Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No Gin, Just Tears

I'm sure you all remember this only partially-in-jest comment about Cubby breaking me by refusing to go to bed, reducing me to a sobbing pile of gin-sodden misery.

He refused to go to bed last night.

The first couple of escapes were dealt with relatively quietly.  As per the conventional wisdom, I brought him back to bed very calmly and told him it was time to sleep.  The third time . . . he lost it.  As soon as he saw me he collapsed on the floor, screaming he didn't want to sleep.  Attempts to bring him back to his bed and leave the room resulted in escalating hysteria.  I tried reasoning with him. ("It's dark. We sleep when it's dark.")  I tried distracting him.  ("Can you hear the crickets?  They're singing you a lullaby.  Listen to the crickets and go to sleep.")  I tried telling him a story.

When he tearfully said, "You want Mommy to stay awhile?" I did.  I stood there by his bed in the dark, answering every time he asked, "I'm right here?" with, "I'm right here.  Go to sleep."  After a few minutes, I started backing up to the door.  Every time I moved, I would hear, "I'm right here?" and would answer.  Eventually I left the room and closed the door, still answering whenever he inquired if I was there.

And there were tears seeping out of my eyes the entire time.

They were tears of exhaustion, because I am just so, so tired.  They were tears of frustration, because there's really not a goddamn thing I can do if he decides not to go to sleep.  They were tears of sadness, because it's quite clear that Cubby is feeling pretty vulnerable these days.  And they were tears of self-pity, because . . . well, because I was feeling pretty pitiful.

I finally got to bed around 10 p.m. and lay there for half an hour or so, telling myself that maybe this would be the night Charlie would sleep for four hours in a row.  Maybe the fact that Cubby didn't fall asleep until 9 p.m. would mean he would sleep until the unheard-of hour of 7 a.m.

And then Charlie was up every two hours and Cubby was jumping on our bed at 5:10 a.m.  I got up, got us all dressed, drank a lot of coffee, and reminded myself that this, too, shall pass.  I'm not broken.  Just waiting and coping.  And still hoping that tonight will be better.  Because it's all I can do.


Anonymous said...

Hugs. Some times mommy's need days off too....they just don't always get them.
IF they both sleep(nap) during the nap too. Dishes and food and all the other crap can wait. Beth

Anonymous said...

Just bent...not broken. Someday, many many years from now you and Cubby will share a chuckle about the year of no sleep.

edh said...

Oh, this part is just so bleeding hard, but it DOES pass, and it does change. I used to have to struggle not to take it personally (because sleep deprivation does wonders for my rational thinking ability, apparently), but you've got Cubby pegged; it's all about feeling secure. Hang in there, and remember that coffee can be a good friend in need...Gin, too.

tu mere said...

I'm hoping that Cubby will still let A. take him over in the morning so that, if Charlie decides to not be on Cubby's schedule, you can get a little bit of quiet time alone and rest - even if it's not sleeping.

Extreme tiredness does take away patience and reason, even I can remember that. You did extraordinarily well keeping your calm. Tears just can't be helped sometime, although it's a good thing I wasn't there because then there would have been two adults crying, and that's never good.

Anonymous said...

My brother and sister-in-law used to tell their daughter: "You're all right. It's time to sleep. Mommy and Daddy love you," and then they would promptly leave the room. They came back every five minutes if she was still fussing and repeated this. It took four nights but then worked. But now that I think of it, she was confined to a crib. Sympathies.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I feel for you! I have been exactly where you are and it can just break you completely down. It is a phase. Cubby will grow past it, Charlie will sleep 4 hrs in a row soon, and you will get some rest. Like Dory from "Finding Nemo" says... "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

In the meantime, start brewing some more coffee ; ) Hang in there!

Marcy in Pittsburgh

Phoo-D said...

So hard. Big hugs all around. I'm already dreading transitioning Anna into a bed. Fight for an hour to yourself sometime in the next few days. You need it! Hang in there.

Ann said...

Oh, how I remember those days. You have my deepest sympathy. Just do the best you can, and eventually this hellish part of parenting that no one prepares you for will pass.

Also, I echo the advice to nap when they do if you can. I did not do that, and I'd like to go back and dope slap myself.

Take care of yourself the best you can and know that you are not alone.

Tree Huggin Momma said...

Too soon this and the toddler days will pass. Enjoy every moment. Right now he just wants to know that you are there for him, now and always. Give him that. I know you are tired, but it comes with the job. Moms get through. Kids grow up and you look back and remember fondly even these nights. You are not alone, most parents have gone through this or something similar. You are correct, you cannot make him sleep. What if he just doesn't need a ton of sleep? I ask because this was and still is the case with my oldest. I go to bed before she does and we get up at the same time. She is in a better mood when she stays up late and gets up early that if we try to tell her she has to sleep at 10:00 pm because that is the arbitrary time we have set (she is 14 now), but as a toddler no matter when she went to sleep she was a rise and SHINE at 5:00am on the dot.

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

I'm not that touchy-feely but I am sending you a giant hug across the miles.

Because I remember being so exhausted after the tot was born that I was hallucinating. I just remember that time. And it was heinous.


sheila said...

sleep deprivation is torture.... take care of yourself

jive turkey said...

OOOOF. Stay strong, lady. We went through a 'screaming bloody murder for 60+ minutes at bedtime' phase in April, and it ended up leaving as mysteriously (and quickly) as it arrived, but while it was going on IT WAS AWWWWFUUULLLL. Poor Cubby. POOR YOU.

FinnyKnits said...

Dude. I'd be Irishing up that coffee pretty damn quick.

You're an oak.