Friday, May 20, 2011

Bring It On Zombies

Right now, a zombie apocalypse sounds simply super.

Cole has been a wreck the last few days.  Tantrums and waking in the middle of the night and a complete meltdown at the first sign of things not being absolutely perfect.  It's really a hoot. 

I think most of it is that he is exhausted and we are currently in the middle of a sleep challenging time.  Yes, we are in that time often.  What prompted this sleep challenge time? 

Well, I talked to a friend of mine about how great all my kids were sleeping lately. 

Ridiculous explanation? Oh, you are so naive.

Kid sleep is like Fight Club.  First rule of sleeping kids, NEVER talk about sleeping kids. 

You'll be punished, severely punished.

Right now Cole is throwing books at his door and I think possibly the Bat Cave.  He and I have had several discussions today and now I've reached the end of my rope....possibly the end of my string since I wasn't feeling all that strong in my ability to deal with him from the beginning today. 

Go ahead and judge the door locking, or the tantrum for that matter, but I need a minute.  I need a minute to get out some of my insane frustration with this child or I am actually afraid I will hit him and it won't be a thoughtful, deliberate spanking, it will be rage. 

I'm taking a moment. 

I'm breathing.

I am trying to prevent tears from falling.

Today is the first day of summer, or possibly the last if all those zombies show up tomorrow, and I feel like we are all going to have a rough go of things if Cole thinks he can freak out and run around during rest time for the next few months.  I have no child care and no break in sight for the next three months, and I'm not going to spend our two hour daily nap/rest time fighting a three year old to stay quiet and in his room so we all don't attack one another. 

Cole is such a mix of things and elicits all sorts of reactions from me.  My middle child is so sweet, sensitive and funny, but so quick to anger and so very prone to throwing massive tantrums.  He can make me laugh faster than any of the three, but makes me want to scream faster too. 

I feel badly for him because sleep is such a challenge for him. He has night terrors, he hasn't napped hardly at all at home since he was just over two, and he often has a hard time going to sleep.  I know a lot of his behavior stems from his lack of sleep and I feel horrible that I can't get him to rest as much as he needs.

I'm a firm believer in at least 12 hours of sleep at night for my kids.  I move mountains to try to preserve this for them. They need it and I need them to have it, but Cole just doesn't give in to it.  I've tried EVERYTHING. 

I feel like I'm abusing my child.  I feel like his poor little brain and all his changing emotions and feelings are just jacked up when he feels exhausted, but won't relax enough to go to sleep.  I feel like I fucked up.  I feel like it's my fault, clearly I must have mis-stepped in the sleep world for my baby. 

Right now though, he's sobbing in his room and I don't know that anything I do other than just letting him come out and play will make him better.  Am I helping all of us in keeping him in his room for rest time and not giving in or is this just a futile task that ends with all of us feeling like crap? 

I want him to lay down on his bed and look at books and drift off to sleep.  I want him to listen to the sweet music I have playing on his CD player and let himself dream something happy. At night he doesn't want to go to sleep because of bad dreams and no amount of prayer or exercises in happy thoughts comforts him. 

I want to go hold him on the bed until he calms down and drifts off, like he's done other times when I have held him tightly and forced him to stay in one place...but I feel so frustrated that I don't want to go near him. I don't want anything to do with him right now. 

I want him to just stop acting like this and play in his room quietly for rest time, or go to sleep, whatever but give the house a full break from all the commotion and all the requests and all the needs. 

I need that.  I need this time.  I think he needs it too. 

Or maybe he just needs a zombie intervention.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

My heart goes out to you Leslie, Is there help close by from whom you could cop a break from him? Oh honey, you did the right thing locking his door for a time. As long as he screams, his airway works great. Sending energy and love.

Laura ( ) said...

Awwe your son is super cute! It can be super frustrating trying to get kids to sleep. Some children just have really high energy levels and dont need as much sleep as others. I would try pushing bedtime back and hour or two ... 12 hours of sleep is a lot even for a little one! 3 years need between 10- 12 hours of sleep so maybe hes more in the 10 hr sleep range. Especially if he takes longer naps during the day!

mama_pez said...

*hugs* A child that doesn't sleep, but needs it is no fun. :( My youngest never napped and is still difficult to get to sleep at night.
Once I worked on finding an outlet for his frustration that didn't piss everyone off, things got much easier.
We still haven't figured the bedtime thing out yet, but we'll keep trying. :)

Anonymous said...

There have been so many disruptions in your family routine lately that it doesn't surprise me that a boy with Cole's temperament reacts by having difficulty sleeping, night terrors and massive tantrums. For example, you wrote about going away for a wedding recently. That weekend, your very young kids were watched in the evening/night by a loving family friend while you and your husband attended a wedding reception. This person had to deal with putting 10 kids to sleep. Wow! For some kids this is fine. But for some others this can send them into a period of great instability. Another example is your weekend trip with friends. Mommy going away for the weekend can be fine for some kids. Others may react with a lot of anxiety. Some kids tolerate feeling alone just fine. Some others have very low tolerance to being alone in a room with no contact with other humans. It's the problem of human attachement and kid's individual temperament combined with nuclear families that can't afford domestic help.
It's a hard balancing act under your circumstances.
Good luck.

beyond said...

first time commenting.i have 3 kids too.and i agree with one commenter who suggested that for some kids,12 hrs might be a bit too much.i know lots of people will automatically say a bi no no,but why dont u try co sleeping for a while till he grows out of this phase.if it works,you will get your sleep and he will get his:)
hang in there.i know very,very well,how tough it is.