Sunday, November 05, 2006

The elusiveness of sleep

Even at this age (2 years), I am still wondering why sleep is still an issue with g. It is not as hard as the first few months (or year) when I was practically begging g on bended knee to shut her eyes so that I could shut mine. We have gotten into a rhythm and for the most part, she has been able to sleep on her own. We have had the same sleep routine for years now. It consists of a nice warm bath, a few storybooks and some songs. At one point, there was a nighttime bottle which she finally was weaned from at around 18 months. At the earlier points, there was also extensive rocking, shushing and soothing which thankfully stopped after the first few months.

Now although the routine has stayed the same for a while, sometimes she would cry out after the fifth repeat of the Barney/twinkle, twinkle song. Sometimes she would fall asleep immediately after the routine. Then there are other times like tonight that after 2 hours, she is still awake inside our room, keeping herself quite entertained, talking to herself. Last night, she slept pretty easily for the first few hours and awakened at 10:00 pm, stayed awake till 1:00 AM.

What drives me nuts though is that there is no way for us to tell what kind of night this is going to be. Will this be the easy night when she will fall asleep when we put her down? Will this be one of those night when she will cry for 2 minutes and then fall asleep? Or, will it be like tonight when she has been up with no sleep in sight?

I try to tell myself that sleep is one of the states that just could not be forced upon anyone even (or specially) a child. She will sleep when she wants and will remain asleep as long as she wants.

Her being awake though is still jarring to me although I don't really have to do anything with her anymore. It's almost like not being sure if I left the light on inside a parked car. It's quite unsettling. I feel like I should be doing something to facilitate sleep though I am not sure what that should be.

So now I sit here, trying to settle into the night and unwind, while hearing her constant chatter in the room is causing my shoulder to tense up. What can I do? Do shoulder rolls while I patiently wait for the day when I can have a good chardonnay.


a's mommy said...

I can truly empathize!

Anonymous said...

Maybe try exercise? Make her run up and down the stairs? This reminds me of an old Jetta commercial where the babysitter takes the kids out running up and down the hills, get them on a sugar high with ice cream, then run on a treadmill. When the parents come for the pick up, they are shocked at how deeply the kids are sleeping.

I have a small baby and tummy time really tires her out and she goes right to sleep.

theFamilyC said...

Agree with you, Marathoner.

We try to do that when we get home from work to tire her out. Sometimes it backfires and the flurry of activity actualy made her more awake than sleepy.