Monday, January 7, 2013

Help

I'm seriously in need of some parental assistance.

My daughter is trying to...
A. Make me crazy.
B. Give me an ulcer.
C. Get me to whoop her.
D. All of the above.

Any of those answers are correct.

Nap times and bedtime have become a living nightmare for me. Emma has recently decided to resist sleep. Who am I kidding, Emma has ALWAYS resisted sleep. It appears to be part of her nature, but why would anyone resist something as sweet as sleep?!?! I. Just. Don't. Know.

Here's what happens... We follow the same routine we've followed for a long time. She runs around and plays rough with Daddy after dinner, then she goes potty and takes a bath. Brush teeth, put on pajamas, read two or three books, lights out, say prayer, kisses goodnight. VoilĂ . (Nap time is a shorter variation of the same routine.) Sometimes, it works like magic - The girl is quiet, stays in bed, and falls asleep. Other times she screams the second I leave the room. Or maybe she's quiet for a bit, then sneakily opens her door to give me a smile. Each time that I stick her back in bed, she says, "I don't want to go to sleep." Sometimes she screams it. In my face. If Barry puts her back to bed she screams for me, like he's chopped liver. She will fight for an hour or so, cycling between quiet, crying, fake crying, and screaming so fiercely you'd think we were beating her. All I can do is repeatedly put her back to bed. I try to be boring, stay calm, but it's hard to hold down my frustration and downright exhaustion.

The sleep battle is inconsistent, so I never really relax until she has been quiet for half an hour or so. This stress is not good for me. Yesterday, I put her down for her nap without a hitch, but bedtime was horrible. Today, nap time has been horrible. Does that mean she'll go to sleep like a pro at bedtime? I wish.

The worst part is that she doesn't pull these stunts when I'm gone. If I'm out of the house, the transition to sleep is a smooth, peaceful time. Barry suggested that I "go" somewhere at bedtime, even if it's just to sit in the car, so that he can put her to bed without the fight. I'm tempted.

The thing is, it hurts my little mommy heart. I want to be able to kiss my girl and tuck her in at night and have it be a good experience for both of us.

Sigh.

3 comments:

  1. Change nap times to Quiet times, where she's not obligated to sleep, but has to find a quiet spot in the house to do quiet activities like reading a book, coloring, etc (no tv, that's cheating). She's probably just aged out of naps. Quiet time, means that mommy and anyone else in the house gets a break in a separate room too. I have too much to say, just call me. Oh and watch this you-tube clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT2DVQPBhS8

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  2. Oh my goodness, Heather too! Just the last week or so, bedtime has become a NIGHTMARE! Maybe there's something in the water?

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  3. I am sorry your mommy heart hurts. Hearing that makes my friend heart hurt :( I think you are an amazing mom and I wish Emma wasn't giving you such a hard time. Here is an article I stumbled across: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/make-your-kids-bedtime-battle-free
    It sounds like you are doing most of these things already (of course you are, you're mommy numero uno!). Maybe all it takes is giving yourself permission to be frustrated and then it won't seem so insurmountable. Pretty soon ten years will have flown by and she'll be almost a TEENAGER. Then good luck trying to get her to do anything BUT sleep! Remember those days? Love you Sticky B!

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