Wednesday, March 5

I'll Take Sleepless Nights for $800, Alex

Fact: If you kind of whine about sleep issues, you will kind of have a decent night.

Fact: My life is a game show.

Behind Door #1 is a custom-fitted Toddler Helmet. It comes complete with a blissful night of peace and quiet, but for some reason, the manufacturer forgot to include any actual sleep in there.

Door #2 is hiding a fancy-schmancy Toddler containing gate guaranteed to make her howl and whine and cry and throw things at you. It's much more ergonomically correct than the Toddler Helmet, but it too is missing that vital sleep component.

Door #3 is a wicked rash that itches like crazy all day long.

OK, so maybe Door #3 isn't really one of my choices, but I'm kind of thinking I would like that as an option because Doors #1 and #2 ARE NOT MY FRIENDS.

Two nights ago I played Fighter Jet all night and escorted the Toddler to the approved airspace in her room four times. The fifth time she managed to somehow get past my Momdar and snuck around to Daddy's side of the bed. Guess who let her in the bed? Yes, the man who later complained when he wore a Toddler Helmet for an hour. An hour. I wore it long enough for Elmo to mock Mr. Noodle four times, Baby Bear's lisp to get on my nerves twelve times, and The Count to play his stupid organ sixteen times. If I could get to wear it for only one round of Monsters on Happy Pills? I would be a happy little monster, no pills required.

Last night I went for Door #2. You know what happens when you cage in a toddler? I don't know about the toddler population at large, but my toddler acts like a caged animal. A rabid, starved, caged animal. After a battle royale at bedtime, she turned on the sirens at around midnight. I let her scream for a while, but then I was afraid that I would end up with two humans making me feel crappy, so I went to her doorway. I didn't say a word. I just stood there.

She stopped screaming.

She just stood there.

The standoff went on for at least five minutes with each of us standing silently on our prospective sides of the war zone. She was the first to break the silence with a "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" that I'm pretty sure woke up every person in our zip code. I replied with a "WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" then a, "Alexis, go to bed."

She did.


She got back in her bed.

BUT, before I could pick my jaw up off the floor, her siren went off again. "WAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAAH! Mother-effin' WAAAAAAH!" (I might be paraphrasing there.) Just in case I couldn't hear her all the way from her bed two feet away, she returned to her station on the other side of the gate and continued on and on and on and on.

I laid down on the floor. Sure, that carpet has been peed on, puked on, pooped on, and that's just last week. I still laid down on it. It was the middle of the night; my germophobia ranks lower than my sleeplove-obia.

Twenty minutes. That's how long I laid there, how long Alexis expressed her dissatisfaction with my customer service skills, how long I tried to prove that I am more stubborn than her. Then I told her if she didn't want to sleep in her bed, I sure as heck would. I stumbled over the gate and poured myself into her itty-bitty toddler head, simultaneously getting my knees stuck in the foot board and banging my noggin on the head board.

No more than a millisecond later, she joined me, cuddled up next to me, and fell asleep. Two seconds after I felt absolutely positive she was asleep, I slammed my head up against a wall. (Not really, I like my head too much to abuse it like that. The thought did, however, cross my mind.)

Fact: It is better to be up once for over half an hour than it is to be up four times for about five minutes.

Fact: It doesn't matter which door I pick. There's only one winner in this game show, and it ain't me.


  1. ImpostorMom9:06 PM

    I swear Boog may stay in his crib til grade school. I may have to get a cover or something. :P

    Wait, wouldn't that be sort of like a crate at that point?

  2. Why do they love playing games like that?! But I can put it all in perspective easily by saying that at least at this age you know where they are. The teen years are fraught with sleepless nights and NOT knowing.

  3. I remember those days with my oldest. It was awful. I truly feel for you.

    and, Karen - that's just terrifying. I'm not looking forward to it.

  4. Hey there! Thanks for stopping on over at my blog today! Yes, I do get around out here in blog land!

    I get the "toddler helmet" every fricken night too! It's getting to darn ridiculous! My hubby's the weak one too!

  5. Oy, I'm feeling your pain here. I hope tonight is much easier on all of you!! (((hugs)))

  6. It took me almost 11 years of fighting with my daughter to get her to stay in her own bed. In the end the way I did it was to have another baby and he sleeps with us now. Can't win for losing can I. LOL

  7. Ah, man. That little one is stubborn huh! I wear the toddler helmet all too often, so I feel your pain. What sucks for me is that my littlest one only prefers sleeping on MY head and NOT hubby's. I don't think he ever even knows when he's in bed.

