Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Allergic to Sleep

I swear, I really think Caroline hates sleeping. I know I've talked lots about her sleeping issues, but I think I reached my breaking point this morning. At 4:45am, she comes into my room tapping on me to tell me that Jason wasn't downstairs. (He was in the shower.) Not to wake me to tell me she was scared or sick or any other justifiable reason. Basically just to chat. I tell her she needs to go back to bed and that point she balks and starts crying.

Now, this is where parenting gets difficult. During the day if she pulled that type of behavior, I'd let her cry and put her in time out b/c I don't deal with her constantly not following directions. But at 4:45am, I am exhausted and the last thing I want is for Bryce to be awoken. So I pull her up in bed with me against my better sleep deprived judgement. Jason comes out of the shower and I ask her if she wants to go back to her bed - again with the crying. So I leave her there and for the next hour, she rolls around and does not sleep. At 5:45am when my alarm goes off, I'm just done. I pick her up and tell her she needs to go and lay in her bed. At which point she starts throwing a tantrum but because I don't have the ability to really deal with her, I pick the kicking kid up and put her in her bed and close the door. She starts screaming and I just ignore her and get in the shower.

Jason said that within a minute or two she realized I wasn't coming back or catering to her so she calmed down and came downstairs as happy as a lark. Then after a bit, she started reading a book and looking like she was going to go back to sleep. Right around 6am though, Bryce wakes up due to the commotion. Thankfully Jason got him dressed as I was trying to finish getting ready. Then got Caroline dressed while I was drying my hair. (She threw a fit for that too.) But because Bryce was a bit sleep deprived having woken up 45 minutes early, he was a bit grumpy. I've also noticed that Bryce doesn't do well in the mornings if he isn't occupied so getting up early and then having me need to finish getting ready, just doesn't mix, so he threw a few fits too. But then, because we were ready so early, they watched an episode of Diego before we needed to leave at 7:10am.

I can only imagine how tired they are given how completely exhausted I am right now. One less hour of sleep will kill you when you're expecting to get just over 7 hours and then get less than 6. And I guess part of my exhaustion is just pure frustration with the situation.

Why does my child resist sleep so much? She hates going to sleep at night, she hates going to sleep for naps, she hates going back to sleep when she wakes up in the night and then wakes up too early because she doesn't want to sleep anymore.

She used to be a good sleeper when she was a little baby. She slept through the night at 6 weeks and was happy just to go into her crib awake and drift off on her own. What the heck happened? It's like life got too interesting and she sees sleep as a big fat waste of time. But the bottom line is she NEEDS her sleep. When you get her to take a nap, she'll sleep for well over an hour so she clearly needs it. (And on the nights she doesn't take a nap - we pay for it since she can no longer be reasoned with and throws horrible tantrums.) She's not even 4 years old - SHE NEEDS HER SLEEP.

So Jason is going to take even more steps to keep her from waking up in the wee hours - he's so quiet as it is. But she's such a light sleeper, she must be hearing him. Even with her white noise machine..... Personally, I think she's looking for a reason to wake up even though Jason feels to blame for her waking up so early, I think. Also, if she wakes up before 6am, she is to go back to bed to lay in her bed in the dark. In the past, if she's waken up before 6am and Jason is awake, he'll let her stay downstairs with him and watch a show. So no more "rewards" for waking up early. Her only option will be to lay in her bed in the dark.

Now the next problem - how to get through my day this exhausted. I remember being tired when I returned to work after having Bryce but I guess when it's a newborn you kind of expect it - with a 4 year old you kind of lose your tolerance.


Katie said...

I have no answers on C's sleep issues. That's tough. I don't know how she keeps going?? As for you....M-O-MMY needs C-O-FFEE!

Anna said...

uh, yeah, I'd say you'd lose your tolerance by 4 years!!!! hope you can figure it out!

Christine said...

I do think Jay is a little to blame, but not for making too much noise....who in their right mind wakes up at 4:30am just because??? She's got some of his genes- that's the root of your issues! (Nothing personal Jay if you're reading- just my thoughts). Have you considered one of those clocks with the sun and moon on them? I think you can program it so that the sun shows up when it's OK to get up. Just a thought. I really hope she gets back into some sort of good routine soon!