Go Tell The Spartans

November 30, 2009

I give up. I surrender. The battle has been fought. It has been lost.

We have tried everything, pretty much, to get Jasper to stay asleep in his own bed. Which is to say, we have tried everything within the limits of our physical and emotional endurance. We made a final push this weekend, a cry-it-out effort to hold the pass of our bedroom door and defend the peace of our bed, but to no avail. The boy found his way around our defenses and, like Leonidas at Thermopylae, we held our ground, we tried to hold our ground, but our forces were no match for his cries and his pleas and his Dadda Dadda Dadda Dadda MAMA MAMA MUM! And so we fell, and so we give up.

The problem is, we’re no Spartans. We’re sleep-deprived, exurban parents with neither the strength nor the will to withstand our children’s cries, and Jasper can cry with all the force of ten thousand Persian Immortals. We are outmatched. We are outmatched. We were outmatched, and so we cede the battle. The pass is his, our bed is his, until such time as he retreats of his own accord.

I suppose that we could abandon our bed and leave it to him, empty. We could retreat to safer ground and rally our strength and then, like Themistocles, meet him in another battle. But we are not warriors, and he is not our enemy and – notwithstanding anything that any philosopher has ever said about the nature of children – he is not out to conquer us, not really. He is not out to defeat us. He does not bear arms; he wants arms. Ours.

So, our arms he shall have, for however long he needs them. And I will find ways to find my sleep under his regime, and I will remind myself that this, too, shall pass, and that when it does I will not look back on it as a battle lost, but as a laying down of arms, a giving over of arms, a wrapping-up-in-arms, a bringing-together-of-arms that I will one day miss. Terribly.

This, then, is not failure, not defeat, not self-sacrifice, but a kind of surrender, a kind of necessary surrender that does  not lack courage or spirit or strength, the kind that simply recognizes that maybe it wasn’t so important to hold the pass in the first place.

darius jib

Go tell the Spartans. And then maybe put on another pot of coffee, and pour me a half-dozen cups, straight.

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    { 84 comments }

    radmama November 30, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Interestingly, the Spartans were big on having kids sleep alone in the dark. Helped shape “ideal” soldiers.

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    So, I would have gotten more sleep if I really were a Spartan, but I’d spend a lot more time naked.

    radmama November 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    They weren’t a happy people.
    fwiw, none of my three have ever slept on their own happily before 3.

    Joy November 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    2.5 was the magic age for all three of my frequently waking, constantly snuggling hooligans. Enjoy the nights of snuggles, all too soon they won’t even let you kiss them anymore…

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    They had tough women, though. Tough women don’t sleep, I suppose.

    julie@MommySaidWhat? November 30, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    That’s one lucky kid. Bad mother, my ass.
    .-= julie@MommySaidWhat?´s last blog ..Minus 1 =-.

    Saisquoi November 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    E-mailing this to my husband, as this sums up our current “sleeping” situation perfectly.

    Anyone who can resist the call of Dadadada, Mamamama (or in our house, Abba Abba Abba, Mama Mama Mama) is made of sterner stuff than me. And, I keep telling my husband, someday our sweet little girl will think she’s too big to come into the bed and snuggle up between Mama and Abba…although I secretly hope that day never comes in the same way I not-so-secretly yearn for the day she sleeps through the night…
    .-= Saisquoi´s last blog ..Sweet Pea for my Sweet Pea =-.

    Heather November 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    This problem was solved with my little sister when my mom said, “Shut your damn mouth and go to sleep. If I come back in here it will be to paddle your ass.”

    I guess I had a bad mother. ;)

    Good luck. Not having children of my own, I can’t really sympathize. But I do understand the value of sleep. I’d probably cave in your situation as well. haha.

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Well, that day may yet come. Like, when he’s big enough to knock me out of the bed, and, also, to understand the words ‘paddle your ass.’

    ;)

    Jackie December 2, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Sorry, I had to laugh at this! Are we related? I think we share a mother.

    Michelle November 30, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    My oldest went through a phase where he simply could not sleep alone. I tried EVERYTHING to no avail. Finally, exhausted and not giving a crap about who slept where as long as everyone was sleeping, I moved into his bedroom and slept there with him for MONTHS.

    I don’t know how or why it changed but one night he simply said to me, “I can sleep all by myself tonight.” And he has done so ever since.

    So….if the time comes with my youngest that he also demands company as he dreams I will not even try to fight it.

