Zzzzzz. . .

October 17, 2009 at 12:14 am (cheesy sentimentalities, random Puffs, status report)

“Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. “

-Robert Gallagher

I’ve heard the stories . . .all mothers have. Fantastical narratives, always told in exquisite eat-your-pillow-out details, relating the tale of enchanted infants who have slept from dusk to dawn beginning on the very eve of their hospital homecoming. This mythological babe never stirs once bedtime comes, and sleeps the whole night through without exception. He has been on my mind quite a bit of late, and after giving it a bit of thought, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t believe a word of it. . .This fabled child can not exist. I’m sure he has been created from the figments of every mother’s exhausted imagination. Because if not, I’m doing something terribly wrong. . .
Although my T was never the perfect baby, she has never been a difficult one, either. We went through the required every 2-4 hour wakings expected of a nursling in early infancy, and as the months went by, the spaces between sleep slowly narrowed and thinned until one morning I woke with a start to realize that she had not awakened in the night. Since then, things have gone fairly smoothly on the sleeping front. Unless teething or sickness is involved, T’s sleeping skills have always been admirable, she puts herself to sleep rather well and, for the most part, stays that way until it is time to wake. I do wish she would sleep later than the 7 o’ clock hour on a more regular basis. . . but really, thats been my only complaint.
At least it was until recently. . . because for the last month or two, Teaball has declared war on sleep. It started with naps. She just started fighting sleep one day. Some days she sleeps, some days she doesn’t. On the days she doesn’t, nap time is a HUGE ordeal. . .She jumps on her mattress, sings, chatters meaninglessly at her lambie . . .or she screams her demands at tops of lungs. From her darkened bedroom I hear her bellowing;

MMMMOOOOOMMMMYYYYYYYY!

followed immediately with whatever brilliant idea she’s had that will surely get her out of taking her nap this time . . .

I NEED TO GO POOOTTTTYYYY!!!!

is a common one. . . though she ALWAYS goes potty right before bedtime. . .
A few more I routinely hear include;

I NEED A DRINK!
I NEED MY BEAR!

I NEED SOME WARM MILK!
I NEED A BOOK!

*all toys aside from Lambie and BearPillow have been banned during nap time. Books have never been allowed in her crib*
When her pleading falls on deaf ears, she takes the medical/pharmaceutical approach, perhaps she thinks that her dear old mom surely would never allow her to suffer – even at nap time;

I GOT BOOGS IN MY NOSE!
I NEED SOME BENEDRYL!
MY TEEF HURT!
I NEED MOTRIN!
I NEED GUMMY NUMBY STUFF!
I DON’T FEEL VERY WEEELLLLLLLL!
I HAVE A BOO-BOO!
I NEED A BAND-AID!!!

Please understand that I pay very close attention my daughter’s physical state at all times. If her teeth are bothering her, or if her allergies are acting up, I will know long before nap time, and if medication is required, it has already been given. My darling child is most certainly NOT suffering, in pain, or unable to breathe. She simply does not wish to take her nap. I’ve had her for 2 years. I am aware.
When none of these get her out of bed, she resorts to toddler logic. This is my favorite part;

IT’S MORNING-TIME!
THE SUN IS STILL AWAKE!

And finally. . . complete and total denial:

ITS NOT NAPTIMMMMME . . .ITS NOOOOOT!!!

