I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop, And Then…

October 5, 2010

This is turning out to be one of those weeks that is usually described as one of those weeks. I have a really bad head cold. Jasper isn’t sleeping. It’s raining outside. Somebody died, and it was the kind of death that’s difficult to explain to neighbours who catch you on your front porch, sobbing. Yes, I lost someone. She was a reader of my blog. She sent me lots of awesome emails. (I tried just saying I lost a friend, but then the neighbour asked, oh, a close friend? And I was like, well, in a way. She once offered to sacrifice her goat for me. Which was confusing, so I tried to explain, but for some reason, reader of my blog was more confusing than sacrifice a goat. Next time I’m just going to say, distant cousin.)

And I can’t seem to get my shoes on properly.

her bad shoes

Not shown: fully functioning grown-up.

Which is maybe the result of the aforementioned Very Bad Head Cold and the compromised sleep, but I can’t honestly say that it’s not also just a function of me being a twit who lacks proper life skills.

And that’s a little depressing.

(Semi-relatedly: if one – I’m not going to say who – has a 28 month old who is waking up screaming in the night, possibly due to night terrors, although possibly not, because he does actually fully wake up and then start demanding cookies and trains and coloring books – all at much the same shrieking pitch – and not settling back to sleep – in his bed, his parents’ bed, anywhere – for, like hours and hours and hours until everyone is very nearly dead of exhaustion, WHAT DOES ONE DO?)

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    melissa October 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I remember when my daughter went through the shrieking stage, it was AWFUL. We learned to love late night television. She would sleep soundly on the couch if one of us was sitting up touching her, not in our bed where we could actually sleep, not sleeping with her on the couch, sitting up touching her. I figured it was payback for the fact she was sleeping through the night at 4 weeks.

    I was just glad we had cable.

    good luck.

    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    @melissa, (note to self: make sure cable bill is paid.)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    Jen October 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I would love to know WHAT DOES ONE DO because my toddler has been doing the same thing for the past week. The shrieking has got to stop!

    Catherine October 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    @Jen, I haven’t yet figured it out, but I’ll let you know if I do.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..The Chief Danger Of The Time Is Actually Jersey Shore- But Let’s Not Quibble =-.

    Heather October 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Not sure that’s night terrors, but when our first daughter went through it the doc said to use benedryl before bed. Apparently, it helps reset when REM sleep comes. A couple nights of that, and she was back to her awesome-sleeping self.

    Jessi October 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Brynna did that for a while. I really do think it was night terrors for her. It’s rough. Some nights I would take her in the living room and turn on the tv in the dark and fall asleep while she watched tv. Sometimes I would just be up all night with her and some nights I would dose her tylenol or benadryl because not sleeping at all is not healthy for anyone. She grew out of it. I hope that Jasper does too. Also, I hope Maren never does that.

    a fan October 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Awwww shucks and golly gee, I’ve got two different shoes on. And this was totally unstaged, but I’ll just go ahead and take a photo of the result of my absentmindedness and post it TWICE on twitter and here on this ole blog so you can see just how gosh-darned confuzzled I am right now. Har-har.

    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    @a fan, oh, my god, YOU CAUGHT ME. I am so totally guilty of Twit-Pic’ing my pratfalls and blogging about them and WHO KNOWS IF I STAGED THEM and that is SO not what the Internet is for, my god.

    Thank god that are people out there like you, reading my blog and tweet-stream religiously, counting the number of times that I post something, waiting with baited breath for the opportunity to SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER ABOUT LO THIS FALSE AND SELF-PROMOTING BLOGGER.

    Thank you. Thank you for making the Internet safe for our children. Your hard work is appreciated.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    Hamlet's Mistress October 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    @Catherine, how did we ever function prior to having these servants of the internet fun-sucker police to keep us in line?


    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    @Hamlet’s Mistress, we didn’t function. We only imagined that we functioned. It was like Russia before Stalin: WE HAD NO IDEA.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    red pen mama October 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    @Catherine, can I just say *snicker*.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..In the Know =-.