    Sweet dreams!

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    And this is EXACTLY what I am waiting for.

    Bevin November 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Love it. Especially: “…he is not our enemy and – notwithstanding anything that any philosopher has ever said about the nature of children – he is not out to conquer us, not really. He is not out to defeat us. He does not bear arms; he wants arms. Ours.” Beautifully said.
    .-= Bevin´s last blog ..Week 11. Movin’ along. =-.

    Amber December 1, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    This made me tear up a little bit. We’ve layed down our arms as well. Sleep training was a battle I wasn’t ready to fight. In our bed it is (and now our bed is on the floor so she doesn’t fall out).
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Use Your Words =-.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    solidarity, sister ;)

    Ali November 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I was thinking about your situation in bed last night and wondered if you’re not going about this all the wrong way.

    From a couple of posts down he really doesn’t sound like he has sleep problems. He goes down fine so it doesn’t seem like a sleep thing. Have you thought it could be seperation anxiety? I mean, if you think about the situation and transfer it to the daytime it sounds like seperation anxiety right?

    What about trying seperation anxiety techniques instead sleep problem techniques?

    Or, failing that, a friend of mine went for a work out, got really sweaty and then had a nap with her kids favourite teddy so it smelled just like mummy. Then she put the crib next to her bed so she could hold the little one’s hand but wasn’t being used as a stuffed toy. The smell from the teddy coupled with being really close to mummy helped.

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    That’s a really, really interesting suggestion. Need to think on that…

    julie@MommySaidWhat? November 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Please share the separation anxiety techniques. Maybe that’s what’s going on in my house, too.
    .-= julie@MommySaidWhat?´s last blog ..Minus 1 =-.

    Jen November 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I would love to know as well, sounds exactly like our situation.

    Danielle November 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    As an senior English teacher, I love love love the Greek mythology references! As a new mom, I am predicting a similiar battle in a few years with our little Helen of Troy. Uhhggg.

    Juli November 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    With a non-sleeping toddler myself (it’s been 14 months now since I’ve had a solid night’s sleep) I can completely understand this – I also 100% agree with your conclusion! Especially this part resonated with me: “But we are not warriors, and he is not our enemy and…he is not out to conquer us, not really. He is not out to defeat us. He does not bear arms; he wants arms. Ours.” That’s what took me awhile to understand too, but once I did, it all really clicked with me. It never felt right to me to just leave him there to figure out something as difficult as falling asleep all by himself, little guy, and we never did. But I never understood why I felt that way, when it was all driving me crazy, why do this to myself? And then I understood exactly what you wrote. It takes me at least an hour to fall asleep at night too. Poor guy, he got my sleep genes… :)
    .-= Juli´s last blog ..SoCal =-.

    Her Bad Mother November 30, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I think there’s something to the whole ‘genes’ thing – I’m a terrible sleeper. And if I knew there was a plush king bed somewhere in the house, I might yell to be let into it, too.

    Amber December 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    I’m a shitty sleeper too, I guess mine took after me in that way. My mother tells me it took a couple of years before I would go down without being tricked.
    .-= Amber´s last blog ..Use Your Words =-.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    My mom drugged me. (was the seventies, so.)

    Linda November 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    We came to a similar surrender. My daughter never ever slept on her own in her crib — not as a newborn, not as an older baby, not for a nap, not for part of the night, not for 10 minutes.
    We ceded “defeat” and often grumbled about sleeping with a thrashing baby and toddler. But I did see the pleasure in it, too. I used to work the evening shift in a newsroom and when I’d come home after midnight, after the busyness of drop-dead deadline time, and crawl in bed beside her sleeping warm body, I’d take a moment to appreciate the feel and smell of her little self, knowing that it’d come to an end at some point and that I’d miss it, even when I’d find myself hanging off the edge of the bed.
    She began sleeping in her own bed at age four. She was ready then, and so there was no battling, no strategizing, no begging. When she does, occasionally, call out at 3 a.m. for some comfort or a drink of water, I slip into her bed beside her, doze a bit fitfully once again and savour “the old days.”
    It’s a sweet surrender, I’d say. Sleep well.

