I’ve been avoiding the journal-type entires lately, mostly because the last three weeks or so have been hellish with Simone’s sleeping. To do a “Dear Daughter” type of thing might require me to call down the trials of Job.
Plenty of brilliant moments during the day, but each and every time I sit down to write–which for this blog is generally in the evening–all I can hear is Simone throwing a diabolical fit upstairs. Kicking the wall, shaking the crib, screaming until she runs out of air. WOOOOT parenting.
And poor Sandra–as if her life isn’t stressful enough. No more few hours of unwinding in the evening. Her “self” time is down to zero. Either she’s in Simone’s room, trying to soothe her, or she’s downstairs groaning at the lack of peace. Well, we do get some peace. About 10 minutes before our own retirement to the hallowed halls.
Sandra started putting a pillow and blanket in Simone’s room to lie on the floor until dear daughter fell asleep. This resulted in numerous games of peek-a-boo and an immediate habit where Simone refused to go to bed unless Mommy lay down too. Bad idea, in my mind. Not Sandra’s intentions, of course, but the habit part. Whether I’m right or wrong, I feel Simone needs to develop her own mechanisms for falling asleep–something I thought she had until three weeks ago.
Come to think of it, this probably started while we were in Tofino and Sandra and Simone slept on mattresses together in our little hut.
So how in the blue hell does someone go from falling asleep within five minutes to writhing in horror whenever “sleepy time” is even mentioned? I did some research online and clearly Simone is not unique in this regard. Lots of parents go through it. But I’ll be the first to admit I don’t give one hot damn what other parents are going through at this moment. All I want is a healthy wife, sleeping kid, and some time to collect my thoughts in the evening. My online searching brought up various concerns: earache, night terrors, in need of a change of scenery.
I like this last one. The first two don’t seem to apply, as Simone sleeps pretty good throughout the night. Maybe Simone is done with her crib and needs to hit the ol’ mattress on the floor. Of course, this could lead to her racing down the hall all night and refusing to go to bed. Most likely it will.
I think a more sophisticated regiment is in order. We’ve been reasonably good with routines so far. Bathtime, snack, teeth-brushing, stories, and then bed. But our routines end when she doesn’t go to sleep. We’re erratic and inconsistent, and sometimes not on the same page. It has to be far worse for a mother to hear her own kid calling her upstairs. Must pull at something deep and instinctual.
It’s gotta be a hard-nose approach–for our sanity as well as Simone’s. If she calls for us, we go in ONCE, tuck her in, make sure she’s comfy. No talking other than a shush or “sleepy time” comment. Then we leave. And she bawls and howls and rages. But she’ll fall asleep too…eventually.
That’s what I think, anyway. This only works when we’re at home and there are little disruptions. We’ve had a lot of visitors this summer, which has been great and exciting. But it’s also been shit for keeping a routine. Gotta be done now. Earplugs ready.
We need our evenings back.
And if anyone asks if we’re having another kid, I have a large, tread-worn object for you to insert into the orifice of your choosing.