I am sure that if you google “sleep issues”, my family is in the first few hits. I know I
write whine about this often, but goodness, why can’t my family learn to sleep? I think I need the Sleep Whisperer or something. I have, most definitely, failed miserably in the “teach your kids how to sleep” department.
Exhibit A: Jake
Jake has never been a huge sleeper. It’s well-known by family and friends, alike, that Jake is, ahem, never tired. He has only slept about 9 hours at night since the time he was 4. In those days, thankfully, he did make up for some of his sleep with long naps. The naps disappeared sometime after he turned 5. Currently, he goes to bed around 8, lights out at 8:30, and is up, I kid you not, by 5 am. Every.Single.Day. (Ok, that’s exaggerating…there are a few days here and there, typically on weekends, when he’ll sleep until 6. But those are few and far between.) I would also like to state, for the record, that we can put Jake to bed at 7 pm, 9 pm, or 11 pm (after a neighborhood bonfire), and he’ll STILL FREAKIN’ WAKE UP AT 5 am.
This week, Jake has decided that 4:30 am is the perfect wake-up time. Trouble is, he has to announce his awakeness (yes, I’m making that a word) to Hubz and me. He’s almost 9, and I could really give a hmm-hmm about the fact that he has used the bathroom. On the days that he doesn’t announce his bathroom visits, he climbs into bed and stares us in the face until we wake up in a panic because “I always feel like someone is watching me.” I am currently trying to find some good blackout drapes to put over his wood blinds…and we’ve even discussed buying one of those light-up alarm clocks that will give him a visual clue as to an acceptable “emerging from your room” time.
Exhibit B: Tate
Many of my sleepless rants are centered around Mr. Tater. Love him. Hate his sleep issues. This child has never really slept consistently through the night. Ever. In six years and 2 months. We’ve had bouts of good sleep..but then something, such as a cold, gets in the way and we’re back to square one. I am going to bring this ridiculousness up with his ABA team at our next meeting. I think we need to work on it. We have a fairly established routine, so I know it can’t be a “lack of routine” thing. I have read it is “typical” for 6 year olds to fight bedtime. Tate takes it to a new level. We can escort him back to his room 2, 3, 5, 23 times a night, if necessary. And he’s LOUD. Like wake-his-brothers-from-deep-sleep-loud.
The past 3 nights, it has taken either me or Hubz to lay down with him to get him to sleep. Sunday night it took 20 minutes for him to calm down. Monday night it took 30. Last night took an hour and 15 minutes. For serious! We invested in a fabulous weighted blanket…which does seem to help keep him asleep…except that with the emergence of summer weather, well, he doesn’t want it on his body. He doesn’t tolerate the spray melatonin our psychiatrist recommended. We can’t try any capsules of melatonin, because they are all too high-powered for our little man. Last night, on top of taking for-freaking-ever to fall asleep, he was up at 1 and at 2 am shouting that he wanted to go home. (I reassured him that he was, indeed, at home.) He was up for good at 4:30…when he heard Jake’s door open and the toilet flush.
Exhibit C: Cole
Cole is our best sleeper. Even so, he only sleeps 9 or so hours at night. We put him to bed with his brothers, but he’ll play, quietly, in his room for an hour or two. Luckily, he still takes decent naps to make up for the sleep he should be getting at night. This morning he woke up, screaming. He was convinced that there was a chipmunk in his room. His bedroom is on the second floor of our house. I would be freaked even more than he is if that is true. Hubz did some recon work up there while I took Jake to his bus stop this morning, and couldn’t find anything. Cole made me check it out again before his nap this afternoon. Thankfully I didn’t find anything either, or we’d be in a hotel tonight. I’m sure it was just something he dreamed or imagined…and yet, those are some crafty little critters…I wouldn’t put it past them to manage a tunnel into our upstairs…it may be time to call an exterminator!
Exhibit D: Jake and Tate one-two punch
As you can imagine, the mid-night wakings from Exhibit B, coupled with the butt-crack-of-dawn wakings of Exhibit A are leaving Hubz and I at a massive sleep loss. I am surviving the day thanks to some coffee, tea, and a diet coke. I’m drinking ice-cold water, which keeps me going, too. But seriously, what does a woman have to do to get some sleep around here???
In the meantime, I struggle not to doze off while the therapists are here with Tate…and play the lyrics of the old Barenaked Ladies Song in my mind over and over…
Who needs sleep? Well, you’re never gonna get it.
Who needs sleep? Tell me what’s that for?
Who needs sleep? Be happy what you’re getting..there’s a guy who’s been awake since the Second World War.