    Annika November 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    We’re going through this AGAIN with our 3.5 year old. His bed is right next to ours, but he won’t stay in it. I am eight months pregnant. I AM IN HELL. I am mulling over the suggestion that it could be separation anxiety, because in our case it very well could be. (Though someone please tell me why it is ME he wants in the night when I am with him all day. Gah.) Obviously I have no helpful suggestions since I’m in the trenches too, but I have loads of sympathy.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I’ll take sympathy ;)

    Tina December 8, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    He wants you at night, BECAUSE he has you all day. Your his. You aren’t even your own person in his little mind. He knows how to deal with other people being separate from him, but absolutely not you. Unfortunately, I don’t have any tips for the sleeping or lack there of… I only did what I felt I could live with. (In all areas of parenting)

    tracey December 20, 2009 at 1:04 am

    my girls are 2.5 and 13m my 2 year old was in are bed for over a year shes now in her own bed .if you can stand the crying for a night theres a book called sleep ladys guide to a good night sleep and it does work as for the 13m old from the day she came home shes been in her own bed and has sleep through the night sence she was 3m old..they still have there nights were they fight for a few min but then she’ll go to sleep trust me when the new babys here you’ll need any sleep you can get. our 2year old still loves us and gives lots of hugs so dont feel bad for winning the battle because it’s going to be a much bigger war

    Janet November 30, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    My friend has one child who still ends up in her bed 80% of the time. She is seven. It’s a king size bed so she and her husband often don’t even notice the little one has climbed in until the morning. She says she loves waking up to her daughter’s sweet little face. It’s all in your perspective, I think. If you can abide with him being in your bed, then I don’t see a problem. Like you said, it will pass. It might be months, it might be years, but he won’t sleep with you forever.
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..No Words =-.

    Megan November 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I agree that it could be separation anxiety. We are going through the same thing right now with our 9 month old. She will not go to sleep on her own, although she has in the past. She must be in my arms or lying beside me in bed (or on the couch for naps) to go to sleep. We put her in her crib at night and she sleeps there for 2-3 hours, and then she is in our bed for the rest of the night. We have tried putting her back in her crib, but we are not strong enough to let her CIO for longer than a minute or two. So in our bed she will stay for as long as she needs to, because like you and everyone else has already said, there will come a day when she will no longer want to cuddle with mama and daddy, and I am going to get all the snuggling I can while it lasts.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways =-.

    Marsha N November 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Sorry about the sleep deprivation. It is horrible beyond belief, ie know that, been there.

    Not sure you can separate out sleep issues from separation anxiety totally. We choose to co-sleep w our now 3 yr old (and still do), in part because we didn’t like idea of teaching her to be separate so soon.

    We love sleeping together and sometimes we like it a little less. She can be clingy some nights and we lose “our” space. But we have no timeline for when she’ll get her own room, we’ll just see. As soon as she wants it, she’ll have it and if we want it sooner, then we’ll start trying to sell it to her.

    So we found all kinds of way to get by in the meantime. I used to sleep next to her, but as soon as nursing and the teeny tiny “I need mom” issues were gone, my partner got the job. If she’s clingy, he has to deal w it (only fair given my night nursing duties for almost 2 yrs). Also, we found diff times to sleep in: I went to bed earlier for a huge chunk of time, or would nap too during naptime. AND she has her own bed, even if it is right up against ours, so we have space and we push her back into her bed regularly.

    Sending happy sleep thoughts for whenever you can get to the happy sleep moments.

    sleepless too November 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Having a non-sleeping kid makes you crazy. We’ve tried everything short of tranquilizer darts on our 2 year old, who has not slept a whole night alone in his entire life.

    Except of course at daycare where he voluntarily goes to his cot and sleeps like a log. Which makes us even crazier because we know he’s capable and just doesn’t do it for us.

    After awhile you just don’t care who wins as long as everyone sleeps.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    tranq darts. hmm…

    Karen November 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Recently read an actually helpful parenting book on strong willed children (lots live here!) and authors said,”Your kids aren’t out to get YOU, they are out to get your energy,” – by which they meant the jazz of the energy exchange between us, not actually getting ME or my physical strength. It helped me so much, just that one little phrase, understand what my kids are up to when their behavior seems to make no sense, it also makes sense in this light – they are seeking an energy (insert love, attention, etc) exchange between us. Now, I have that info I can do more to improve the quality of those exchanges (at least some of them, I hope, if I remember this handy little phrase at the moments when I need it most.)
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..7 Quick Takes Friday (vol 6) =-.

