When I was in college I used to head out with my friends around midnight, get back to the dorm by four or five, sleep for a couple hours, and then go to my 7:30 aerobics class in my pajamas, work out for an hour, eat a quick breakfast, suffer an hour of statistics for behavioral sciences, sit through an hour of chapel, and then handle a full day of classes and work. And then around midnight we'd head out again. So in any given 24 hour period, I was getting an average of four hours of sleep. And I did it pretty consistently.
Maybe this is why, throughout the history of the world until the last 150 years or so, women had babies when they were teenagers instead of in their mid to late 20s. You just have more stamina when you're younger.
If I was 18, would Judah's recent sleep patterns tear my world apart like they are right now?
Two weeks ago we put Judah in a twin bed because we had to. It was not our choice. It was either that or risk him breaking both arms climbing out of his pack and play. The bed has, so far, been a total nightmare for us. Every night when we put him down he would wait for us to close the door, then get up and open the door and come out. Repeatedly. Like, 52 times in a row repeatedly. We tried telling him from another room to go back to bed. We tried ignoring him completely as we put him back to bed. Finally we tried spanking him. That worked pretty well, but we felt awful about it, and then came the night we had to spank him eleven times. And then I had a nervous breakdown. Because you just can't keep doing that to a kid.
I researched on the web, I talked to my friends, and I told my Bible study group. Some of the women there (God bless them forever) suggested that I call Focus on the Family because they have counselors there you can talk to for free. So I called and fully expected to have them tell me to just keep spanking. But my counselor told me to stop. He very wisely pointed out that even negative attention is still attention, which is exactly what Judah's looking for. He suggested going back to the ignoring idea. And he was so very very nice about it.
So for the last four nights we've been standing outside Jude's door at bedtime and every time he gets up one of us goes in his room, waits for him to climb back in bed, covers him up with his blanket, and leaves the room. No talking, no eye contact, no touch that's not necessary. It's total boot camp for us. The first night he got up 52 times, the second night it was about 65. Last night was only three (super long day), and tonight was 21. So I think we're getting there.....slowly.
Tonight was my night to do the routine. On the twentieth round Judah tried to push past my legs and get through the door. I caught his arm and turned him around, and in the process his head just barely bumped the door jamb. He grabbed his head with both hands and I felt bad, so I leaned down and whispered, "I'm sorry. Are you okay?" He didn't answer, just went and climbed in bed. I covered him up and left, he was up a minute later. I went back in and watched as he then DELIBERATELY turned and banged his head against the wall, trying to get a reaction out of me again. I didn't know whether to laugh or yell at him. In the end I did neither, just followed him back to bed again, and after that he gave up and went to sleep. I can't believe the lengths that a two-year-old will go to to drive you crazy.