Chasing the Sleep Beast
Why does bedtime have to be so painful? Why can’t we just snuggle down, read some stories, heck I’ll nurse this forty pound three-year-old if she wants. But NO! Instead, books get thrown, I get hit, kicked, kneed in the stomach. All with a mighty roar of screaming lung power. And when we do get her to sleep, she continues to wake throughout the night.
Autumn has always detested sleep. From her first few moments, she wouldn’t sleep without a giant clown-type bag full of tricks. Two hours or more will go by while we lay with her, sing to her, and whisper good night to all our loved ones. After the first few months of her life she wouldn’t even nurse to sleep. The longer I sing, the longer she will be awake. And she has NEVER let me read to her. She will only read books to herself while I watch.
Nothing seems to make her happy. It’s bedtime and bedtime is just plain YUCKY to her. She detests it. HATES it. If she could summon hives to show her allergy to it, she would. As night falls, my stomach clenches and I know she can feel it from across the room. I’ve learned she just has to scream, to make a huge fuss and get all the frustrations of the day out. But it’s just killing me off.
I want to help her. I want to fix it so she’s happy and satisfied but I’ve succumbed to the fact that it’s just not going to happen. And our sleeplessness is one of the main factors that Autumn will be an only child. We’re just wiped. We mostly laugh at childless people planning their lovely days to come with babies. ‘Cause if your babe fights the sleep beast, you’re in for a rocky ride.
My little sister, who’s nineteen, reminded me that she still doesn’t like to go to bed and before Autumn was born, I felt the same way (now offer me a bed and I’ve stripped and fallen asleep before you’ve finished asking.) I don’t necessarily want it “movie perfect” but couldn’t it just not hurt so bloody goddamn much for a night or two.