    Juliette November 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Ohh I also loved your bit about “he wants arms”. This post brought tears to my eyes. I know you’ve had a rough go with Jasper not being an “easy” co-sleeper so I don’t envy what you might have to endure for as long as it takes him to out-grow this phase, but I would have made the same decision :)

    daysgoby November 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Wow, beautifully put. I counter, however, with a hope you’ll keep looking (maybe just not actively trying? I understand the need for a break) for an answer. Because holy hell, lady, you give all and are as much as you can be to your two, but when you are scraping the absolute bottom of the barrel, what is left for them? And what is left of you?

    xo
    .-= daysgoby´s last blog ..george foreman’s sweater =-.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    I’m still looking. I’m just not fighting. Because, yes.

    :)

    Sarah B November 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Our 17 month old son has been our worst sleeper by far, prefering only my bewb and nothing else as a sleep aid. I have gone to the “crazy place” more often than I’d like to admit in the last several months and have been trying to come up with gentle solutions to getting more sleep for all of us. We decided the only way forward was to let him cry it out. I/we have been reluctant to do this for many reasons (he’s our last, I love nursing and don’t want to lose it, can’t stand the sad baby wails). I had been putting it off and we were all going crazier and crazier. Finally, I was out of the house thru bedtime and my husband bit the bullet and let him CIO. It’s two weeks later and he’s only waking once at night and is putting himself back to sleep.

    (I won’t be offended if you hate us a little for sleeping thru the night; I admit to hating everyone who told me their kids slept thru the night at whatever age via whatever means, just a bit when we were sleep deprived.)

    Anyway, those first few nights I hid at bedtime with my headphones on, listening to music. Now that he’s sleeping thru the night, the grass is green again, the sky is blue and my life is better. I was losing my grip, my marriage was suffering. I can and have been able to relate to what you have been going thru. I am not suggesting that you try letting Jasper cry it out again. I just really appreciate your honesty and wanted to share my sympathy.

    My sleep motto has always been “go with what works for your family” … co-sleeping with my toddler who thought I was his 24hr all you can eat breastraunt wasn’t working for us (BTW, we’re still nursing). I just didn’t have the stamina to keep going the way we were going or to get him sleeping thru the night on his own the gentle way.

    Thanks for letting me share and I hope this makes sense.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I don’t hate anyone whose kids sleep through the night. Far from it: it gives me HOPE.

    Eliza November 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Aloha –

    My brother has adopted two boys from the edge of Siberia. He will lay down with both boys so that they can go to sleep with him around them (his wife does participate some times). Sometimes he sings to them. An aside – I prodded our parents to give him singing lessons when his voice changed, and voila! a singing dad. . . and singing boys. The elder now performs in children’s choirs.

    Would like to ask you to consider Flower Remedies to help with the anxieties. I am sure you can find a practitioner – Bach flower or full naturopathic.

    Malama pono – take care.
    .-= Eliza´s last blog ..Sun enters Capricorn aka Winter Solstice 2009 =-.

    Catherine November 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Separation anxiety is a label I’m not so comfortable with, in that it seems to imply a disorder, something “wrong” with your child. If that is so, than it’s a disorder shared by Every Single Child since the beginning of time. Which doesn’t make the problem any easier, of course. I still lie down with my 5-year-old in his bed to tell stories etc. and often end up staying until he’s asleep, because he’s so, so much happier going to sleep with a loved one’s arm around him. And who isn’t? It’s hard, though- we all deserve and need some time off the parenting gig. Particularly if we have “wiggly sleeper” kids, which probably we all do.
    Can you put a little toddler’s bed next to yours, to give him the comfort he needs but also you the space? Other than that, I have no answers, except to say I empathize with the struggle and also your solution, for now.
    .-= Catherine ´s last blog ..Reader Response =-.

    pixielation November 30, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Interestingly, I watched documentary today called “britain’s youngest sleepwalker” which was about a three year who would climb into bed with her parents every night at midnight or 1am, then keep them awake by playing – totally happy, talking, motioning with her hands, or busy doing complex things in the air. They had no idea if she was asleep or awake, but she didn’t respond to them when spoken to. These periods would go on for most of the night – 1am to 6am for example.

    During the day it was becoming obvious that she was suffering from lack of sleep. And her parents were totally wiped out.

    They monitored her in a special sleep studio to find out what was going on. Turns out, that she was technically awake during these periods, but creating a virtual world that was so much fun, she stayed there for hours.

