18 months old, and last night, we felt like we were back at week one. And I'm sure none of you want to read the play-by-play, but using this as my therapy will only save any of you from listening to me relive it on the phone or during our next conversation! So skim the photos and ignore the rest!
We've been a little spoiled because typically, Elliot is a good sleeper. Most nights, down around 8pm, up around 8am. Of course, there's always changes and interuptions to the schedule, but overall, things were good in this department.
Ever since he was sick after Christmas, however, he has not slept normally. I blamed this on the sickness, because I had snuggled him so much when he had his fever, and it seemed he just wanted to be snuggled down each night for a long time. He did not want to go back to the simple routine of brush the teeth, sing Twinkle Twinkle with a standing rock, and voila, lay him down to sleep with just a few whimpers. We took a deep breath, knowing that we had a little battle on our hands to get back to normal, and proceeded to let him scream it out for about 45 minutes, 3 nights in a row. We thought we were there. Wrong.
I don't know if he's just that much more aware and is learning to not want to go to bed (there's no forcing him to lay down-- he springs up to the side of the crib before we can scoot out!), or if because we're not out and about as much as in the nice weather that he's not worn out enough to crash, or if it's bad habits developing on all ends, but none of our tricks is working. And when the tricks don't work, coping ensues and you begin to wonder if the coping is reinforcing the problems. It's also the "Who the heck knows what's up?" since there's always the constant variables of teeth and growth spurts.
Many nights lately, we've put him to bed around 8-8:30pm, only to have him still up and crying here and there when 10-10:30pm rolls around.
Last night, Pat chose just the wrong night to stay up late watching a movie. Lucky for us, I did get some shut eye before the monster stirred. Oftentimes, Elliot will cry in his sleep, but I tend to think we're pretty good about leaving him to deal and allowing him to put himself back down. At 3am, though, there was no sign of him going back down. Since Pat was just going to bed, he went in, only to find that Elliot was insisting on eating some babyfood. Pat fed him and put him back down for another hour of crying. At 4am, I took a shift, giving him some milk this time. I tried to lay with him to settle him back down, and after about a half-dozen times of this boy sitting upright with a grin of "Don't you realize, I'm up and ready to go!" I put him back in the crib crying while I crossed my fingers. Another hour he lasted, and by 5am, both Pat and I were at our wits end for want of sleep. I got up and played with him, only to quell the cries so Pat could sleep a bit, all bedroom doors shut and ear plugs in!
Elliot actually was in wonderful form, but by 7:30a, I declared my shift over after the wonderful form dissipated into a 20-minute full-blown tantrum. (Mind you, I did not know Pat had stayed up so late, so at this point, he's going on 2 1/2 hrs sleep.) Continuing to meltdown, Pat put him back to bed again, and, finally, the entire household enjoyed 2+ hours of uninterupted sleep. I swear, I am much too old for this zombie role.
I hope this is like every other phase that comes-- right as we think we're topped out with patience and lack of sleep, Elliot tends to turn around and we go, "Whew, it was just a phase... thank god we're back to normal." Just awaiting that, anytime now...