Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dear Sweet Little Child, GO TO SLEEP! Please?

My darling Mathilda has given me trouble when it comes to sleep since the day she was born. Literally. I remember being up all night in the hospital sobbing because she wouldn't eat and she wouldn't stop crying and go to sleep. Finally at about 19 months she started regularly sleeping in her crib and more or less staying in there for the night. Oh what sweet relief it was.

Well that was rather short-lived. For the past few weeks she has had toddler insomnia. Plus she has woken up during the night a few times now with what I'm pretty sure is night terrors. She basically just screams bloody murder, doesn't want to be held, doesn't want anyone to touch her, just screams and screams until I can't even believe she has any voice left. I've been trying to withhold naps in an effort to get her back on track, but what happens is she gets so tired and ends up falling asleep at like 6 or 7 p.m. And then wakes up a couple hours later like she just slept all night. Today I was finally naps! I got her all ready for bed, read to her, and tucked her in a little after 8 p.m. And then she cried and cried and cried until finally I gave in and brought her downstairs. She is now, as it is approaching midnight, still awake and laying on the couch watching Diego. Yes we are still doing the T.V. free month, but Mathilda was offered diplomatic immunity right from the get-go, for the sake of everyone else's sanity. She doesn't watch much television, but sometimes you just have to calm a 2-year down, at any cost. 

I've also tried earlier naps. I've tried letting her sleep with Bethany. I've tried bringing her into bed with me. I've tried putting her to bed earlier, and putting her to bed later. I've tried just rubbing her back and singing to her until she falls asleep, which sometimes works. But it usually doesn't last for long. She doesn't want to be held or cuddled. She just will not sleep.

A friend just posted a link on his Facebook page to a audio recording of Samuel Jackson reading a certain "children's" book about the frustrations of getting little ones to sleep at night. Maybe you've heard of it. I'm not going to link to it because it has some rather, ummm... strong language and I try to keep this blog squeaky clean. It's a children's book strictly for the eyes and ears of adults. Let's just say I love my children with all of my heart, no matter what. But sometimes...sometimes I may or may not be thinking, fleetingly thinking mind you, some of the sentiments in this book. Sorry for being sketchy about the title of the book, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about and are dying to know, and you aren't terribly offended by profanity, leave a comment below and I'll email you a link.

Does anyone have any wonderful advice for me? I will not drug my 2-year old, a la Benadryl kiddie cocktail, just a heads-up. But what wonderful tips that work for you? Or how to deal with the night terrors? Thanks! And I sincerely hope your children are sound asleep right now.

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