    The show revealed that instead of putting her to bed at a normal time, they allowed her to fall asleep on the sofa with them. So they enforced a very strict bedtime and sleeping rules regime – and ensured that they put her back into her bed when she came in at 1am. Within days she suddenly slept through the whole night, and from then on everything went back to normal.

    Not suggesting in any way that your experience is to do with not setting bedtime rules or anything like that – I just found it really astonishing that a child could do this, and that the simple change of routine in the early evening could have such a huge effect on her behaviour hours and hours later.

    so my suggestion is maybe there is something you can change that almost seems unrelated to the night, but make a difference on whether he sleeps through or wakes up and wants you.
    .-= pixielation´s last blog ..Leaving, on a jet plane. Hope the food is better than last time. =-.

    Amy November 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    YES. Even when you know, intellectually, that every family is different, that every child has different needs, that every parent has different expectations on sleep (and everything else), and that whatever hell you are in now will pass, there is magic in the moment when you finally decide to LET GO. We fought the sleep battle here, too, for many, many months. The only thing that improved the situation was really and truly embracing the fact that it was temporary and, when it comes right down to it, beyond our control.

    I know you know this, but I want to say this anyway. More for the other readers, I guess. There is nothing wrong with a child waking up in the night and needing something from his parents. They expect the same patience and support from us all night long, whether they are “good” sleepers or “bad” sleepers. My daughter woke up several (or many) times a night until she was almost 3. And that’s ok. Now she sleeps soundly all night and I do too, which I am quite thankful for. And I know that the only thing that changed her sleep patterns was time.

    Madge November 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    i so feel for you. my oldest was the worst sleeper, my second not much better. i gave up on the fight too. now they are 11 and 7 and i don’t regret it at all
    .-= Madge´s last blog ..i don’t even know who i am anymore =-.

    kgirl November 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Last night, mine both slept in their own beds, all night, BOTH of them (did I say that already?) for the first time. Ever. In 4 1/2 years. May as well just make some room and wait for it to pass.

    Nancy November 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I am in the same boat. My 2.5-er is coming home to a new big boy bed tonight. One that I hope will intrigue him enough to stay in it until the sun rises over the next building. My last and only hope. Fingers crossed. Please.

    carrien (she laughs at the days) November 30, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    My almost 3yo still climbs into my bed halfway through the night to nurse until morning. Fortunately, I sleep through it. Recently she’s started screaming bloody murder when I insist on leaving the bed in the morning before she’s ready to get up. While it would be a lovely excuse to sleep in she has siblings who finally sleep through the night alone, and need their mommy in the morning.

    So I let her yell, sometimes she falls asleep again. Usually she doesn’t, and is fine in a few minutes. I never thought mornings would be so difficult. Perhaps I should look into the attachment anxiety thing.

    That was meant to be encouraging. Now I’m not so sure it was successful. er… good luck with that.

    Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire November 30, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    does he still sleep in the crib? What if you got him a toddler bed? When we put Giggles in her toddler bed and she was able to come and go from it as needed it helped out a lot. But we then had to gate the hallway so she wouldn’t explore while we were sleeping.

    Karen November 30, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    My son was in and out of our bed for years. He’s headed to college now. Based on this not at all random or scientific sample of 1, I can assure you that eventually your son will not only stay in his own room for hours at a time, he will quite possibly lock you out. Enjoy this moment in time!

    Kristen November 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    What a beautifully crafted post. I especially love the way in which you personalize one of those parenting issues that everyone seems to have an opinion on. As far as I’m concerned, sleep training is like deciding whether or not to breastfeed: everyone just has to do what works best for them. As you say, “This, then, is not failure, not defeat, not self-sacrifice, but a kind of surrender, a kind of necessary surrender that does not lack courage or spirit or strength, the kind that simply recognizes that maybe it wasn’t so important to hold the pass in the first place.” And if surrender plus a Big Gulp of coffee is what works for you, so be it.

    Thanks for this post.

    Heather @ Cool Zebras November 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I rocked all three of my kids to sleep for about the first 2 years of their lives (well, still rocking the 18-month-old) but it doesn’t bother me to do it. IF it does bother you, I do agree that it’s possibly separation anxiety. You could try giving him a shirt that you’ve slept in, or even one you’ve worn all day, to snuggle with in his crib.
    .-= Heather @ Cool Zebras´s last blog ..Random Thoughts #43 =-.

