Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bedtime Battles

Samuel does not believe sleep is a good idea. At 17 and a half months he has every member of this family more sleep-deprived than when he was a newborn. Getting him to bed each night is generally an hour-long battle. Then, around midnight he wakes up screaming and won't fall back asleep for an hour or more, screaming bloody murder all the while.

Recently we thought we had come up with a solution when we moved Samuel's bed into his sisters' room. He seemed to go to bed much more quickly and the screaming fits were much shorter in the middle of the night. We decided that he was either afraid of being alone or afraid of the dark and celebrated the fact that we were finally going to get some sleep.

But, we apparently counted our chickens before they hatched because after a few nights of delicious sleep he reverted back to the old ways. We don't know what triggered the return to the nighttime torture, but it has us all on edge a bit lately.

Then, last night I came up with another apparent solution; let Samuel sleep with the girls in their bed. For the first time in weeks we all slept for more than 5 hours straight and we woke up feeling refreshed this morning. We decided that he just didn't like his bed and looked forward to restful nights ahead.

Then today's naptime rolled around and our "solution" theory flew out the window as Samuel waged a "no-nap battle" of epic proportions. No matter what I did he would not go down for a nap in the girls' bed. (So much for my "he must not like his bed" theory!) Finally, after I couldn't take the screaming and kicking anymore I let him go. He climbed down from the bed and started wandering around the room, drunk-like in an exhausted stupor. He did this while crying for a few moments and then suddenly plopped down on the floor and fell fast asleep! I think my mother-in-law summed it up best with her reaction to the photo of Samuel sleeping on the floor:

"What a character! He is certainly expressing his ability to control things. Stinker."

And my husband's reaction was pretty spot-on too:

"At least we don't have opinionated children."

I think I will take the opportunity while he's napping to go water my plants. They are very low-maintenance and hardly ever yell at me when they don't agree with whatever I'm doing.

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