    JustMom420zaks October 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    @Catherine, I think the shoe thing was frickin’ funny. That kinda thing makes the rest of us feel like we AREN’T really going insane… or LOOK! At least we aren’t the only ones.
    Tell “A Fan” (or I guess I’m doing that here) that she can suck a big fat donkey dong (sorry, you can take a girl off the street, but you’ll never get the street outta the girl)
    You can post anything to twitter as many times as you want. I give you permission. And if miss nit-picky uptight britches doesn’t like it, she can always unfollow you…. I doubt she’d be missed.
    .-= JustMom420zaks´s last blog ..Chocolate- snuggling and other things husbands are good for =-.

    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    @JustMom420zaks, ‘suck big fat donkey dong’ made me laugh way too hard.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    jaelithe October 6, 2010 at 9:50 am

    @Catherine, I am sorry you got trolled, and I know the first rule of trolls is supposed to be that you do not feed the trolls. And I know you are such a nice and thoughtful person that you rarely respond in kind when people say ridiculous things, and that’s only proper according to the Rules of Polite and Sensible Blogging.

    But damn, I kind of wish you’d unleash that level sarcastic snark on a regular basis, and not just when you’re having a bad week. Because your response was three paragraphs of EPIC.
    .-= jaelithe´s last blog ..Paying Attention =-.

    Selena October 6, 2010 at 10:40 am

    @jaelithe, I concure!

    @Catherine….we (I?) need more intelligent forms of unabashed, tongue in cheek response to wanking wankers. If only the trolls could be schooled with kindness. If only.
    .-= Selena´s last blog ..Baby Food Made Easy =-.

    Alexicographer October 6, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Personally I’m just hoping for more references to Stalin, the internet really doesn’t have enough of those (at least not of this quality).

    I’m not kidding, BTW. Love it!

    Her Bad Mother October 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Maybe I’ll start a Troll Smackdown feature. Could be awesome.

    Catherine October 8, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    @jaelithe, as I said to someone else, maybe I’ll start a troll smackdown feature. I could enjoy that.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..The Chief Danger Of The Time Is Actually Jersey Shore- But Let’s Not Quibble =-.

    HPom October 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Oh God, I think it’s catching. My dude is not sleeping either. I think the poeple at work are tired of me complaining about how tired I am all the time. And it’s not consistent either. Some (most) nights it’s the I don’t want to go to sleep (full volume) but then it’s also the waking up at 2:41am and demanding tv, snacks, apple juice, cuddles, etc. and not going back to sleep. It’s the tension that’s killing me. I’m not sure what kind of night it’s going to be, only that I’m probably not going to get a lot of sleep. From all accounts it is only a stage but stay strong. I’m trying to….

    red pen mama October 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    If it is night terrors, you can try a snack before bed for him. Something like peanut butter on crackers, or trail mix, or yogurt & granola. (via one of my midwives whose now-20yo had night terrors as a toddler.)

    If not, try melatonin. We are actually going to try it for our girls, who refuse to go to sleep at a reasonable hour (i.e. before 10 p.m.) even though I have to rouse them at 6:30 to get ready for school.

    Be careful with Benedryl unless you know how Jasper will react. It makes some kids hyper (although it’s rare). If you know it makes him sleepy: go for it!

    Good luck. I’m trying to deal with a 3yo who climbs into bed with me, and snores and kicks. But she doesn’t shriek, so there’s that.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..In the Know =-.

    Catherine October 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    @red pen mama, a number of people have recommended a snack before bed. We offer it to him but he’s generally not interested. UNTIL 3am, when all he wants is a cookie.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..The Chief Danger Of The Time Is Actually Jersey Shore- But Let’s Not Quibble =-.

    red pen mama October 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Also: I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend.