    I think Karen wins though. Ugh.

  8. I hate the sleep issue- it just sucks. Period. I'm sorry you are not getting sleep though.

    That picture of Alexis - that just shows she is the winner!

  9. Hey your customer service skills are better than most. She shouldn't complain. Send her over for a few nights and she will curl up on your shoulder and snooze instantly in gratitude. Yep, I would do it for you...cuz she is really cute. Maybe this is why I have boys...

  10. "I may be paraphrasing here" LOL!!

    As much of a booger as Punkin can be, she has at least become a good sleeper, but I've been there sister. Hold your ground.

  11. Trust me, you don't want Door #3 either, because well, that is MY life - the rash du jour.

  12. You. Are bigger, And stronger. More resilient. Than the toddler. And no, duct tape is never the answer. Hold fast, girl. Better now than later. :)

  13. sleep deprivation is one of the worst toddler side effects ... but trust me when i tell you that you need to get control of this one!

    i know... that was helpful, huh? :-)

  14. We had our battles with the gate, but she got the picture soon enough! Hang in there girl, something's gotta give!

  15. I SOOOooooo don't miss those days. Boy-Child#2 was evil during the night. Just evil. Girl-Child (aka child#3 or 'the last') was and always has been big on her sleep. The gods figured we'd suffered enough the second time around and gave us a break. And I laughed right out loud at "customer service skills".

  16. ooph. I am so sorry. Stick it out -- she's got to learn to sleep! :) I have been very lucky in this area... so, really, I should probably go now.

    good luck,

  17. I dread the transition to the I-can-get-out-of-it-myself-and-scream-at-you-from-the-doorway bed. Glad you're doing it first!!

  18. Anonymous7:57 AM

    Huh. I wonder if I can just keep Morgan in her crib until she's 8. I'm SO not looking forward to any of it.

    Even if it is good for blog material :)

  19. Yeah, this is why I am not getting my 2 1/2 a big bed for as long as possible. Caged (as in a crib of course) children make for much more rested mommys.

  20. How can you NOT love that face? Just accept that she's a damn adorable toddler helmet and accept your fate!!

    (easily said by the woman that NEVER had a toddler helmet!)

    Hallie :)

  21. You know, I laugh at what you write, because you're very funny, but I truly do know what you're going through, and it's not fun! I can remember just feeling so tired, I seriously would have cut off my right hand if someone would promise me a full nights sleep in exchange! There is no great solution, unfortunately. The only thing that finally worked was just persistance, and the realization on my kids parts that I wasn't kidding. We went through many nights of crying (me included) and just re-directing them back to their own bed, no talking, no eye contact, no rocking or holding. This went on for what seemed a hundred times in one night, no joke. It made me feel terrible, like I was the meanest mom on the planet, but actually, it was the right thing to do. Kids need to be able to soothe themselves back to sleep when they wake at night, and they wake something like twenty times a night. Eventually, they both stayed in their own beds for the entire night.

    Also, just a thought, have you looked in her mouth lately? She may be getting her two year molars in, they might be causing her some pain that's waking her.

    Best of luck, and I hope you get some sleep soon!


  22. I, for one, enjoyed your paraphrasing! :)

    Bless your heart... (er, head/energy level/nerves/patience/etc...)

  23. Ai.
    stinks, but don't wish for the rash. You still don't sleep then.

  24. I so feel for you--I have had a child (or children) in my bed for almost ten years and I would like to sleep...this may be why I drink so much coffee.
    And she is so cute--it's impossible to really truly be angry:)
    Go get a Starbucks--you have earned the caffeine/sugar buzz!

  25. I feel for you....really....sometimes I wish that they came with an off button...just for night time...really, I wouldn't use it any other time, like say the grocery store.

    Just stand your tough, sometimes mean mommy has to come out.

  26. I'm really sorry for the continuing nighttime drama. But, damn it makes for funny blogging!!! At least you haven't lost your sense of humor!! I especially loved your paraphrasing, which we do also.

  27. I would offer words of advice like "keep at it and eventually you will outlast her." But. This is coming from a woman whose kid sleeps in her bed with her EVERY night.


    I, too, suck.

