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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fraying Rope

In the lottery of life, I have been blessed.  Complaining seems ridiculous when I think about some of the heartbreaking stories I hear, some of the agonizing hardships I see.

Yet, each day, I've been facing my own little demon, and that demon is sleep.

Nighttime is tough in our house.  Abbey and Dylan fool me into thinking it's going to be easy each night, snuggling into their pajamas, listening to stories, singing songs, closing their baby blues, and settling to sleep.  Then they wake up.  And wake up Ryan and me. 

And once or twice a night doesn't sound terrible until you multiply it by two rooms and realize you're waking up every hour. 

Every night.

Of course, there are exceptions, and Abbey slept well for a long while.  Yet between teething and colds and undetermined reasons known only in their little baby selves, we've been in a rough stretch for a while, and it's getting worse instead of better.

Since beginning the weaning process with Dylan, napping has become an endless power struggle.  Getting him to sleep takes Olympic-caliber mothering gymnastics.  Keeping him asleep proves basically impossible.  I've obviously lined his soft crib sheets with invisible barbed wire, and even the trusty couch has been a no-go for the last couple of weeks. 

Sleeping on my chest was fine when he was tiny and new, but now it's becoming a hindrance and I feel this immense load of guilt that I am failing both of them.  He needs to sleep and they both need a mommy that isn't sleep deprived.

Crying it out is on the list of parenting tasks that leaves an unwelcome taste in my mouth.  I've read books and tried methods that stress gentle, non-crying techniques.  I can honestly say we've tried to steer clear of "sleep training", but the lack of sleep is wearing on us all.

Unfortunately, there will be tears.  Some of them aren't going to be mine, which hurts my heart, but hopefully we will come out on the other side with better sleepers and a happier, healthier family.
he won't let me put him down on the couch or his crib, snuggled in a blanket
yet when he falls asleep in the car, I can move him to the stroller
and into the science museum where he was promptly awoken by
"the wildest dinosaur alive" (to quote Abbey)

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2 Comments:

  • At January 27, 2011 at 9:16 PM , Anonymous tiarasandtrucks said...

    I don't have that book, and I thought I had tapped out the sleep-book market. Thank you, and I will look into getting my hands on a copy of it! So, so true that it is going to be challenging to find time to read it. Maybe I can find it on CD and drive around with him, since he naps in the car?

    At least I was kind of prepared for bad sleep, since Abbey isn't great at it. How unfair for you to have the great sleeper first and then the challenging one. It would have been better for it to be the other way around and get the hard work over at the beginning!

     
  • At February 5, 2011 at 9:40 AM , Anonymous Dfinkbeiner said...

    I had 2 boys, 2 1/2 years apart, and neither slept at night without waking 2 or 3 times. so 5 years later all was good and they were excellent sleepers forever after that...grown now and happy :) I could NOT stand the thought of letting them cry themselves back to sleep..tried it once, hurt too much... As they transferred to 'big boy beds" they slept much better. I think slapping their arms against the crib woke them up:( They did stay in their own beds though, always(well, almost) and had to ask before coming into our room in the AM. My tired thoughts are with you...and remember, this too shall pass...and you might even miss it.
    www.childhoodmyths.blogspot.com

     

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