    Nick October 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I’m so sorry you lost a friend. She seemed like one heck of a lady. But really why does one need to qualify our sadness? I’m sure your neighbour just wanted to lend her/his support and understand. Just don’t know why people need an explanation as to the kind of friend she was, how close or how often you saw her. She is gone, you will miss her, it sucks…and that all just doesn’t need explaining really.

    On the other note of screaming toddlers. If you hesitate to dose him with Benadryl, you could try a homeopathic remedy. Boiron makes a syrup for children called “Quietude” for mild sleep disorders (nice way of saying it isn’t it?) Has worked well for my 3 year old going through night terrors.

    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    @Nick, thank you for that. Being asked for an explanation grated, but I know that it came from a good place. Still, a friend is a friend.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    Adelas October 6, 2010 at 12:39 am

    If the post was actual quote, it sounds almost as if the neighbor was (llama music pause for 15 minutes [no kidding] while I try to figure out something that made sense before i tried to put it in words)

    I guess one way of putting it was that the neighbor was noting the level of honor you afforded to Nancy (by sobbing in public) and assuming that the loss was meaningful to you, then trying to put that in words. If the neighbor is a little limited in his/her friend-categorization levels, that wouldn’t (shouldn’t) necessarily mean they’re implying you should only cry for a close friend, nor that you have to justify your emotional response. They could just be trying to restate the problem (she’s mourning, her loss must really sting) in order to empathize (you lost a close friend? i have too, i know how it feels).

    All of that is not meant as a criticism of anyone or as a trivialization for your frustration at nosiness. Just noting for Nick (and others) that it could, as you said, come from a good place.
    .-= Adelas´s last blog ..Hiiiiiii!! =-.

    Her Bad Mother October 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Our neighbors are older, too. Which counts for something. Different way of speaking about stuff. But yeah, it’s all good.

    janetlansbury October 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Like @Nick said, I’d try something homeopathic like “Calms” or “Rescue Remedy” or even a placebo. I would tell him that it will make him SUPER sleepy, SUPER fast. But I wouldn’t do anything else that might stimulate him, i.e. coloring books, etc. Don’t give him something interesting to wake up for. And be BORING, BORING, BORING. Expressionless. No dramas, no parties, no annoyance even, because those things can fuel the fire. Just act like you expected him to wake up and it doesn’t matter to you if he falls asleep again or not.

    It may have started as night terrors and now become something interesting to do…don’t let it be. And remember, “This too shall pass…”

    Sorry about your friend.
    .-= janetlansbury´s last blog ..There’s A Person On Your Breast – Don’t Take The Intimacy Out Of Breastfeeding =-.

    Issa October 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Trade him in for a newer, shinier, sleeper model? No?

    Hmmm, actually since I have the same problem, of a 24 month old variety, I’m at a very sleepless loss.

    Joy October 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    At bedtime, and at wake-up times, I would walk my sleepless terror through the dark, quiet house, whispering “goodnight” to everything, and talking slowly and quietly and monotonously about how everything goes to sleep at night, and how nothing is awake in the night. And about how this is where this sleeps, and that is where that sleeps (including each one of us), and that the pets sleep at night, and so on… In retrospect, I tried boring him to sleep. :D It helped, somewhat. But at 2.5, each child started sleeping much better, pretty much overnight. It DOES happen eventually. Promise.

    Joy October 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    And I am sorry for the loss of your friend. ((hugs))

    Catherine October 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    @Joy, thank you :)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    Lona October 5, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    My son is almost five and he still has night terrors every once in a while — and they are horrible. The shrieking, the screaming, the bizarro demands (“I just want a hug! I desperately need a cracker!”) and the utter sort of creepiness of the half-asleep, screaming child with wild eyes …

    The only things I have ever found that worked were a) cocktails for me, b) rubbing his back into submission or c) bursting into tears and waiting for it to end on its own. But of course, my son has never been a good sleeper, maybe this is more dramatic than everyone else’s experience.

    I’m sorry it’s been a turdly week. I hope it gets better.
    .-= Lona´s last blog ..first frost =-.

