All I Need is Sleep

For some time now, Bun has been giving me some difficulties at bed time. She is already, at 2, quite the little staller. Monkey tries to stall too, but her heart isn’t really in it. She takes “no” extraordinarily well at bed time. Most of the time.

Bun lists all the things she has to do at bedtime:

“Watch tee-vee?” We’ve already watched our 1/2-hour-before-bed-time show.
“Bush teef, mommy? Bush teef?” Of course.
“Tak-a-baf?” This regardless of whether or not she has already had a bath.
“Read book. Harwy, No Roses.” That’s No Roses for Harry, second only to Harry by the Sea in our household.
“I poopy, Mommy” or just “Change di-per, Mommy”. Poopy or not, I must change her. She accepts no substitutes.
“Rock-a-bye?” or “Song, mommy.”

If she’s really desperate, she tells me, “I hungy, mama. I firsty.” She does not like to hear “no, it’s time for bed.”

Then once she’s in bed, she’ll start crying about 5 minutes after I leave the room. I suspect she’s scared of the dark, and she’s scared of shadows, so I usually leave her crib-side light on. (I know, I know, it’s time for a big girl bed. We’ve just been so very busy.)

But in the past two weeks, it’s gotten worse. She’s been waking up in the middle of the night crying and crying. She won’t settle down until I go into her and rock her a little bit. Or, worse, she’ll wake up around 4 a.m., and be convinced it’s time to get up and go downstairs.

Three nights ago, she woke up screaming at 1 a.m. She screamed for an hour despite my attempts to soothe and rock her. She truly seemed terrified and kept looking around her room as if she didn’t know where she was.

Finally DearDR took her, and walked outside with her. It was like hitting the off switch. Of course, when he brought her back to bed, she wanted nothing to do with her crib, and so they slept together in the guest bed.

Two nights ago she woke up twice, once at 11:30 p.m. (I think — I was a little groggy) and the next time a 4 a.m. At 4 a.m., I took her downstairs, but I didn’t put any lights on; I showed her that everyone was still in bed and it was still dark. When I sat on the couch, she cuddled right up like she was going to doze off. So I brought her in bed with us; it worked out okay then, but I don’t want to make it a nightly thing.

I know we went through a similar phase with Monkey, but she was older, and a night light solved it. Bun can’t seem to tell me what is wrong; it shouldn’t be teething (she’s got ’em all), and she just had an ear recheck that revealed no new ear infection — hallelujah. When I ask if anything hurts, she cries out, “No!” And cries some more.

I do not know what to do for Bun. It seems she’s having nightmares, and I’m not sure it we can prevent that. Up until now, she has been such a good sleeper. It’s not horrendous, relatively, but I hit a wall around 2 or 3 p.m. at work, and being up past 10 p.m. is a real struggle. (I know I should go to bed earlier, but it just doesn’t happen if i want to keep my house in relative order, post and/or plurk, plus have a smidgen of “just-me” time with a book and a glass of wine. And watch Lost on Wednesdays. And then there are green bean nights… Oh, you know.) Suggestions are more than welcome!

This morning takes the cake. After wreaking havoc on DearDR’s sleep most of the night (he tried to settle with her in the guest bed again), she came in to our room where I was sleeping at 4:50 a.m.; after 10 minutes of kicking and stealing my blankets, I took her downstairs, gated her in the living room, and turned on the Backyardigans. Then I went back up to bed.

At 6 a.m., she came back upstairs, climbed into bed with me and fell asleep. She was still sleeping when I left at 7 a.m. She’s trying to kill us. Or, at least, drive us insane.

I’m tired, yo.