Tuesday, January 03, 2017

As midnight nears and shadows creep/Come into my sleep

You know I love my daughter.

I love her more than rainbows and chocolate and sunshine and sprinkles. We play this game regularly. What do we love each other more than?


I love her and her brother more than anything they can name. Anything imaginable.

But I want her the hell out of my bed.

I have thought about it, and counting bad sleep while pregnant, and the fact that India was up every two hours for at least her first year of life but in my recollection it was more like two, then if you add all my nights of good sleep together, I've had maybe one week of solid sleep in the last five years.

No wonder I am so tired and haggard and crabby. All the time.

Every night our little dollop of delight comes in sometime between midnight and 2:00 am.

You'll be awakened from a sound sleep with "thump thump thump thump thump" and the thud of a small body reaching the bed. She clambers up, and crawls up  the middle of the bed and into the covers.

And then it begins.

It would be one thing if she just went to sleep and didn't move a whole lot. I could live with that.

I'm not saying you always get kicked in the head or whacked with a sleep-heavy arm, but it does happen with terrible regularity. And she likes to sleep with one leg in, one leg on top of the covers. So your covers are constantly being tugged.

India has the middle of the bed. Prime real estate. But she wants to be right up against you. Nick has his claim pretty firmly staked, so I tend to wind up on edge of the bed.

She mashes against me. So I scoot. And she scoots. And inch by inch, we creep towards the edge. I awake fully when there is nary an inch ahead, just air. Hello, Charybdis!

During the day, it's different. I am super huggy. I touch people's arms when I'm talking to them. I hold hands. My daughter climbs up on me all the time.

But sleep? NO TOUCHING. This is my side, that is your side. I love you very much goodnight, see you in the morning.

If I go sleep in her bed, she turns her attention to Nick. So there is no real sleep. Last night I went to her bed at 2:00 am and then at 4:00 she came down and woke me up to find her water.

I nearly wept.

We have tried a sticker chart. Five stickers and India got to pick her treat! McDonalds! Frozen yogurt! A trip to the Diner! A pony! Our first born!

Anything! Dear child, anything! Just let us sleep!

We had five nights of staying in bed, like until about 5:00 am. Or coming to our bed but then agreeing to stay in her bed when Nick took her back.

This, for us, totally counts.

But then she was done. She'd accomplished it. Five was enough.

It turns out that there's nothing worth more to her than sleeping with us. Stickers for treats? Feh!

Jordan can be bribed encouraged with Pokemon and Lego. And he's always been a great sleeper. And he's like me--if he gets scared and comes to our bed, he stays an hour and then he's done. He wants his space.

India doesn't have things that she's into for bribery. And even the proffer of outings she loves aren't enough.

For a while we put a cute little foam mattress next to the bed. She could sleep in our room, but not our bed. She had her own pillow and my Gramma Lillian's rainbow afghan as her special blankie.

She called it her cozy bed.

Her cozy bed worked all night like twice. And then, then she enjoyed her cozy bed until one or two in the morning, and then crawled in our bed.

She says she's scared. This is what she says every time. No matter how cozy and safe she will agree that her bed is.

You cannot argue with scared. True or not, you don't want your kid to think that you are unconcerned about their fears.

(Even if it is up against my fear that I will never sleep again.)

We are old and tired and desperate.

So if you have any suggestions or resources we are begging open to them.


  1. I'm writing this here so I don't get to judged on FB. Have you considered Melatonin? It might be something to research and or talk with a pediatrician about. I do think she's just in the habit but maybe it could reset her waking and then eventually her body would stay asleep on it's own. Just a thought. I wish I had an easy answer. Kids that don't sleep seem to be so smart and on top of things, but oh the tiredness is, well, torture.

    1. The thing is, she falls asleep in her bed, and then she falls right back asleep once she comes down to our bed. She's just all over the place. I do think you're right that it's a habit. A habit we have to help her break. Tonight it begins...

  2. My daughter just needs me to be in her room so that she can fall asleep. I lie on the couch, she's in the bed. I leave when she falls asleep. I'm fine with this. (not to scare you, but she's 11)

    As for actually climbing in the bed, I think the only thing to do is walk her back, immediately, every time. And no negotiating, talking, etc. Walk back, put child in bed, tuck, kiss, gone. With any luck, she'll get sick of this in a week or so and will just stay in her bed because she's not getting what she wants. And warn her. Starting X, this is going to be how it is, kiddo.

    Good luck! Between my kid and the zoo in our house, I haven't slept a full night in a decade!

    1. She falls asleep in her room, sometimes with me, sometimes without me. I used to have to lie there until she was asleep, but I don't anymore.

      I think this is exactly what we are going to do. Walk her back, put her in bed, that's it. I had a talk with her tonight about how we were going to help her stay in her own bed by bringing her back if she comes to our bed.

      Thanks! And a decade...I'm in awe of your great attitude!

  3. D was up every night for about two years after going into a big bed (after being a pretty good sleeper in the cot. We ended up putting the old cot mattress on the floor next to us. It worked a treat - he knew it was the floor, or back to his bed.

    1. I'd be so happy if she wanted to sleep on the mattress on the floor. I'm happy to have her in our room, just not our bed. Or if it only happened once in a while, that would be cool. But every night is killing me!

  4. we have 2 mattresses together on the floor, so the kids can sleep there with us but there is a LOT of space :) I also tell my son to stay on his pillow, and put a body pillow between us which helps a bit. I was so scared of the dark as a child and honestly still kind of am, so I would never make a scared child sleep all alone.

    1. When Nick is gone, I have to admit I am very glad to have her in our bed. I'm a little afraid of the dark as well. I don't know that she is. She doesn't say she's scared of the dark. Just that she got scared. If there were room to have body pillows between her and me, and then her and Nick, that could work. Except she'd also have to have her own blanket. I guess we'd each need our own blanket. It would rapidly get very complicated...

  5. Tough love time. 99% of the time as moms we put our child(ren)'s needs first. This is a time to put YOU first. Mama needs sleep. Alone sleep. India has your bed, you have yours. She knows she's the boss on this one. I have a stubborn kid too, and I know when I waiver, I'm done for. I give you permission to put your needs first this one time :)

    1. India has HER bed. (this mama is tired too)

    2. Thanks! I knew what you meant. And it is true, India has my bed, and she has hers. :) Last night she didn't come to our room, and I thought, wow! One conversation! No. She went to my mom's bed. So, that's...different.


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