Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Some Things Never Change -- by Cara

When I read Jamie’s blog a couple days ago, I was taken back to the days when my son would fight going to sleep any chance he’d get. Back in the days of toddlerhood, nothing, and I mean practically nothing would cajole this boy to sleep. To make matters worse, he was a vomiter, so we couldn’t just let him cry for very long because my husband and I would be cleaning up from his display of irritation.

He also didn’t sleep through the night until he was almost 3. He’d wake up for water or just want to know someone was around, and I took over the “night shift.” Almost 3 years of non-consecutive sleep. To this day, I don’t know how I did it.

Actually I do know how I managed to catch up on my sleep. We signed him up for full-day Daycare. He had energy to burn at the Daycare and I would spend my day taking naps, which I continue to do now, years later.

I don’t know what kind of magic sleeping dust this Daycare sprinkled over my son, but they got him to take naps. During the week. And only during the week. On the weekends when we knew our son was tired, we would lay down in his room and try to get him to sleep, thinking if he saw us going to sleep, he would follow suit. Didn’t happen. We even invested in a thick exercise mat that either my husband or I would lie down on with him, trying to get him to sleep. That didn’t work either. He would end up climbing all over us, finding things to do. It could take up to and sometimes more than 2 hours to try to get this child to sleep!

I read every book available on how to get your child to sleep, tried every technique. I even called one author to see if I could make an appointment with her and pay $250 to have her help me get my son to sleep! Alas, she was booked 8 months ahead. I had to find a way on my own.

We eventually resorted to taking him on errands on the weekend and while he slept in the car, either my husband or I would sit in the car with him and just close our eyes.

My son is now 6. He rarely falls asleep before 10 pm and if he does, it is usually a clue that an illness is brewing. And he wakes up around 6 am. He is a true 8 hour sleeper, which means that I continue to be chronically sleep deprived because I always wait until he is asleep before I go to sleep. And I usually have at least a half hour of things that need to be done before I settle into the covers.

So, although he is growing and maturing every day, he remains the 8 hour sleeper. And I remain the chronic napper. I am so jealous of Moms who say, “Oh, it’s 7 pm...we have to get home so that Kevin can get his bath and be in bed by 8.” I laugh to myself, thinking, you don’t realize how wonderful it is that your child goes to sleep so early! But in my home, it just will never be.

What age do kids typically go away to sleep-away camp??

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Blogger Upper West Side Mom said...

My son was the same way, never slept and stopped napping at 20 months. When I was pregnant with number 2 he was 3 years old and sleeping 8 hours a night. I was totally going to loose it. One night out of sheer desperation we let him sleep in our room. He slept 10 hours that night! I don't know if you have tried having him sleep with you but it changed my life!

5:31 AM  

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