Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sleep

Sleep... where art thou?

It all stopped when Evan was about 2 1/2. Halloween was the beginning of the end of peaceful nights. He became scared of everything, and it hasn't stopped yet. He spent many months of the 2nd pregnancy sleeping on our most uncomfortable hardwood floor, including with his head under the cradle when Colby was born. He even got gently kicked a few nights of those 2 am feedings. He didn't care. Last year, Halloween, Fire Safety and Drug Awareness week all happened at the same time. Before it was done, I told our doc that he needed to medicate one of us, as we were both up for an hour or so several times every night, scared, unable to go back to sleep, afraid of everything. We had many talks about the house burning down, us dying in the fire, him having to get Colby out and breaking the window, who would take care of them, that yes, Uncle Ed would bring them back to our town to visit family and friends, and he would remember to call g'ma and she would pick them up from the cornfield airstrip - a whole spiraling story that he fixated on. A few days ago, he walked into our bedroom while Tom was watching CSI and caught maybe 3 minutes of it. The last 2 nights, we are back to taking forever (literally, over an hour with him laying in bed in the dark, before I handed it over to Tom) to fall asleep because he is scared. Tom was in the living room, just outside of their bedroom door, and had to go to the bathroom. Evan thought Tom had left him and gone to bed. He burst out crying, terrified, with huge alligator tears. Yes, we did everything wrong as parents according to Spock and T. Berry Brazleton, and almost 7 years later, we are still paying for it. I nursed him to sleep for a year, held and rocked him until I couldn't move his 50 lb bootie from the glider to his bed, and am doing it still with Colby. He's got a sippie of water, flashlight, stuffed dog, sound machine with birds chirping all night long (his sound preference), the ceiling fan humming, and his brother in their room together. Last year we even tried several weeks of Benadryl on school nights. Didn't help. I'm sure he won't be waking up when he's 16 wanting to crawl into our bed (some high school girl maybe...), but I'd like to sleep several nights in a row before then, without an elbow or knee in my back. All those things I thought were awful before I had children - the things I swore my kids would never do - an adult sleeping in the basement and 2 kids and an adult in a king size bed really doesn't sound so bad at this point in my life. Co-bedding is an evolutionary mechanism. If we can't procreate, there is no competition for the existing children.

My whine for the day. Should have taken a nap instead of cleaning the gutters, but there were trees growing from the gutters on the garage. Maybe we'll all sleep better tonight.

1 comment:

celticmystyc said...

Marcy...that's sleep anxiety..ANXIETY...I would have never believed a kid his age (or Sarah's) could suffer from any form of anxiety but..Suprise!
For poor Evan (including you and Tom), an over active imagination doesn't help AND I know I'm not around him enough to fairly say this..but manipulation. That kid has his daddies, mommies and granddaddies strong will... I hope the Dr. diagnoses him correctly and finds him the right sleeping aid. And I feel your sleeplessness, really I do.

In December we go back to the Dr. to address Sarah's sleeplessness..in the meantime, we LOVE Bath & Body's aromatherapy lavendar/chamomile bath wash and massage oil. When it's back in inventory, we'll be getting more linen spray too. Anything to invoke calm sleepiness. Maybe a "Worry Bag" might help E. A poker chip, ticket or whatever represents his worry or fear. Put it in the "Be Gone" box or bag and remove it completely from the room. Have him "throw" it "out" if that helps soothe him..

Good luck and sweet dreams...