Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh, Beloved Sleep, how I miss thee.

Disclaimer: Our boy is one of the most laid back, cautious, easy, loving kids ever. I swear he's totally chill and knows his limits. It makes me nervous when we have friend's kids over and they're launching off couches/ottomans. He's never tried anything like that and, while he is a total busy body, he has never really tried anything crazy. He eats anything I put in front of him. While broccoli, carrots, or any other veggie might not be his pick over a cookie, he realizes you have to eat them if you want the cookie. I realize I got lucky with this one. However, before my readers go rolling their eyes and thinking I'm saying my boy is some kind of genius, I have to be perfectly honest. His ease of parenting skills go out the friggin window from 8pm-5am. That being said, I could use any help I could get...

We have a fairly solid bedtime ritual. His Daddy bathes him around 7, after dinner. We brush teeth, jammy and lotion up, pick out two books and typically "read them in Mommy/Daddy bed", then I've gotten bad about putting him in his toddler bed and playing with my Nook on his floor for the ten minutes it takes him to go to sleep. He's really not hard to put down...it's after this where our problems begin. We are usually crashing by 9 or soon after because we haven't slept through the night but a handful of times in the last month or so. Anyway, we crash and then sometime between 11pm-3am, he wakes up screaming. It sounds like a nightmare scream. Starts with, "No! NO!" Then a frantic, "MOMMY! DADDY!" We go in there to comfort him and I can usually pat him to sleep within seconds. However, this may happen a couple times a night. He requests going to sleep in Mommy/Daddy bed but we quit giving into this months ago. Following our OB's suggestion, we made a pallet on our bedroom floor that he can lay on if he can't sleep (which seemed like taking steps backward but we were desperate) but all he does is lie there and say, "Mommy, lay down here with me" all night. Sometimes, he just starts crying and gets out of his bed and comes into our room. We lead him back to his room where he sobs a few minutes then goes back to sleep. Usually within minutes, he's up screaming in his bed again. We are desperate for advice. Last night he told me, "my bed scared me." I kid you not, I almost got on Pottery Barn Kids that very moment (3 am) and purchased the big boy bed we've had our eye on. He also told me this morning that the reason he woke up was that he had a bad dream. When I inquired what a toddler could possibly think was a "bad dream" he stated matter-of-factly, "There was a ladybug outside my room."
"Lady bugs aren't scary, Baby," was my reply.
He looked at me in that parents just don't understand look and said, "Mom, it was a BIG ladybug." Okey Dokey.
The other thing is, even if he just wakes up a couple times and goes right back to sleep, I'm not the type of person that can immediately go back to sleep. I'll stare at the ceiling for an hour, despite how tired I am.

Other info:
He takes a two hour nap in the middle of the day. We've tried going without the nap considering that maybe he was getting too much sleep but those were the nights he's had night terrors because he was overly tired. If you've ever experienced night terrors with your child, you know what I mean when I say we avoid ANYthing that will cause THAT again. Had I not known exactly what was happening the first time he did it, I swear Homet would have rushed him to the ER.

Please, oh please, friends of mine with advice, chime in. I don't care if you've got 15 kids or none, just give me some suggestions. We are in survival mode in The Watts camp and are thanking our lucky stars for grandparents (the only nights we've slept solid have been those when we've desperately handed him off. It takes a village, I swear.)