Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I can't get no satisfaction.

I recently read the chapter in my psychology book about sleep and since then I have been obsessed with the idea of "getting enough sleep". It seems like I haven't had a good night's sleep in about 4 1/2 years. What happened 4 1/2 years ago? The pitter patter of little feet. It was actually more like the blood-curdling WAIL of a little mouth. Dylann would cry for hours at a time (about 4 hours a night) and no one could explain why. We would bundle up in the middle of blustery winter nights and put him in his carrier, tucking him underneath our jackets and wandering around the streets of Seoul, enjoying some peace, because that was one of the only ways to make him stop screaming. As soon as we got back, he would wake up before we could get him out of the carrier and start again. We handled it because we knew some babies just cry a lot, but they grow out of it...

Dylann was about 3 years old before he actually slept through the night and by then we had Jack also, although he wasn't a screamer like Dylann. Jack slept through the night at about 3 months and usually slept through the night from that point on. Once he got old enough to be influenced by Dylann's behavior, he caught on that going to bed was a horrible, nightmarish punishment worse than death and now it's rare that we can put them to bed without listening to some screaming and getting lots of angry eyebrow treatment >:( Dylann still gets up in the night sometimes and sneaks in bed with us where he proceeds to wedge his way into the middle and kick, twist, turn, and make various noises with his mouth that could cause any sane person to pull their own hair out or pierce their own eardrums.

Jack usually sleeps through the night, but on the nights when Dylann is just too exhausted to get up and attack our already shaky mental stability, Jack wakes us with some screaming and squealing followed by requests for numerous random things (cell phone, flashlight, cookie, juice, movie, play outside...). After we turn down his requests, he inevitably loses it again and cries as if his heart is completely broken until we can distract him long enough for him to realize how tired he is and fall back asleep. This is usually accomplished by singing, bribing, or lying (I'll go get the cookie, you wait here). Sometimes this last method backfires and we actually have to follow through, but desperate people will do desperate things.

When morning quickly rolls around, they barely give the sun a chance to roll sleepily up over the horizon before they jump out of bed and begin chasing each other around the house, knocking things over, shouting, screaming, and requesting one thing after the other. All I can do is grab my coffee and go hide until my brain emerges from the fog and I can listen to someone talk without wanting to throw something at them.

The past few nights I have gone to bed extremely early (9 or 9:30) to try to get some more sleep, but the kids have noticed my efforts and quickly thwarted my attempt by waking up twice as often. Last night we were awakened at least 5 times by the two of them. I can't wait until they are teenagers. I'm going to pop into their room in the middle of the night and start asking them for a sandwich or some water, or a new car and then when they don't get it, I'll start screaming and crying uncontrollably. Yeah, that'll teach 'em.

No comments: