Saturday, 2 March 2013

dreaming of sleep

Good morning.  We've had a beautiful few days, and with all the excitement of having Katzuma join our family yesterday I forgot to bring the washing in from the new whirligig, and it's been raining this morning.  Grump.  Hey ho, it's not Spring yet.

It's good that we've had such beautiful days because that really lifts the spirits, and at the moment they really need lifting. Why? Because I am sooooooo tired. Since we moved to seaside town the little girl has been waking up at night. Not every night, but often. Kenny says the boy did this as well, but (probably because of some evolutionary function that ensures you keep your children) while I know we had professional assistance to sleep train him, I don't remember him doing quite the thing that the little girl is doing.

Evidence of sleeping ability!
We thought maybe she was just unsettled, so we gave it a bit of time. We thought maybe she was just feeling lonely, and she'd get used to it (this is the first time she's had her own room), so we gave her a bit of time. We wondered if she was at it. So we attempted to Ferberise her (please see below for more explanation). But she's not waking up every night, and she's not at it, like the boy was (every night for at least two hours for more than two years). What she is is genuinely agitated. Desperate to be asleep, but scared of being asleep too. It seems to me that it's night terrors, accompanied by extreme 2 year old pernickitiness (the blanket has slipped slightly to the left!). This is accompanied by daytime terrible twos. She's running off, she's trashing people's stuff, she's demanding attention, she's point blank refusing to use a potty. All the stuff that requires a kind, gentle mummy, to help the child understand and accept their boundaries, in an atmosphere of love.

The little girl doesn't have a kind, gentle mummy. She has me. I'm a tired, crabbit mummy. That is not fun for anyone. So what to do? How can we get her to stay asleep? You can't give booze to a baby, so has anyone got any better ideas?

What am I talking about? Ferberise? I mean sleep training, where you go back to quietly calm the child at 5, 10, 15, then 20 minute intervals, for as long as it takes. It's incredibly stressful for everybody (and for me it's easiest to do while also undertaking a massive craft project to get deeply involved in at 2am for a couple of hours for a few days), but it does work. Sometimes.  The sometimes bit makes me think it's a bit like the pigeons who do little dances to try to make food come, when it's set up to come at random intervals.  The dance doesn't actually do anything, but it makes the pigeon feel a bit more in control.