Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Princess and the Pea

As parents, we cannot wait for our infants to sleep through the night. I remember clearly one day, when Moe was around 11 months old, Moe slept through the night for the first night ever. I awoke with a start and ran to her room, just to check on her. It was an oddity for her not to wake up hungry. In the weeks that followed, I remember felling like I awoke fro a fog. I was clear headed and well-rested. And it scared me to realize just how exhausted I had been in the past - how I was living in a fog.

Our children grow and we expect to be able to continue to get a good night's sleep. And then you make the transition from crib to toddler or twin bed. You give your child a new found mobility. After the novelty of being able to get out as they please (assuming of course, that they weren't already vaulting over said crib rails anyway) they again sleeping through the night.

Then comes potty training and night training. They sometimes awake during the night to use the potty. Older children may quietly walk to the bathroom, do what they need to and head back to bed. As a parent, you awake when you hear them, just because that's what you do. Children like Moe, will wake, walk past the door to the bathroom, stand silently next to you so you awake with a start OMGthere'ssomeoneinmyroom. Once your heart stops beating out of your chest, she'll tell you she needs to use the bathroom, before walking out, using the bathroom and going back to bed. Eventually, that too will pass.

This to shall pass. It's a mantra for parents.

Then you may get a puppy. A puppy, who too, needs to go out during the night. But said puppy is amazing, only waking the first two nights to go out and thus sleeping through the night after that. At a mere 8 weeks old or so.

Which brings us to the princess and the pea. Current nights find Moe crawling into my bed - either the end of the bed or lodging herself on her father's side (if he's still awake studying) or wedging herself between us. We'll nudge her if she's awake and send her back to her room. If asleep, I'll pick her up and carry her, long arms trailing by my side, back to her room.* More often then not, she'll reappear back in our room hours later. She can't sleep. Her bed is not comfortable she tells us. But our bed is just fine. We've moved the stuffed animals off where she sleeps. All that remains is her American Doll Girl as she calls it. She's got warm blankets and soft blankets. A comfy pillow. A warm room. There's no reason she shouldn't be comfortable.

I don't know what else to do. The only plausible explanation I can think of is she shares a room with Meenie. Meenie likes a nightlight. Moe often complains she doesn't want the light on. But we don't have enough bedrooms right now. In the not so distant future (we hope) we will.

But this cannot go on. I'm tired. It makes me cranky. It makes me forget. I've had more then one person on more then one occasion ask me if I'm feeling well. I've laid down to take a quick nap while the kids are in school, only to awake and find out I overslept by 45 minutes.

I'm hoping, this to shall pass. Sooner then later. Maybe with the spring will come a need not to be snuggling next to a warm body.

*Some nights, I'll drag a blanket in a curl up next to her in her room. With hope that Husband will get sleep and be well rested. He needs his sleep. He needs to do well in school and pass his tests. Her bed, as I've found is plenty comfortable.


Stimey said...

Sleep issues are the worst, because they affect every part of your day in such a basic way. Quinn came to sleep with us for a while. We just ignored him and shoved over. Eventually he stopped coming to the room and he stays in his own bed. The sleep was worth more to me than the victory.

I'm not suggesting that this is your solution, but it was definitely the path of least resistance for us.

Suburb Sierra said...

That's tough - and we've been pretty hard on drawing the line with this one. Anyone under 5 feet who makes their way into our bed is turned around and brought back to their bed.

We found if we let them crawl in and then moved them when they were asleep, they kept coming back. There are definitely snuggle moments at our house, but at night, at bed time, it's everyone in their place :)