Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I need an instruction manual

on how to raise these kids. I think someone could make a crapload of money by writing a manual and sending it out the door of the hospital with baby and mom. I mean, seriously, someone has to know how to do this. It is, however, most assuredly not me.

Bryn has been getting out of bed just about every night for the past month or so. And I am not talking the normal "I need a drink of water" or "there are monsters under my bed", but instead a 1:00 am "I am soooooo tired, but I can't sleep and I need you to help me sleep". Really? How the hell am I supposed to do that? Her answer is that she sleeps in our room and in our bed where she gets a blissful night of deep sleep and Aaron and I endure bruised shins and cracked ribs and maybe a total of 5 minutes of REM sleep. So the answer to that little suggestion from her is "ummmmmmm. No. Go back to bed." Let the misery commence.

Depending on the night, the above scenario occurs no less than three and sometimes more than 6 times. Each visit becomes a little more dramatic and somewhere around visit three, the hysteria grows so that there is wailing and crying and door slamming and, eventually, a total emotional meltdown. And that is just on my part. Actually, no matter how calm I remain, we are still generally up for 2 hours trying to get through it. Aaron will usually then throw the covers aside and, with bulging eyes, storm into her room and take the Nintendo DS or some other coveted item. 80% of the time that is the last time we see her. That night. The process starts all over the next night and after a full day of hearing her whine about not having (insert whatever item dad confiscated the night before), I am just that much happier to hear her padding down the hall at midnight.

I have tried rewards. I have tried punishments. I have tried reasoning and negotiating. I have tried crying. I have tried yelling. I REFUSE to let her sleep in our bed. I REFUSE to sleep in her bed. There is no reason we can't all have our own sleeping space. I just have to figure out how to make that happen.

I just need the instruction manual to tell me how to do it.


Nicole said...

Send her to camp for 2 weeks where she can learn on her own. And feel a little better about her being gone for so long because you are having blissful nights of deep sleep :)

kreed said...

Ahhhh...what a good idea! :) Actually, I am more hesitant to send her off since this has started because I hate to make it someone else's problem! But I guess the counselors are all young - they can run on 30 minutes of sleep, right?

scc said...

You could explain to her how you might not be able to let her go to camp if she can't sleep through the night. Not only would you and Daddy be worried about her safety (walking around at night in a strange place), but it might be against camp rules to be out of your bed. Calmly, but strongly, stress how it could be a real problem.

Have her brainstorm on some ideas to solve the problem, pick the best one and give it a try. Usually a kid is more likely to try a little harder when it's their own idea.

Good luck.

Debi said...

I empathize, sweetie. Truly I do. But unfortunately, I have no advice. :( Gray has battled insomnia his whole life. And here at age 9, we still fight with it. Not every single night anymore, but several times a week. But he's never even wanted to sleep in our bed with us, or anything like that. (Though I did make him sleep on our floor for a while because it was easier on me.) It's honestly that the kid just can't sleep. He's just one of those people who don't seem to need as much sleep as others. And he never has...I've never heard of a baby who slept as little as he did. And luckily, I seem to be one too...because I think it would literally kill Rich if he got as little sleep as I did because of Gray. I do wish that the sleep Gray did get would come in one solid block, however, instead of his more usual pattern of not being able to fall asleep until midnight, sleep for two hours, be awake for two hours, and then sleep for another three hours. And you know, he's really not even hard on me anymore...sometimes, when he's feeling particularly miserable, he and I will go sleep on the living room floor. But usually he won't even come wake me up but will try to just read or draw or something until he's able to fall back asleep (of course this "mom radar" or whatever it is just keeps me awake worrying about him until he falls back asleep anyway).
So, yeah, I just babbled on ad nauseum and offered you absolutely zero usable advice. Stacy's advice above sounds pretty good to me though...do you think something like that would have an effect? And maybe tell her that if she really, really can't sleep, she can read quietly in her bed without coming to wake you guys up.
Anyway, Kara, you have my sympathy...and my best wishes that it all resolves itself very quickly!!!