    Maureen@IslandRoar November 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I think you’re very smart. It will solve itself in its own time. Promise. My kids are 15, 18, and 22, and not a one sleeps with me. All those days and nights I was sure would never go away did.
    I just wish you could get some good sleep.
    .-= Maureen@IslandRoar´s last blog ..Canine Confession =-.

    Brigid November 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Both of my children co-slept – much longer than my husband was interested in. We got them into their own queen sized beds after leaving our bed. Neither ever took to being in crib (read: screamed like crazy at the idea of being placed in the crib at all). I lay with my younger to get him to sleep, then leave the room. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, I go to his bed and I sleep there the rest of the night. Not a perfect situation, but I’m all about the sleep. Sometimes I put a body pillow between the boy and myself and reach over with my arm to rub his back or hold his hand. Then when he is asleep I sneak out. Rinse. Rather. Repeat. He occasionally sleeps all night. But that’s usually the night my daughter has a nightmare and I end up sleeping with her. Some nights I sleep in three beds before dawn. Some mornings I wake up in my own bed and my stomach lurches because I imagine something must be wrong. We have no power over anyone’s sleep. All we can do is put them in the best possible situation for them at the time. And likely, as soon as you figure something out, it will all change.

    Stone Fox November 30, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    i can totally understand the sleep deprivation and the need for a break from sleep training your little guy. maybe something to think about is getting your pediatrician to recommend a therapist or counselor who specializes in children to help figure out what is really going on? this isn’t a criticism, more of a ‘hey, there’s a reason you wanted your bed back, and it’s still a valid reason’ kind of statement. of course, i’m assuming you wanted jasper back in his own bed to save your hair and your sanity and maybe allow you to snuggle the husband again.

    i never was a co-sleeping kind of mom, purely for selfish reasons. so, my opinion is biased in the sleep-in-your-own-bed direction.
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..Milestones =-.

    6512 and growing December 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

    This was a beautiful post.

    Maybe when he’s a little older…sticker charts.
    .-= 6512 and growing´s last blog ..Of thankfuls and medicinal weather =-.

    Sharon December 1, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Good for you for coming to peace with this on your own terms! And AWESOME picture. Hang in there. Nap.

    Bev December 1, 2009 at 2:40 am

    When my youngest (now 18) started coming into our bed, we put a pillow and a blanket on the floor and redirected him. It didn’t take long for him to come in and just get on his “pallet” on the floor. Biggest problem was that eventually, he abandoned his room and just slept on our floor every night. My husband loved it, so I got over it. When he got older, we let him pick out paint and a new bedspread. After that, he moved into his room full time. It is easy to say it will pass, but you have to be able to cope with the loss of sleep. Deprivation sucks the life and joy out of everything.

    Lorien December 1, 2009 at 3:08 am

    What a lovely, lovely post. I hope I can recall this perspective when our little guy is in the same boat (bed?) as yours.
    .-= Lorien´s last blog ..It’s always the planes that get me =-.

    Amanda December 1, 2009 at 8:58 am

    There are just some times you need to know when to pick your parenting battles. We’ve had clashes much like this in our house with our youngest, and sometimes it’s just not worth the fight when you know they’re not babies forever and the phase that is currently driving you crazy but makes them blissfully happy won’t last forever either.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Polish Mistakes – Recipe =-.

    Rhia December 1, 2009 at 9:36 am

    This may be way beyond in terms of suggestions, and maybe I missed it and you’re not nursing anymore, but at our 6 month checkup I asked my doctor about caffeine consumption, and basically the caffeine goes into the tiny ones’ systems like crazy and can actually contribute to night waking. I see some improvement if I keep it to 1.5 cups… which oh my god sucks if it’s an up every 90 minutes night, but it does get me a few nights with four and five hour stretches… so.
    .-= Rhia´s last blog ..The November that just wouldn’t stop! =-.

    Chris December 1, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I am so impressed with your ability to make this reasonable and rationale decision on so little sleep. Or should I say no sleep. While I could never have gone this long with any of our kids in our bed, to make peace with the situation, embrace it and stop fighting it may be just what does the trick. Who knows? My kids are 8, 11 and 13 and each of them prefers to sleep in their own bed or each others’ beds (yes, they are like puppies and will often sleep altogether in a big tangle of blankets). Time will continue to move on and there is no way Jasper will be a 15 yr old and still sleeping with his Mama and Dada. In the meantime, buy some stock in a coffee company.
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Worst. Marathon. Experience. Ever. =-.

