The Politics of Sleeping

To sleep or not to sleep.  With a toddler in the house.  Oh. Mi.God. What the heck is going on?

These days the Precious is sleeping all night through.  It’s a recent development.  Never on my watch of course.  Friday night, I stay up late cause yahoo it’s my turn to sleep in on Saturday.  By Fridays, I’m tired, my back is aching from wrangling him and the dog.  I force myself to stay up late on principle.  Of course he sleeps all night but rouses at 6am.  Hubby decides to let him keep making noise in hopes he’ll settle.  Instead of trying a bit of formula.  So of course, the kid keeps it up, you can hear him whipping his toys out the crib.  DH FINALLY gets up 45 minutes later, and they go downstairs.  I doze a bit before the shrieking fun time wakes me up for good.  Grrr.  Sigh.  It’s overcast after a couple of wonderful sunny days, so I’m a little bitter.  Okay, I’m very bitter.

Next night, he sleeps through again.  Ah, heaven. We’re both exhausted and sleeping happily.  Until 7 am when the phone rings.  My mind reasons that it can’t be about my mother, they would call my cell, so I refuse to move.  The phone rings again and hubby gets it.  It’s never good news, is it?   It’s from my frantic sister who is completely stressed out over the latest chapter of hell in her life.  I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say there were tears.  (Everything is better now, don’t worry.) Ah, let’s move on to coffee.  Which is too weak to cheer me up physically.

Now let me remind you I’ve been taken to task that I don’t let him start the day before 7am ever.  Cause I’m a selfish bitch for wanting to have a cup of coffee and read my emails in peace and make it through the day without snapping.  It’s not a secret that  I hate getting up early, but everybody’s day always goes smoother when he gets up later rather than at dawn.  If he gets up too early he won’t make it through his weekly little friends class or he’ll fall asleep while we’re walking the dog or doing errands in the morning.  So of course, because he’s been up early all weekend, getting him down in the afternoon has been very, very difficult.  He gets tired after hitting the ground like a whirling dervish, so he inevitably falls asleep (even if it’s only for 10 minutes in the stroller) a few hours later  and then recharges magically after you put him down for his afternoon nap.  No afternoon nap means I don’t a head start on dinner or eat lunch or do laundry or make phone calls or go to the bathroom by myself… get the picture.  Obviously, he won’t be able to make it to dinnertime/bathtime without a meltdown and bedtime will VERY early which GUARANTEES a 5am wake up  call or a 2am party.

This morning, unwilling to endure his 6am  shenanigans, I got up and got him some milk.  It didn’t work.  OH. NO.  He can no longer tolerate his teddies in his crib and pitches everything across the room and yanks the bedroom curtains into his bed and puts on the Riverdance show from what I’m hearing.

He’s been so tired by 8pm, he’s practically nodding off but as soon as DH gives him a bottle and puts him down, he proceeds to talk and babble and look out the window for over an hour and a half.  I’m thinking perhaps it’s the long days.  His drapes are heavy and his room is darkened, but not of course, when he pulls the drape off the rod or peeps out of the window. One of us goes back in his room and cuddles and coos to him, and he’s happy to chill out, but sleep?  Not so much. This can’t be the beginning of no naps, right?  He’s only 17 months old.  Please, tell me that.

This is why I make it a daily routine to go to the park or find some activity to run his little butt into the ground.  He can now walk home on his own steam from the park which is a ten minute brisk walk from where we live.  It takes 45 minutes on his schedule with frequent breaks for drumming on the sidewalk with twigs, but he can do it.

This little powerhouse is building his endurance.

I bought more Red Bull.


6 thoughts on “The Politics of Sleeping

  1. ugh. it’s SO effing hard when they don’t sleep well or long. at least he’s sleeping through the night now, that helps. and oh the no nap days, well they just suck. even when they fight it, I think they really need it at that age.

    I find getting J outside every day really helps wear her out, fresh air and all. also not letting her nap too late in the day.

    wishing you all good sleep!

  2. Have you heard the term flashbacks? Yeah?, Well I am having one right now. Let’s just say my favorite child was the one that slept. S1 decided at 9 months that sleeping was for chumps and he didn’t want any part of it. S2, I seriously have photos of him sleeping on stairs, decks, kitchen table (we piled things on his head–gonna have to post that one now that he’s too old to be taken away), and even one in FULL winter gear boots and all, where he laid down just inside the door.
    There’s always Benadryl.(just kidding….sorta.)

      • Good grief. You aren’t the first person I have heard that from. Bummer.

        I promise you that no kid has ever been horribly traumatized from having to hang out in their bed till 7 am. If he throws everything out, when its time to actually get up, he can help you put the stuff back in, rinse, repeat. It won’t take him long to realize that sitting bored in an empty bed isn’t nearly as fun as having stuff to do, and he will learn to entertain himself. What about books that make sounds etc? Mine LOVED the ones that had buttons making siren sounds, barking dogs etc.

        If you can figure out how to get away with it, stick a Flip video camera in his room to see what he is actually doing. I have a hysterical video of S1’s interpretation of Riverdance (such a perfect description :-)and throwing his bear to the ground then yelling at it (I think wanting it to hop back into the bed)…it is so funny to watch.

        The only thing I can think of is about an hour before you want him to sleep, turn off all tv, radio, etc distractions, except maybe for a relaxation sound track, and just let him wind down. I know you have probably done that a zillion times, but it’s all I have to offer.

  3. It kind of shifts around in my VAST experience. I thought Theo was dropping his nap and then he suddenly became a super sleeper/napper (well for two weeks). Now he’s back to his 9 -10 hour nights with hour to 90 min naps. Super random. Don’t give up hope! He’ll have a little growth spurt and get sleepy and hungry again.

    • Lordy, it seems to be getting better. He’s been getting up really early (for me) and by the time he had his lunch, he practically fell asleep chewing. It was kinda cute really.

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