Saturday, February 13, 2010

Can't Win.

I've been tired lately.

Since about August, in fact. And, no. This is not an announcement regarding my uterus. My goodness, people.

August is when Claire became an insomniac. At least, according to this definition.

She wakes up in the middle of the night about 4 times a week. She usually wakes up between 2 and 4am. Sometimes she asks to watch a movie. Usually "Baby Signing Time." (She's addicted.) Sometimes she wants cereal.

I used to give in to her midnight demands because after getting her what she wanted, sometimes she'd go back to sleep. And then I got to go back to sleep.

But then sometimes she wouldn't. And I wouldn't. And then we'd be up all day. Tired. And grumpy.

Very grumpy.

The thing is, I have sleeping issues already. Even without catering to an infant insomniac. Perhaps you remember this. Or this? Or maybe this.

I need sleep.

So this week I started not giving in. Because giving in doesn't appear to be solving the problem.

The other night she came into our room (as usual), climbed on our bed and said, "Sump-ing to EEEeat, Mommy."

I tried my new tactic. "Claire, sweetie. See out the window? See how it's dark outside? We have to wait for morning when the sun comes up."

For good measure, I signed "sun," wrapped her in my arms, and closed my eyes bidding sleep to return.

"No, Mommy, no!" She whimpered. "EEEEeat!" More whimpering. I tried to quiet her to keep her from waking Daddy. She finally succumbed to a blissful silence.

A blissful silence of five or ten minutes.

Then we repeated our dialogue.

In fact, we repeated it every ten minutes for two hours.

Last night I got an extra bonus when Claire whined long enough to partially rouse Brad. He started reciting math equations. Something about derivatives. And x. And exponents.

I'm so tired.

Wish I could recover like she does.

But I can't. Because while I sleep the monsters come, possess my children's bodies, and trash the house.

Also, yes. That is a TV screen against her face. I realize it is possibly causing irreparable damage to her brain. I turned it off. Promise.


  1. Do you ever watch super nanny? I'm with her on children and their sleeping patterns. Good luck thinking clearly until you get this figured out.

  2. My kids had the same problem ... then I started putting them to bed with a sippy of apple juice (diluted). Now they roll over, find their sippy, suck away, and drift back to sleep. I've also been known to send Ryan to bed with a string cheese ... no mess ... and it feels his tummy. Good luck with that ... I'm not good at being woken up at night ... unless it's a brand new baby. :D

  3. Janette: I did try putting Claire to sleep with a bag of cheerios and water next to her bed. She would wake up, eat them, and then ask to watch a movie. She just wants to be out of bed!

    I've pushed back bedtime to 9, I've maintained a consistent bedtime routine, but it doesn't seem to really help. Or, at least, it hasn't yet. I thought for a while it was stress. She's not a very adaptable child, and we've been going through a lot of change. I guess that could still be it.

  4. Our second son wakes up in the middle of the night and we have done it all. Screamed. Beat. Cried. You name it we have done it all. As terrible as it sounds, you need to ignore her and lock her in a room and let her cry it out for a few nights.
    My little Carter still gets up, but now he knows that he will get no attention from us- at least he doesn't wake us up anymore.

  5. I agree with April. Don't give in...Do want super nanny does. You will have of Bad nights, but apparently it works. You just keep putting her back to bed, Don't say anything etc. She gets up just pick her up and put her back. If she is stubborn it will take awhile, but she will give up.

  6. My second oldest would wake up two to four times a NIGHT... now he only wakes up a few times a week at most. We tried so many different things with him. One thing that helps is giving him a drink of water right before he goes to bed, and being consistent with his bed time. I feel for you. Good luck.

  7. I have no good advice, only sympathy: life without sleep is a bummer.

  8. Sounds like another little girl, my first child, come to think of it. I used to leave food on the kitchen table for her to get in the middle of the night. When her grandmother was awaiting a new grandchild, and was sleeping on our couch, this little girl, got out of bed, went to the kitchen table and her grandmother (sleeping on the living room couch in our small New York city apartment) heard her grumpily say, "I go to bed early and all I get for dinner is this stupid banana."

    But she went right back to bed without awaking me. Perhaps I'm a lot scarier in the middle of the night than you are.

  9. I liked your mom's comment. =) I don't have a child who can get out of bed yet, but I've heard the best method is to just keep putting them back to bed over and over again. The first time you explain it's time for bed and you're taking them back and then every time after that you don't say a word. They say the first night they'll do it up to like 50 times, and then it goes down dramatically after that until by day 3 or 4 they're not getting up at all anymore....

    At any rate - GOOD LUCK! Sleep is so vital. Come to think of it...I'm going to bed right now!