Three in a Bed

Sunday, May 06, 2012

For those of you new to my family, we have some "issues" around bed.

Yeah, I know she is eight. Spare me any piece of advice you may have about how to get her to sleep in her own bed. I assure you ,we've tried it. We've tried EVERYTHING.

Now, here is where my first dilemia came in. I have very specific professional ideas about children and sleep. The philosophy to which I subscribe, RIE , teaches that children should be assisted to sleep when they indicate they are tired. Believe it or not, this worked with nearly ALL the babies I cared for in my years of teaching. I would have babies crawl to the edge of the nap room and sign to me that they were ready to sleep.


Nearly all of my babies in care over age 3 months would be put in their cribs when awake and allowed to fall asleep. Did I mention that this worked on nearly every baby I cared for from 1992 to 1998?  I thought I was the shit when it came to babies and sleeping. It is a well known and documented fact that I can get any kid to settle and sleep, newborn to kindergarten.

Until my child was born.

Emily was very alert. Hyper alert. Nursing perked her up. The midwife would say "She nurses and then falls asleep?"

Nope. Not my kid. It only seems to invigorate her.

"Do you try driving her around in the car?"

Of course we do. She hates the car. She screams the entire time she is in the car. I have been known to fling myself in the back seat and wrestle a breast out in a valiant effort to get her to stop. I once was let go by a cop who, after stopping me because a tail light was out, took pity on me due to the fact that my child was WAILING in the back seat. I also may have been in a full body sweat with crazy eyes.

Warm bath?

Every night.


Of course.

Stories and routine?

Yeah. I may have some depression issues, but the professional Dawn? She has the mother-trucking routine down pat.

The pediatrician whispers: "Did you try a little benedryl?"

Uh, Yeah - You know I did. Also seems to perk her up. She doesn't get sleepy at all.

When Emily was 6 months old, I bite my pride bullet and thought - OK, I'll try to Ferber her. This went against every fiber of my being, but I was desperate to get some sleep. The child had been awake and nursing for six straight months. She was also crawling at six months. Full on crawling. She was starving mobile zombie baby.

I expected the first night to be bad. I expected the second night to be a little better. I didn't expect a WEEK long marathon of screaming that would go on for the entire night. You know how you go in the room in five minute increments? 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes?  We got up to HOURS. HOURS, PEOPLE! With no break in the screaming. She could go to child care with me in the morning and sleep. I, sadly, did not have this option.

And her scream? Makes me sweat. Actually makes me sweat. I get these prickles in my arm pits and then it starts. I get frantic, the oxytoxin in my brain kicks into high gear and I-must-stop-the-screaming.

We tried a gate. She kicked it down. We made a sticker chart and took away things. She laughed in the face of that. She lost her birthday party this year, and her ipod. She's lost her American Girls at various times, her telescope....and the list goes on and on. She has nightlights, she has body pillows, she has everything we can think of to make her nest as comfy as possible.

And where was she this morning? Asleep. On my back. More specifically, in the middle of my back. My left arm was completely dead from lack of circulation. And my husband? On the living room couch. Also asleep. A typical morning in my house.

Update: 2012

She no longer sleeps in my bed, thankfully. She did until she was 10, though. At some point, she got too big and floppy. She now nests, just like her mom, in the middle of her bed, surrounded by huge nests of pillows and comforters.

Terrance and I never ended up sharing a bed again. Something about 10 years of not being in the same bed makes it difficult to go back. Which is fine. I really like my own bed. Which is where I am right now, snuggling in to go to sleep. Night.

1 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

:) Funny how things change when it's about our own kids isn't it! I totally get this post :)

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