Sunday, April 7, 2013

Over the Hump.. or Not

We're on day three now of cranky elder toddler (due to insufficient sleep from staying up past ten and waking shortly after six) and cranky younger toddler (due to a nasty cold/drainage problems from teething). For Michael, there's not much I can do but try to keep up with his drippy nose and offer lots of cuddles. For Abby, Tom and I both have been madly strategizing over how to streamline Abby's disastrous new bedtime routine.

This afternoon, after a somewhat-later-than-usual lunch, nap time went absolutely splendidly. Tom put her down in her bed, left the room, and we crossed our fingers. She stayed in bed, and was asleep within minutes.

I had high hopes for this evening, especially after Abby and Michael both got nice and tired out running around our backyard, the neighbors' front yard...

... and even the neighbors' front porch (no worries, they were chatting with us in our driveway at the time).

Alas, Michael was harder than usual to put down (I blame it on teething pain and generally feeling cruddy), and though things seemed to start off well with Abby, I'm still waiting to see how they play out, in the end.

I led her upstairs a little after eight. This was a bit later than her usual bedtime because Tom and I elected to wait until Michael was solidly asleep so that she would not be distracted by his outbursts of crying and Tom's trips up and down the stairs to comfort him at increasing intervals.

I hoped this would work in my favor, however, because it would leave her extra-tired. Unfortunately, it also allowed her time to get interested in other things downstairs, and it was initially difficult to get her to go up the stairs willingly. In fact, she waited until I turned my back to confer with Tom about whether I should wait a few more minutes (Michael had begun crying again) to start up on her own, and I had to swiftly follow, reminding her to take the stairs quietly (Michael had ceased crying nearly as soon as he'd begun).

I tucked her in, and told her I would wait for just a minute and then leave. She lay still in the dark for the time that I sat there (which wasn't long). Then I got up, kissed her on the cheek, told her that I loved her but that I was going to leave now, that she was a big girl and I knew that she could fall asleep if she tried. I heard her whimper as I closed the door, but she did not cry, and I continued down to the living room where I kept my eyes glued to the monitor for the next few minutes.

For awhile, she hardly moved. Then I saw her shifting positions, and eventually, singing. It was all good, though, I reasoned, so long as she stayed in her bed. And she did, for a good hour. Unfortunately around 9:30, she still had not fallen asleep, and decided that it was time to turn on the light and try the door. She was unable to open it, because I had Tom turn the knob (which has a lock on it) around yesterday to a) prevent her accidentally locking herself in and b) allow us to keep her from running out into the hallway and slamming the door behind, and risking waking her brother.

She did not seem upset by the fact that she could not get out; rather, she found something else to do somewhere in the room. Unfortunately, having only one camera installed, there is much of the room that I am blind to, and I could not see her whereabouts. For perhaps five minutes, Tom and I debated about whether we should go up, until we heard a worrisome amount of noise coming from her room.

When I got upstairs, I discovered that she had figured out how to open the drawers built into the wall, even though they are still missing knobs. From one of them, she had pulled out four mismatched socks, and placed one on each of her feet and hands. I stripped her of the socks, closed the drawer, put her back in bed and reminded her that at night, we must go to sleep.

"I don't want to!" she whined. "Don't want to go to sleep right now!"

I explained that she needed to sleep so that she would not be tired tomorrow, tucked her in, kissed her again, turned off the light, and shut the door.

For about a minute, she cried, and I felt like crying, myself. But I returned to my blogging, and as I write these last few sentences, I think I can finally safely declare her asleep.

Once again, after ten, but at least she (mostly) did it on her own this time. Could we finally be over the worst of this agonizing sleep-training?

Still no chance of catching those last two episodes of the Walking Dead, though. Tom's dozing form on the loveseat across the room confirms that much...