Sleepless nights

21 May

Right now I’m tempted to fill this entire page with expletives.

I’m not happy.

I know that many a parent suffers far more than me with sleep deprivation, but post dummy dumping and coupled with the beginning of this supposed spring time, the boy’s usually solid 12 hour sleep pattern has gone right up the swanny.

To date, if you discount the odd phase of jet lag, separation anxiety and illness, we’ve been blessed with a sleep loving hound, who, more often than not, will happily snore his way through the night from 7.30 pm until 7am.

This, I feel, is our well deserved payback, for the chaos, mayhem and mental torture he generally inflicts on us during the 12 hours he is awake.

But with the banishing of his precious diddy, the snooze spell has been broken.

It started with him waking about 30 mins to an hour earlier than usual. Not in itself a disaster. But then with the springtime sun and bird tweeting, the waking became earlier and earlier and earlier….. This morning, it was 4.30 am.

I’ve always been a zero tolerance kind of gal when it comes to premature risers (ooh er). Without a full nights sleep the boy is a crabby, whiny little so and so, and I am at best impatient. At worst I’m borderline psychotic.

So every episode of unwanted waking (that’s WAKING you filthy minded reader) is met with swift corrective action. In his younger days, we did black out blinds and controlled crying when he refused to go down to sleep. After a week of chewing my hand, rocking to and fro with my fingers in my lug holes singing “la la la I can’t hear you”, and finally some earplugs, the end result was marvellous and worked for many many months.

As he became older and mobile enough to get out of his bed, new techniques were introduced. A gate was installed, a sleep timer clock was bought and a strict regime of no talking and no attention was adhered to. These all succeeded in once again inducing an acceptable, some might say, envious, sleep pattern into the little fella, and harmony in the house was restored.

But now, as we enter a new phase of restlessness, my previous methods are failing me and I’m fresh out of new ideas.

The gate is rattled for hours on end, the sleep timer clock ignored (he accuses it of being broken because it doesn’t work at 5am!), and we are met with multiple requests to visit the toilet, bring water, or just chat about nothing in particular.

I’ve tried ignoring, explaining and shouting. I’ve attempted later bedtimes, less naps, more naps. All with no effect. As soon as a bird tweets or a mouse farts, the boy is out of his bed like a rat up a drain pipe, rattling his gate and shouting his demands.

And now we are at the end of the line. The house radiates tension, mummy and daddy are growling through gritted teeth, and the boy, impatient and grumpy through lack of shut eye is like a ticking time bomb.

So how do I break this habit? Short of chaining the kid to his bed and gaffer taping his mouth shut, I’m beaten.

I recently suggested a friend call in a sleep doctor to help with her daughter’s zzzzzless nights and early wake up calls, but I’m hoping before I call the shrink in myself, you fellow parents can rescue me with your tips.

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5 Responses to “Sleepless nights”

  1. Kay C May 21, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Is it worth bringing back the blackout curtains do you think? the birds drive me mad at 4.30 and often wake me up if windows open (usually a nuclear explosion wouldnt wake me that early) does he have the window open? know its an issue with being too hot if they are closed in summer so bit of a catch 22, but with Luca we closed windows once he was asleep and we had a (quiet!) fan on a timer switch which meant he didnt wake up too hot in summer and with closed windows the birds stopped waking him

    • ferreroroche123 May 21, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      Blackouts are still up. We have windows closed, and have used fans in the past but have to turn them off when he goes to bed. I suspect this is more change of routine/pushing his boundaries than actual discomfort.

  2. tric May 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I’m afraid I have nothing to offer you. I had three out of four early risers. My son who was my second child was the worst and I regularly began the day at 5am. I cried so much some of those early mornings. The day is so long and for me it was often winter and raining so I was inside for the whole day. In the end we decided we could do no more and accepted he did not need the sleep others seemed to need. We took it in turns to get up with him. Once we stopped fighting ourselves over it it became more tolerable as at least one of us got a full night. I can even remember going to Spain on holidays and getting up at 5 and walking around the town watching the young and singles coming home from their nights out! I feel your pain and maybe your boy will settle or you will find a way to teach him to go back to sleep, or at least leave you alone. Funnily enough looking back twenty years, some of those early morning memories I still remember with a touch of nostalgia, just me and him together! (certainly didn’t think that at the time though!)

    • ferreroroche123 May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Ah, thank you for your kind comments even if you can’t give me a magic answer. I hope you are enjoying your sleep now!

      • tric May 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

        I’ve given up on sleep. Now I am awake waiting for them to come home! 🙂

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