Thursday, February 3, 2011


I didn’t think that was what I was doing. It isn’t something I meant to do intentionally in my parenting, but apparently I am raising a pack of thieves. Alright, that is a slight exaggeration. Four is a pack. A steady group of two children, with an occasional third thrown in cannot really be classified as a pack.

What pray tell has been stolen? And who are the culprits?

My sleep, it is my sleep that has been stolen. It seems over the last month or so two children in particular are out to steal, kill and destroy any opportunity I might have for a full night’s uninterrupted sleep. It is uncanny I tell you. If I were the suspicious type I would swear there is some sort of conspiracy going on among the children. Perhaps even a coup (to overthrow this parenthood thing). The only problem is the two children mainly involved are the youngest and I am not sure how much communication can be going back and forth between them seeing as Zeke doesn’t speak!

All I can say is their master plan to break me down little by little is working.

Katie and Ezekiel are running me roughshod through the middle of most nights. The uncanny part I mentioned? They never do it on the same night. There is some understanding between them over whose turn it is and each has followed the rules. There is no sharing or too many sequential nights of the same offender. You know, so they’ll still reap the benefit of a full nights sleep themselves every now and again.

What is going on with them? I wish I knew so I could make it stop. Katie wakes up in the middle of the night and comes down to our bed. What wakes her up? No idea. Getting her back to sleep without some production and serious noise (from protesting) is almost an art form. It usually requires that I slip into her bed and remain there until she is asleep or until I hear some grumbling from Zeke. Can I just state for the record she is a fiddle faddler, a real squiggle worm? Some nights she has even lain awake playing, because why isn’t 3-4am a good time to play? And those nights? Oh, how I could cry, scream, have me a good ‘ol tantrum throwing session.

Zeke’s issue – gas pains? I can only fathom because it isn’t a hunger issue. I am not feeding him at any point in the night if he cries out. I am mainly there pounding on his little hinder (instead of rubbing his back) until he gets comfortable enough to fall asleep. Every now and again a little ‘stinky’ escapes and he relaxes. These little sessions can last a few moments to an hour or so and are frequent. It is rarely just one trip I make up those stairs, but rather one every hour or so.

I have to tell you my behavior mirrors theirs when they have little sleep. I am cranky, prone to fits and just down right disagreeable! Dear me, I know it will pass, I do. But knowing doesn’t make the walking it any easier or my disposition any more pleasant. I am working on it, definitely working on it.

Why is it the young run as fast as they can away from sleep and as you get older (or become a parent) you want to run towards it? Those little people don’t know how good they have it.


Christine said...

I had a similar situation when my last two were these same ages. Emily was always a wonderful sleeper, but between age 2 and 3 things were problematic off and on. I remember reading that even the best sleepers can have issues at age two.

My last baby sleep well up until age 6 months--not through the night, but for long stretches. The baby sleep experts seem to think if you quit feeding at night, and let a baby fall asleep on his own to start the night, then magically he'll sleep through the night forevermore.

In truth, there is teething, trying out new skills, winter heat irritating nostrils (maybe a humidifier in his room?), feeling too hot or too cold, etc...

This is hard to do when you're desperate for some down time, but I found that going to sleep at 9:00 p.m. ensured I could get at least 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep. It means letting nighttime chores go, but it helps a lot with trying to stay even-tempered with the kids during the day. I read that if an adult gets the four uninterrupted hours, then interruptions the rest of the night are better tolerated.

Anyhow, I will pray! I understand completely how hard it is to remain even-tempered during times of exhaustion.

Post a Comment