    Wendy October 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Sorry you are having such a crap day. Last week I walked into the bathroom at work at about 3:00 and realized my shirt was inside out. Nice. I understand when it happens with underwear, but a shirt?? I called my mother to lament and she reminded me of the time she went to work with one black shoe and one blue shoe, and only noticed because halfway through the day she realized one had a higher heel than the other . . .

    Life is too short for life skills ;)

    Laura (Nahbee) October 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Catherine.

    And colds have come to visit our house too: so far just my husband, but he snuffles and snorts next to me, so I fear it is a matter of time before I fall to it too.

    The reason I found your blog to begin with is because I was looking for sleep solutions when our 2.5 year old was 23 months and had never slept the night. And I called The Sleep Doula. She and I fixed it right up. In 4 nights! Go figure. I’d lost months of sleep for something that took 4 nights to fix (and only the first one was really bad.)

    I would recommend the melatonin for a few nights and see if that gets him over the hump. Snacks before bed don’t hurt either. And if all else fails, remember that Tracy is a goddess. ;)

    BTW, I can never thank you enough for chronicling that particular struggle. I thought I was the only one with a sleepless 2 year old.

    Sweet dreams to you and Jasper!
    .-= Laura (Nahbee)´s last blog ..The Tale of a Closet =-.

    Her Bad Mother October 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    We’ve worked with Tracy, and she is indeed a goddess. She helped us get Jasper to sleep when nothing else was working. We’ll see how long this goes on before we crack again ;)

    Redneck Mommy October 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I covet your shoe. Only the one. The reddish one. Although, I must admit, I’d prefer to walk around in a matching set. I already look frazzled enough.
    .-= Redneck Mommy´s last blog ..Monday Mornings =-.

    Catherine October 6, 2010 at 8:27 am

    @Redneck Mommy, matching shoes are over-rated.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    kelly @kellynaturally October 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Well…. my 6 year old still wakes almost every night. She doesn’t cry, she just comes to get me, to get her a glass of water. Which I do. Then help her back to bed. Usually this happens approximately 5 minutes after I’ve fallen into a deep sleep after going to sleep far too late…
    So I know how it is.

    I wrote this post a while back about night terrors – my 3 year old has had them. http://www.kellynaturally.com/post/Night-Terrors.aspx And I’ve had them most of my life (but I’m unusual, really, worries!)

    It’s been a weird week.
    .-= kelly @kellynaturally´s last blog ..Bullying and Messages We Send Our Children =-.

    Catherine October 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

    @kelly @kellynaturally, if Jasper didn’t shriek and freak out, it’d be more manageable. We’ve actually resigned ourselves to having him sleep with us regularly – it’s become our normal. But these days even that won’t stop the shrieking.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I Was Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop- And Then… =-.

    Bethboutha October 6, 2010 at 5:15 am

    My kiddo has never really slept through the night. But the deal is, I get him his milk and he sleeps. I do anything else, and it’s non-stop screaming. I really hope he doesn’t graduate to night terrors…or to not wanting milk anymore. Sending my sympathy!

    Leslie October 6, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I always find with my 25 month old that he needs to leave the room that he has woken up in, usually my room. We go out to the living room and I walk around with him or go on the couch. We don’t turn anything on, I’m afraid the TV will wake him up more. I just sit with him, ignoring him, occasionally offering a hug or his sippy cup of water. Eventually he’ll take a sip of water and fall back asleep.

    My older son was much worse. I couldn’t touch him or talk to him. I would just have to patiently sit beside him until he let me hug him and then he would calm down.

    I feel for you. There is NOTHING worse than being awake at night. It’ll completely ruin your day. But it sounds like your head is spinning from everything else too. I hope you feel better soon, and that you find some comfort about your friend. I’m sure it’s even harder that it wasn’t a traditional friendship. You have no other connection to her, you can’t hug her family or go to the funeral. It’s like she is just gone. I’m so sorry. Maybe you and the Blogess can do something to mourn her together.