    Heide December 1, 2009 at 10:19 am

    There are SO many battles with kids, you have to pick and choose. If your family can find a way to all get some sleep with that monkey in your bed, then so be it — and don’t worry about everyone else’s opinion about what’s right or healthy etc. A mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do!
    .-= Heide´s last blog ..Oompa giveaway! =-.

    Rachel December 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

    When the fact that my four year old sleeps with me is questioned, I always say: “There will be a point when he won’t sleep with his mother. And there will be a time when I just wish he’d call once in awhile.”

    He said to me recently, “I’m small and afraid of things. But you’re big and you’re not.” A way to communicate that the world is scary when you’re small and vulnerable so the safety of arms is important.

    great post.

    Kirsten December 1, 2009 at 10:53 am

    One of the most liberating things I have learned through parenting is the freedom that comes from “doing whatever works.” I will win no awards for my parenting, but I have a family that loves each other, and that is enough for me.

    With the co-sleeping thing, everytime we tried to get my son out of the bed, it was generally because we felt pressure from other people. Our bed eventually got too small, and we got tired of having sex on the living room floor or in the bathroom. When we all slept better apart, we were all happy. But until then, the family bed was what worked for us. So bottoms up on that coffee, and remember everything changes in its own time, whether you want it to or not.

    Katie December 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I had the same problem with my one year old. And we tried everything from ignoring his cries, to letting daddy go and comfort him. Nothing worked. The pediatrician even yelled at me for letting him sleep in our bed. But suddenly one day when he turned 15 months. He looked at his crib and pointed to it and I put him in there and gave him his blankie and poof he went to sleep. That night I shed some tears, It felt like I lost my cuddly little bear. From then on, he has been sleeping in his crib/bed. I guess all the forcing we did made him rebel and when we stopped battling with him, it came naturally to him.

    Kat December 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    My husband sleeps in the guest bedroom while I sleep sandwiched between my 2&4 year olds.
    Do I often wish it was me in the guest bed room, sleeping peacefully and stretching out? Absolutely.

    I’m an anthropology-junky, and sleep makes sense this way. They’re my ‘cubs,’ and they have a biological need to be ‘protected’ at night when they’re vulnerable. Is it rational? Not at all. But they do.

    pkzcass December 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I think that surrendering to this problem is the smartest thing you can do right now. You may have to invest in a king-sized bed if you don’t have one, but it might be worth it in the long run. I also thought the others’ suggestions of putting his bed up against yours was a good idea. He’s just over a year, right? He’s not a rational human being yet. He’ll get there one day, just not today. You will see one day how much you DIDN’T need to worry about this as much as you have. Keep us posted on how it works out.

    Melanie December 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Don’t feel bad. I repeat, don’t feel bad!! Dr. Sears says to “do whatever works.” My son slept in his own crib and bed for a while, but now sleeps right next to me. It’s just what he needs right now. And considering that someday, I will have to ask a zillion questions just to know what is going on in his life, I don’t think I mind a bit! ;)
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Oh, By The Way… =-.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    And Moxie from AskMoxie has said, By Any Means Necessary.

    I try to live by that. With or without sleep.

    LD December 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Have you tried letting him sleep with your daughter?
    My son sleeps really soundly, and has a big bed. I keep debating putting the baby in his bed. (she’s a toddler really – not an infant).
    However, I’m afraid of what would happen if she woke up the 5 year old.
    I keep meaning to try it though.
    I’m at the same point as you. Seriously. Whatever.
    .-= LD´s last blog ..A New Day … =-.

    Neen December 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Your 5 year old will probably do what my older sisters did when I woke them up in the night. (I slept with one or another of my sisters until I was 8) Ask if she needs to pee, call you if she does, and if she doesn’t tell her to go back to sleep ’cause they’re tired and going back to sleep and proceed to ignore her. If I’d had a nightmare, they’d take me to Mom, but if I tried to pull that too often, they’d make me pay by not playing with me during the day ’cause they were “too tired!”. :)

    Neen December 1, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Until I was eight! Freaking emoticons!

    Amy December 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Ooh! I have a new idea regarding the hair-pulling! Wear one of these to bed: http://tinyurl.com/yzz6ryl. You’ll need to find a bigger size, but that should help until he stops doing that.

    Her Bad Mother December 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Ha! Just need to find one in my size!

    (I have actually tried wearing a hoodie and pulling it closed. Just makes him mad. SIGH.)

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