Friday, February 19, 2016

Sleep is for the Weak

As if it's not enough to spend all day chasing two young boys, sometimes Teddy goes through phases where he decides sleep is optional. As in, he'll wake up in the middle of the night and decide it's time to play ... for 3 or more hours.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, Teddy's not one who can independently play. He needs minimum supervision that requires at least one parent awake. And sometimes, just for fun, his older brother hears the commotion and decides he wants to play as well. At least AJ's usually pretty easy to redirect to bed.

Honestly, when Teddy hits these "party all night 'til the break of dawn" spurts, there's not much we can do until he is ready to sleep again. Trying to force him to fall asleep results in lots of screaming, which wakes up everyone. Usually Dave and I take turns, each spending about 2 hours with him, so we can both get some rest. Some nights, though, one of us stubbornly keeps him the entire time. (I really appreciate when Dave gets him, especially now that we have a cabinet lock that keeps all the pots and pans in the cupboard at 2 a.m. I have a hard time sleeping when those are Teddy's toys of the moment.)

One night this week was one of those party nights. It started innocently enough, with Teddy waking up coughing and miserable because of his cold. I snuggled him, gave him all sorts of essential oils and medicine and stripped half his clothes because he had a slight fever (and in his world, that's a trigger for seizures). Once the medicine kicked in, however, he decided we should play because he felt better.

This was a different night, but he had so much fun! Climbed in there twice!

With Dave out of town for work, I trudged downstairs with Teddy, set him on the floor to play and went about being productive. I put away all the clean dishes, switched the laundry to the dryer and packed up the cookies that had finished cooling on the counter. I get less frustrated when I occupy my time productively instead of just wishing I was sleeping and calculating how little sleep I was getting.

Does it make me an awful mom or an awesome mom for giving Teddy cookie at 3 a.m.? (Don't worry, I finished the rest of the cookie and didn't let him eat a whole one. That would just be irresponsible.)

When he's up like this, I try not to encourage it by taking away his pacifier and not playing with him. If he needs me to entertain him, then he can sleep instead. I've managed to get sugar cookies decorated, plenty of laundry done and some reading for pleasure during various overnights with Teddy.

This was a productive night!

This night's party ended with folding laundry, since Teddy didn't approve of my choice not to allow him to climb on the table and destroy my nicely folded laundry. He fell off the chair, bumped his head and burst into tears. After a quick diaper chance (and biting my shoulder twice), he was ready for some snuggles. Within 30 minutes  or so, he was asleep again.

It was 5 a.m. I'd been up since 1:30 a.m. I managed to fall back asleep for an hour before my alarm clock and AJ woke me to get ready for work.

You'd think Teddy would sleep in after a night like that, but he was up by 6:30. And he napped a whopping 15 minutes all day. Sleep is for the weak, and Teddy is not weak. (He's trying to teach us to toughen up, just like him.)

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