    Hang in there.
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..Being Inspired by Mighty Girls and My Own Life List =-.

    MidLifeMama October 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

    The shrieking passes. There are these weird phases kids go through when something in their brains turn on and they need to be awake in the middle of the night, and sometimes it comes with shrieking. But our experience lasted about two weeks. As quickly as it arrived, it passed. However, being the sleep nazi I am, I didn’t tolerate much dawdling in the night. We kept lights to a minimum, no TV, just a cup of something to drink, maybe some animal crackers and then back to bed. By himself. I am too freaking old for that nonesense. I would be careful with benadryl, it can in some children have the opposite affect hoped for, and then you will have a VERY wide awake, manic child for the whole night.
    .-= MidLifeMama´s last blog ..The world has plumb gone crazy =-.

    Her Bad Mother October 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I would just really, really like for the shrieking to pass NOW. PLEASE.

    jaelithe October 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Oh P.S. I actually showed up in the comments because I meant to say my son used to have night terrors (this was AFTER his first year of just generally not sleeping unless I was kneeling on the floor next to his crib with my hand on his back) and nothing really helped but alcohol.

    For me.

    Of course.

    Anyway he did grow out of them after about a year.
    .-= jaelithe´s last blog ..Paying Attention =-.

    Catherine October 12, 2010 at 9:21 am

    @jaelithe, I remember you mentioning that when I wrote about Emilia having night terrors. She grew out of them, too. It’s small consolation right now ;)
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Make A Joyful Noise =-.

    Madison October 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    My son has had night terrors since he was two and he is five now. I was so freaked out at first, but kind of thought he was doing it on purpose to torment me. Now I decided he can’t help it. I lay my hand on his chest or back and it seems to help, sometimes it doesn’t and other times he just doesn’t let me. Mostly I just try and be with him to keep him from hurting himself until it passes.
    .-= Madison´s last blog ..Why I do the things that I do =-.

    Catherine October 12, 2010 at 9:19 am

    @Madison, we bring Jasper into bed with us and do that. It can be heart wrenching.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Make A Joyful Noise =-.

    Geneva October 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    FYI, there is a difference between eccentricity and being a plain old weirdo. And kids DO know the difference. You’re not fostering imagination so much as building a chasm.

    Catherine October 12, 2010 at 9:18 am

    @Geneva, right! I’ll just tell my daughter that her choices are weird, then, and insist that she conform to what *I* want – informed, of course, by paradigmatic ideas about what girls should wear, say and do – and squash any and all of her impulses to embrace difference. Because god forbid she be *WEIRD*.

    We just couldn’t have that.

    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Make A Joyful Noise =-.

    les October 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Hm, when given the choice between having the weird kid none of the other kids plays with (or whose moms turn their noses up at), or steering my child in the direction of acceptable, socially normal attire, I daresay I’d err on the side of not the outcast or freak. I applaud. Your attempts to instill a sense of adventure in your children, but at what cost? You show photos of your children’s eccentricities, and rather than thinking “oh, cute kid,” most of us are wondering how that child is going to turn out. Sure, rain jackets and knee socks are cute, but at home, not at school. Yes, the other kids and moms are judging.

    Kat October 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Goodness me, everyone is judging our children because of what they wear? If the other kids are judging it’s because their parents taught them to – so shame on you for teaching your kids to think different = weird. If Emilia encounters this nastiness I’m sure it will mean she ends up more accepting of the “weird kid” which can only be a good thing.

    Kelly October 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I am just reading this now, because I’ve been in my own loop of children sick, and husband sick and now me sick.

    My youngest (now 4) has always woken up shrieking at a pitch that makes me both want to comfort him and run away. He grew out of it around age 3. I know that doesn’t help at all. I think I’m still suffering from a sleep deficiency.

    Her Bad Mother October 6, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I’ll try to work more in ;)

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