To be honest, I sort of prefer the screaming and yelling approach. It tires her out, and she tends to fall asleep more quickly despite her massive amounts of resistance. Its when she gets cute that you have to worry. . .because she can sit calmly in her crib chattering mindlessly and singing for HOURS on end. And how do you battle something as mind – numbingly adorable as THAT?! I feel like such a heel when I go in and sternly tell her to stop singing and go to sleep. I mean. . .really?! Shouldn’t I just leave the kid alone? She’s playing quietly, she’s resting. . .it must be enough, right? But it isn’t. The girl needs sleep.
And I know JUST what you’re thinking! “She might not need a nap anymore.” BAH! You might not know my child. Just like the coach from Cinderella at midnight, my daughter turns into a pumpkin at nap time. A complete crank-case, and a mean one, at that. Without her afternoon siesta, she becomes a walking catastrophe by dinnertime. AND she changes from my sweet little lassy to the poster child for the terrible twos. Temper tantrums, whinyness, non-compliance – the very definition two-years old. . . and when bedtime rolls around, the games begin anew. She’s usually too tired to do much hollering in the evenings, she will babble mindlessly for hours before falling asleep.
If that wasn’t enough, the stupidest thing ever about babies is that when they don’t sleep, they get over-tired. . .and when they’re over-tired THEY DON’T SLEEP! This is the epitome of a “vicious cycle,” and the bane of my existence. First, child refuses nap. Second, child takes hours to fall asleep at night Finally, NIGHT WAKINGS. These are the WORST part of a bad cycle. Because now she’s messing with Momma’s sleep. And Momma NEEDS her sleep. Desperately. Because I have 3 kids under the age of 3 to deal with on weekdays, and I’m not allowed to be cranky. ESPECIALLY since I’ll be dealing with a sleep-deprived and extremely grouchy 2-year old. And sleep-deprived and extremely grouchy 2-year olds don’t play well with others, or share, or. . .behave nicely in the slightest bit. Nor do they take their naps the next afternoon. . . cuz’ they’re too tired.
But its okay. As always, I’ll blame teeth. Anyone who has ever had kids knows that teething manifests itself in all manner of odd ways. The tippy of T’s last 2-year molar popped last Saturday. But it and its mate are both still pushing through, and everything is all swollen back there. Until they’re all the way out, I’m going to cling to my belief that this too, soon shall pass. And I really hope it does. Because once she’s done with teething, I’ll have to come up with another excuse for her. . . The nap situation has started to get better again since those last two teeth broke through, so hopefully we will be past this phase soon. Please God! Let us move on. . .

I have ONE last thing to gripe about regarding my daughter and her sleep patterns (or lack thereof). EVERY SINGLE DAY of this kid’s life, she wakes up between 6-7:30. EVERY DAY! When we’re doing the whole insane sleep dance, she often wakes up even earlier. . .part of the whole “I’m not sleeping cuz’ I’m too sleepy thing.” But. . .every once in a blue moon – and I mean like 6 times a YEAR, at MOST, she’ll sleep until 8 or 8:30. One time, she even slept unitl 9:00! WHY does she ONLY do this on WEEKDAYS when I have to be up anyway? It really isn’t fair. I’d give anything to sleep an extra 10 minutes most mornings. . .*sigh*

A million thanks to Cathy Thorne, the talented cartoonist from
www.everydaypeoplecartoons.com for creating the cartoon above.
SHE knows what I'm talking about! 
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7 Comments

  1. Sarah Benedict said,

    I got quite the kick out of your blog! So cute…although I know the stuff in it isn’t! I’m with you…this too shall pass. Oh and count your blessings…my girls are up at 4 or 5am EVERY morning. Which is fine if we have to go to the barn, but if not its a HUGE drag!

  2. Me said,

    Wow! 4am?! FORGET IT! I’m totally NOT cut out to live on a farm. . .
    It makes me SO HAPPY to see your comment, and to hear that you enjoyed reading this – even if its a sad story! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Amber said,

    How sweet.

    My daughter sometimes likes to surprise me with early wake up times. I’m never amused but she seems quite thrilled..

  4. YourBiggestFan said,

    hehe boy do I know what you’re talking about!!! Today was a no-nap day over here, but not for any of the reasons you stated! I’ll leave that one for a story on my blog. yuck! Needless to say, once things were cleaned up and the idea of naptime rolled around again, it was already too late. Luckily, a brand “new-to the two year old” blanket kept her in bed tonight and she’s sleeping soundly. I certainly hope that your little two year old settles her two-year-old-tush down and starts taking her naps without a problem! Goodness knows you need the break of her nap especially with all those other little rug-rats and curtain-climbers around!!

  5. Me said,

    Amber – They ALWAYS seem extra-especially-super-duper happy when dragging mom’s bum out of bed at ungodly hours. Why is that??!

    Fan – THREE CHEERS for staying in bed! *dances happy dance*

  6. wecki77 said,

    Tori has never been a great sleeper. Naps were non existent until she was 1…when I had the summer to leave her in her crib screaming for 2 hours. She learned it was naptime and that was that. Add to your medical list, Tori learned to make herself throw-up. Mind you it happened easily because of her medical stuff, but she would actually make herself throw up…so she’d get out to take a bath. We got through that by, yes it is gross, leaving her in it (over night or through nap). When it was time, we’d get her up and put her in the bath. It was rather gross, but it only took once or twice for her to stop.

    I know T is sleeping again (for the most part anyway), which is good. Those grouchy little ones are no fun!

  7. Saumya said,

    Love reading your article on sleep.
    Aadya was very good sleeper since she touches her first bday. She slept well during her teething but God know what happened after 1 year. She hates sleeping now. She will sleep althrough night if she is super tired. She now comes to my room in night if she wanna goto bathroom and will yell “SURPRISE”. Holy goodness!!!

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