Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to sleep

Yesterday morning, Genea was up and ready to go at 5 am. Of course, she gets in huge trouble for this and she knows it. Both of the girls are supposed to wait until 7 am to get up. Genea in particular has had a terrible time. They have a clock in their room and were taught how to use it so there were no more excuses.

I cannot believe I have children like this. I could sleep the rest of my life! I love to sleep and always have. Even as a kid. Seriously this is payback for something I did to my parents. Take your pick, the list is long.

Anyway, The Husband and I had gone through every possible consequence for her and nothing worked for more than a week. We let her watch tv. We set up doll parties for her. Books in bed. Get up and play in your room. Get up and play in the living room. Get up and watch a movie. Eat.

Finally after a year of this, we decided to drop a ton of pull ups on Genea. Over a year of everyone in this house being disturbed every morning and unable to get adequate sleep, well it made us kind of cranky. The thing that got us sleep was the consequence of spending the day in her room on restriction for a full day of boredom therapy. Oh precious rest, it had done the trick for about 6 months and she only relapsed a few weeks ago. I posted on the ordeal as she was firing back up, and mostly people agreed with the strategy or offered supportive words. One person had a different idea and commented ...
"Is she after control, or attention or is she really scared and upset and frightened to be awake when everyone else is asleep? I'd try and figure that out, I guess. I was always fearful to be the only one awake".
Well folks you don't have to hit ME over the head with a sour sippy cup(anymore than 200 or so times). Even though I thought we had exhausted all of the 'kinder' sorts of ways to handle these early morning calls, that comment stuck in my head.
Fast forward to Beyond Consequences seminar, where the foundation of the paradigm is that all behavior originates as either love or fear. Again, no hurry, just knock me over with a diaper champ and stuff 2 pacifiers in my ears. La la la. So you take a behavior as an example and break it down until it either lands on one side or the other, love or fear. Then you can figure out the motivation and build back up from that perspective. Well anyway, that is my assessment of the process.
So what kind of enormous jackassed buttheaded parents does this poor kid have?
Oh man. Sigh. Heavy sigh.
So how do we make her feel more safe and secure. We talked with her, and empathized and asked her opinions and validated her fears. We are going to try something a little weird. When she wakes up and if she feels scared she is going to get up and come in my room and look at us so she will know we are still there. I don't know if it will work. It's a bit strange. And I am still using the boredom treatment until I find another thing that works better if she wakes us up. I am not beating myself up about it either. We have had such an unbelieveable excess of chaos to work through, well, if a few things went left at the ditch, it could have been worse.

So, to change the subject, I didn't see any famous people in Los Angeles. I don't know how I managed to pull that off since there seems to be a billion of 'em that multiply like wire closet hangers, especially with the Academy Awards going on. Now, I invited George Clooney and Brad Pitt over for an after hours party. I had decided that I would be willing to delay my sleep for both since they are both on my List of 5*. Since I was in the area and all. Sad to say, I was devastated neither of them showed. Jerks. They never even called!

*List of 5 is list of the 5 famous people you could ahem, pause, your marriage for if the opportunity were to present itself. It is from a sitcom called '' Friends''.


  1. Just thinking here....could be dangerous...
    Could you possibly record something in your voice for her to play when she wakes up?

    Put some of your "love" in a toy that she can hold onto if she needs you. (In front of her put a toy up to your head and "pour" some of your love into it.)

    Put a list beside her bed that you've written telling her you love her and she's safe, etc.

    Just pulling things out of thin air here....

    I've never seen anyone famous in LA but NY has always been lucky for me.

    P.S. I'm so glad you're back.

  2. We had this problem for a long time with Alyssa.

    What worked for us:

    When Alyssa got up in the morning, she came into our room to tell us she was awake. If she wanted to cuddle, she could climb in bed with us but she had to go back to sleep. Otherwise, she could go back to her room and watch tv or read. I must admit that she did this for close to 2 years. But, she now is comfortable staying in her room and watching tv or entertaining herself until we get up.

    Once in a while, she still crawls in with us, but she always goes back to sleep.

    Good Luck!

  3. Hey, they are on my list too! Maybe they'll make it to my Awesomeness Conference.

    Well, being sleep deprived for a year, you don't always think clearly. I'm not one to care about why so much, although I probably should, but I haven't had a full nights sleep since well, I don't remember.

  4. Toby has HUGE ginormous fear issues and he doesn't even have RAD. For the first six months, he would crawl into bed with us when he got scared...then I moved him to a sleeping bag on the floor and he did that for a few months. Then we moved his bed into the room that connects to ours. He has only slept in his own room for about four months now (thus the peeing) so we are trying the route you hit on, he gets up and gets my husband (cause Lord knows I need my sleep) to ease his fears of being alone at night. It works! Hope it works for you.

    But all that crap isn't why I am commenting.

    JB and I decided that 5 was not enough for our lists. 10 is our magic number. Yet, now, after watching Rock of Love I am concerned about the sluttiness of rock stars which would greatly diminish my list...

  5. Blogger ate my comment, why does it do that!

    Anyway what I wanted to say was that we had the same issues with Fudge, just looking for assurance mostly. It got old fast and he always woke me at 2 am, just as I hit REM. I got frustrated ( not the best solution) and told him to stop, he did for awhile and then started again. Our best solution so far came from Lisa, we put him to bed with a MP3 player of guided imagery read by Dad, it works like a charm and he hasn\t gotten up us in the night since.

  6. Voiced over toy, that is a great idea!
    We did let her come in our bed with us, she could even come in and watch PBS. She also shares a room with her sister. But it was never enough, she still had the meltdowns and at 5 am, I am not feeling the love. Even for Brad and George.
    I am hoping the difference will be that we confronted the issue of fear, acknowledged it, and let her know we understood she was scared and why. I think it helps now she is older too and can process a conversation. Although she can't read much yet so we could do a picture list maybe. An mp3 is a good idea, we could give her headphones so she wouldn't wake Teena up with it.
    Torina rock of love bus is beyond vile. You could not pay me a million dollars (although I'd be willing to discuss it lol) to touch Bret Michaels with a vacuum coated in Lysol coated in bleach. 10 is hilarious, I had a hard time with 5! They change a LOT. Like every time Brad tries to talk, PING, off the list. Quiet down boy, you have all that money for being pretty!
    Annie I hear Prince is hanging around Vegas these days and he is a permenant number on my list. I am assuming I am headlining your festival. (JK)

  7. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. You are funny! The Hair Post Cards are a trip huh?

    I loved reading about your children and God Bless you for being there for this precious child. You are an angel!


  8. List of 5. You can tell I never watch TV. I only have one right now, and I'd never find him, because I think he is in jail for forging Egyptian antiquities. I saw him on a British documentary and just went mad - "That is my dream man!" Both my older son and daughter thought that was such a hoot...and they bring him from time to time....but sadly, I'll never find him.

  9. hmmm, actually he can only wait for you in jail. No escaping. Funny!

  10. Can you tell I'm reading backwards? (Found you from Annie's blog, btw.) I won't keep commenting on old posts, but just wondered if having a baby monitor that was in your room with the receiver in hers would help. Then she'd hear you sleeping and be able to go back to sleep. It's worth a try if this is still a struggle.

  11. Hi Kate! Thanks for dropping in, and I love comments. They go to my inbox so I always know if one came in no matter how old the post is. I hadn't thought of a reverse monitoring thing. We do have them still. Temporarily the problem has stopped, but I have learned to always wait to see for sure.


I love comments! If you agree or disagree, comment away! However if you are a butthead about it, you may be excised.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...