Monday, November 2, 2009

We Should Rent Him Out To NASA

I might have mentioned before that Elan is a problematic sleeper. At this point, after more than 2.5 years of sleep training, he often goes through good spells of sleeping through the night. He never wakes up at what Mikhail and I would have considered in our B.C. (before-child) life to be a reasonable hour. But let's not get me started on that right now.

Elan has a clock in his head. And it is a very reliable one. It knows, for instance, exactly what time to awaken to really piss off Mama (that would be anytime before 6 a.m., the time I have somewhat kind of a little bit made peace with). When we travel across time zones, he shows an eerie ability to almost instantly adjust to the new time. For instance, he might "sleep in" till 7 a.m. local time the first morning back east, but after that he's back to his usual wake-up time sometime around 6, even though that's actually 3 in the morning back home.

Mikhail and I joke about how we should rent him out to NASA, in case all the clocks in the entire world ever go blank at the same time. We could just put Elan to bed and then wait until he wakes up in the morning. BAM! Instant reliable time-keeping.

For a while, we tried to counter the permanent early setting on Elan's internal alarm clock with an external alarm clock. We figured we could capitalize on his love for numbers. It worked for a while. There followed days of blessed sleeping-in until 6:20 a.m.! That's a whole twenty minutes past six, people! After a few weeks, he started to think that if he just screamed loud enough, the clock would change. At that point I threw the clock out the window (not literally, but I would have liked to).

Lately Elan has been creeping his wake-up time ever earlier, until 5:45 a.m. We've been kind of skating along with this one, not wanting yet ANOTHER round of screaming in the darkness. It's easier, in the moment, to just bring him into bed and try to sleep another few minutes. Not that that actually works though - long gone are the days when he would snuggle in and sleep with us.

He's been getting up occasionally in the night too, like last night at midnight, at the exact moment that Mikhail had finally settled into a deep and restful sleep. Thankfully he settles down fairly easily in the night, but not in the wee hours of the morning.

(And YES, we've tried putting him to bed later, and NO it does not work. NOT EVER.)

It is amazing, knowing what I do about my son's internal clock, that I could be blind-sided by his response to the time change as I have been. I was actually looking forward to the end of Daylight Savings Time because I figured I would feel more awake in the morning if it were light sometime in the two hours after I awoke. However. The small and difficult one has gotten up at 4:45 a.m. the last two mornings. And he is completely resistant to going back to sleep. This morning, I was treated to 45 minutes of screaming, the first 15 at a pitch loud enough to wake birds sleeping in trees in yards across the street. And finally when I gave him a bottle and put him back in his crib, he did quiet down for a half-hour, but I am pretty sure he didn't go back to sleep. And then at 6:30, he tried again. Now can I get up? I'll be really charming and cute. Except after being up for nearly two hours when it's just getting light outside, charming and cute don't really register in my brain. All I am aware of is ugly, ugly thoughts that go something like where can I stick this kid so I can go back to sleep? Maybe inside the washing machine...

And that is why Mikhail was woken at 6:30 on his birthday and told: Take. The. Child. Now.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

And now the small and impossible one is not napping. This wouldn't be so bad if he were not acting like a pile of exhausted toddler before going into his crib for naptime. But he was, cause HE'S BEEN UP SINCE 4:45 IN THE MORNING. He's in there calling out Mama five thousand times. And I'm in here trying to pretend like I can't hear him. And trying to pretend like it's not making me crazy. Oh, and look - I'm failing. I score an F in pretending my kid is not pushing every button I possess.

Mikhail said last night that there's probably no way to get him back on track without a lot of screaming. So it looks like it's time to bring the neighbors a bouquet of earplugs. It might be an ugly one.

Now I have a new realization about the end of Daylight Savings Time. I am not for it. Can't we just go back to the mornings being pitch-black until 7 a.m.? That wasn't so bad, really.

P.S. In case you work for CPS, I was kidding about the washing machine. It's a joke. The dryer is really much more pleasant.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Welker-TollaNovember 3, 2009 at 8:35 PM

    I commiserate completely! Ronan was a 5am kid for a long time and then had night terrors for about a year! He dropped his nap a little before his third birthday. Then Margo sleeps a MAX of 20 min. for a nap, and has done so since she was 1 year old (freakish, eh?) Everyone tries to give advice and you try EVERYTHING but nothing works. So I'm with ya sista'. Hang in there. The only good news is that probobly (ok, hopefully) when Elan gets used to fazing out his nap he'll sleep longer at night. Good luck! And don't forget that 2 hours of TV in the early morning is ok ;)
    p.s. I HATE people who's 4 year old still nap 2 hours a day and then sleep from 8pm to 7sm. Oh, they're all around us :(