March 20, 2009

Shadows Cast In Light

Haiku Friday

When my eyes fill with
the beginnings of tears, and
my breath starts to catch

I run. I grab my
favorite blanket, wrap myself
in it's warmth and sit

The air is cold out
here on our front stoop, but the
world is resting here

Screams I can't handle
replaced by the sound of cars
passing on freeway

Faint drumming from
a neighbors garage, the slow
roll of cars passing

I stare at shadows
cast in light, refocus and
try to forget the

shadows in my mind,
doubts, instincts, and fears I can't
seem to escape now

I know that I've written about this more than once lately, but honestly it's the biggest and most distressing issue going on with our kid right now. Sam is great. He doesn't throw many tantrums. He is mostly a happy kid, and we spend the majority of our days playing, running around, tickling, laughing and having fun. But at bedtime, things change. We read our stories, we put on his CD and lie down. Then Daddy or Mommy gets up to leave the room and the fight begins.

I know we are supposed to be 'training' him to go to bed on his own. I know that this is supposedly the 'right' thing to do. I know that I sleep better when he's not in our bed at night. But how can him crying and begging one of us to lie down with him for over an hour at bedtime be good for ANYONE in this family?

Okay, so it's not that bad every night. Some night he doesn't really cry much, and I only have to put him back in bed a couple of times, then he stays there and goes to sleep. But then we have a night like Wednesday where every instinct I have is telling me that this is stupid, but I am confused.

I just feel like we're not making any progress. Wednesday night he was so worked up, it was horrible. He was crying, really crying, yelling, begging. I sat out on our front stoop in the cold for an hour because I couldn't bear to be in the house listening to his cries, the sound of the door opening and closing, and Justin putting him back in bed. We've been at this for weeks, I just want to know when there's going to be a light at the end of this tunnel? It makes me wish that we hadn't switched him out of his crib. Maybe he wasn't ready. I don't know. All I know is that he was going to bed okay and sleeping all night, and now he's not.

Maybe it's because when he wakes up in the middle of the night, we sometimes let him come in our bed. My loose rule was if it was after 6 AM then Sam could come into our bed. But a couple of nights a week he's waking up too much, or being too difficult, and we let him in there. Justin thinks that's why he is having so much trouble, because we're not being consistent with his nightly wakings.

The problem is, I have enough trouble dealing with this ONCE a night, at bedtime. The idea of repeating it once or twice in the middle of the night is horrifying to me, even if after a couple of weeks of doing that it might be done forever. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and do it - maybe I became spoiled and forgot that when you have a kid you don't get to have a good night's sleep sometimes. I don't know. All I know is that at 2 in the morning I'm so tired I don't know where I'm supposed to find the strength and energy to sit there and put a 35 pound almost three year old back in his bed a bunch of times.

On the average night, he wakes up 5-10 times during the night and needs to be put back into his bed and tucked in by one of us. Last night, he might have only woken twice, but I remember he was crying one of those times. It's surprising to wake up at 8 in the morning and not have him in my room, or in my bed. Tuesday night he flipped out so bad in the middle of the night that we brought him into our bed. He was screaming and flailing in the middle of the night.

Does he have bad dreams? I don't know, how do you explain dreams to a three year old? Is he afraid of something? Or does he just really like being close to mommy and Daddy? I spend most of my days in contact with him. When we play at home he's often sitting on my lap, having my arms around him, wrestling or tickling with me. Maybe it's unreasonable to expect him to give that up when it's time for bed.

It's all a lot of questions, but I don't have answers.

To read more Friday Haiku's click here.


Jill said...

I'm sorry you guys are still having problems with bedtime. I should dig up some of my bedtime posts from when Kylie was about the same age and a little bit older. Awful. And that's WITH me laying with her.

But here we are, age 6 1/2, and it now takes her about 30 minutes to fall asleep (though tonight was longer). Philip and I trade nights so I don't have to lay with her every night. Both girls are still in our room; Becca in our bed, Kylie in a twin bed pushed up to ours. Do I wish I could just kiss her goodnight and walk out? Most nights, yes. Do I think I'll ever regret laying with her at night? Nope.

I know your feelings about your down time in the evening. I feel the same way. I hate dozing off in there when I'm laying with her. And when I do come out of the room, I'm often very tired and don't do much of anything. But it's a lot better now that Philip and I trade off nights and because it's only taking her about 30 minutes to fall asleep. Believe me, I remember the hour plus nights I would lay next to her, willing her to just give up and fall asleep. Thankfully we were blessed with a second child who doesn't fight sleep.

I hope you and Justin can figure out something that works for you guys. But know that it's ok to admit defeat sometimes and backtrack to an easier way of doing things (i.e. laying with Sam or some similar compromise). It may wear you out but it doesn't have to be forever. Sometimes you just have to regroup, take a break, and then start over.

Good luck! I'll be wishing for quiet night and sweet dreams for the three of you.

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, all commiseration and sympathy for your plight.
We've been there too. It does get better, promise.
Best of luck with it all while you get to better, though...

Tink *~*~* said...

Lack of sleep is the worst - you have my full sympathy.

Tink *~*~*

Now Playing at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* :
Retail Therapy Skies Over Fort Myers, Florida

Cathy said...

beautiful haiku--I totally feel your pain. Our kids have gone through cycles where they are good about going to bed and then bad about it--they get up and run around and we have to keep going up there to get them to settle down. It's not fun--hang in there.

Mama Wheaton said...

Letting a child cry it out is one of the hardest things a parent will haev to go through. I hated sitting outside the door while they cried. We were fortunate it only lasted a few days. If it would ease your mind, talk to your peditrican(sp), to rule out any physical or mental conditions that might be causing the problem?

Gayle said...

Beautifully written. I noticed you said we're supposed to be "training". I sense your hesistancy...I hate that word. Kids aren't dogs. Don't worry about the experts and all that jazz. Do what works for you. Maybe he could sleep on the floor by your bed? Will he grow up and be a freak at 30 for it? I doubt it. And who is the expert that said he should be sleeping in his own room? Everyone is different. Out of my five children only two went to bed alone. One I laid with because I wanted to, one I had to for a long time and one we just read a few stories and snuggle. Maybe I'm selfish...I like my sleep. Makes me a better Mommy. I can't have a kid kicking me in bed, but if the whole family wanted to sleep in my room that would be fine! :) (2 of the 5 do sleep in our room). Good luck.

The Laundress said...

I'm sorry about night time. It's hard. I know.

I send sweet endings tonight.