  28. Anonymous12:38 PM

    My current vow is to rid our bed of the two babies we already have before #3 makes an appearance and (as it seems to be genetic) demands a place in the big bed as well.

    I remember falling asleep in Cooper's toddler bed many nights when I was extremely pregnant with Maren . . . and then having to hiss repeatedly to get hubby to unglue his arse from the couch and come hoist me back to my feet.

    Good times. Good times.

  29. ah, that sweet sweet face. Gets ya everytime, doesn't she?

  30. Anonymous1:29 PM

    "I wore it long enough for Elmo to mock Mr. Noodle four times, Baby Bear's lisp to get on my nerves twelve times, and The Count to play his stupid organ sixteen times. If I could get to wear it for only one round of Monsters on Happy Pills? I would be a happy little monster, no pills required." Love it! So funny! Ah, it so reminds me of my life -- and my future life! Soooo funny!

  31. Oh god. I remember that. But more frustrating is that when I put Bean to bed he gets up. Daddy does it and he goes to SLEEP! Wth? I feel your pain girl!

  32. Where is the flipping Supernanny when ya need her, huh? Hang in there. It gets better!

  33. Anonymous3:13 PM

    The gate WILL work. It will take a few days of ignoring the screams, but it WILL work.

  34. I remember those nights. I didn't like any of my options. Son#1 slept with us until he was five. Daughter actually clapped when I put her in her crib. She never liked anyone in bed with her.

    She's just beautiful!

    I have an almost two year old son#2 that we'll have fun trying to get to sleep on his own.

    Here we go

  35. Oh, but she's a very, very cute little winner.

    God bless.

  36. Anonymous4:18 PM

    Wow she is STUBBORN! I agree. Sleep is way more important than fear of the unknowns in the carpet. Much more so & totally know up once is better than 8. You need to do a Jedi mind trick on her.

  37. Well, truly, how could you resist a face like that?

    I'm no Supernanny, but I agree with Wheelsonthebus...the gate WILL work.

  38. Oh, and because I'm new here (hi!), I had to re-read the part about the Toddler Helmet and gate. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what exactly you were trying to do.

  39. Y'know, and this won't help you NOW, but I don't remember putting my kids in big beds until they consistently climbed out of their cribs while the sides were still all the way up. It was like a jungle gym for them.

  40. i can tell you that i have totally been there. i had one son that slept awesome. the other one .... well it went on way too long. in the beginning i gave in, letting him in our bed, for us that just made it worse. i agree that persistance is the way. you may feel awful but that smart cutie-pie of yours will learn. you have to be boss (i know sounds much easier than it is) but seriously, children know how to play us.

    trust me it WILL get better. though this is so difficult now, especially when you are sleep deprived, someday you will be looking back at these times and laughing. i can't believe it, but i can now. i NEVER thought i would get through it.

    hang in there. best wishes for a good night's sleep!

  41. So! You've got a spirited little girl! My condolences. The bright spunky ones are always the biggest challenge.

    Good news - if she's like my spirited girl, she may calm down eventually.

    Sigh. Eventually.

  42. Yes I agree with the 40 something others , be tough, stand your ground, no eye contact, no talking, no hugging etc. Just take her hand and lead her back to bed, a hundred times if you must I promise you will WIN. Im sure she does but do you have a certain bedtime routine?, like the SAME every night.This does seem to help ..short sweet, simple but consistant...and I am a talker so I always talked to them before and told them what I expected that nite .With child #2 I did make a bed chart..out of total desperation week straight was a trip to playland or new action figure etc. although sometimes he threw a tantrum because he DIDNT get a star I could tell you stories...I have four ..remember ?So believe me I have been there done that but this too will pass. .and you must be the stubborn one..Dosent it suck to have such a cutie pie though ??makes it hard as hell I know... best of luck and wishing you a great nights sleep eventually or a really extra grande extra strong mocha latte ...hee hee

  43. The phrases momdar and toddler helmet will forever make me laugh everytime you write them.

    I have no words of wisdom on this one. Gracie was my toddler helmet until she was five.

  44. what a stinker! :)

    I've been having fun with The Baby Who Forgot How to Sleep and The Boy Who Forgot How to Go Potty. Those are not fun game shows, either. I much prefer the Price Is Right.

  45. I laugh, but I cry for you as well.

    I am naming my next poop Burgh in your honor.

  46. She is too cute, thank goodness. I feel your pain.