'll help in the morning.

OKay, well, I hope my suggestions (or someone elses) do something!

Rose said...

P.S. Did I miss the unveiling of an Etsy shop? It's getting about time to buy some birthday presents for my daughter... :)

artemisia said...

Oh, I wish I had some advise. Alas, any advise I would give would only prove how unfit I am to parent! Hee!

Good luck. Just think - in 16 more years or so this will all be out of your hands. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry. Sleep issues make me stabby and mean and weepy and hungry for Cheetos.

wandering nana said...

I'm so sorry. My daughter had some children like Bean.
Have you talked to your pediatrician? I would probably start there. By chance is it possible that she is having night terrors? My one grandson has these. He would wake up crying and screaming and wouldn't go back to sleep.
I had never heard of "white noise" until we moved here but some people need a small sound, like a fan, in order to sleep.
Definitely darken the room. I have noticed since moving here that it gets light so early and I have seen a big change in my sleeping habits.
She is so independent that I don't know how well she would stay in a bed. Maybe try with having her put her animals to bed and telling them goodnight and then do the same with her.
We need to do a play day and maybe brainstorm.

Swistle said...

Oh, I wish I knew! We have one crazy-cakes sleeper, too. She goes in and out of Difficult Sleep Phases, and she definitely had one like the one you're describing, and at about the same age. What we do is TRY EVERYTHING. And what helps with her is "waiting for the next stage" and oh dear that's not very helpful. But I will say that after awhile, she achieved a level of reasoning that allowed us to explain things to her, and that helped a little. But even now, at nearly 5, she is not a Good Sleeper. She's just at the point where she can look at books until she goes to sleep, without us having to be in there with us, and where she'll sleep nicely in our bed after she wakes up at 4:00. And I'll bet you understand like many others can't that this is GREAT NEWS and more than we hoped for.

Erin P said...

I sympathize with you...and I wish I had advice in addition to what others have written above, but that's all I know, too. My husband's daughter got very good advice from her pediatrician about some pretty significant sleep issues her daughter had around 2 years old, so I second the idea to see the doctor for advice. Best of luck!

Spadoman said...

I go with Rose and Wandering Nana. Talk with a doctor, (pediatrician). My 3 year old Granddaughter doesn't nap and gets up early. Il ike it, because then I have company, (remember, I'm an old man and I get up very early every day and eat dinner at 3:30 p.m.)
Of course, that's only when she's staying here for the night. Otherwise, her mother has to deal with the same thing you do, and I know it's not fun.
Hope things work out. They usually do change for the better, sometimes it takes time and patience.


I have to mention the word verification today:

I just like it!