Monday, July 26, 2010

New Sleep Strategy

Addie and I seem to have finally recovered from the bronchitis/sinusitis that would not end, but now poor Nolie and E. have it.  E. didn't feel good all weekend, and we wondered if it was altitude sickness, or West Nile virus, or worse.  He went into the doctor today, who warned him that if he gets pins and needles on his face, he better scoot to the emergency room right away because it's meningitis.  Those doctors.  They really know how to soothe a girl.  Not that I'm prone to worrying about the worst case scenario, or anything.

So today was all about shuttling people to and from doctor's appointments and picking up antibiotics and now, for a quick moment, writing here.

I don't think Nolie minds being sick too much.  Any excuse to sit in Mama's lap all day is okay by her.  I don't do so well with it.  Nolie, though sweet and magical and lovey in so many ways, also talks non-stop.  And I mean, non-stop.  It does not cease.  No break.  No quiet.  No peace.  She commands attention at every moment.  It's sort of awe-inspiring.  And also exhausting.  Though I'll miss her lots, I will also be a wee tiny bit happy to see her go back to camp in the morning, if she's well enough, if only to have a moment of quiet.

I don't actually know where she is at this very moment.  All I know is that it's quiet, so maybe she's laying down with E.  I haven't gone to look for her.  I think this makes me a terrible mother.  I'll go in a sec, I will.

But, chattiness aside, there is some very good news on the Nolie front.  And that is that E. and I finally, finally, FINALLY are on the same page with bedtime strategy, and Nolie actually fell asleep by herself last night before 9pm.  This was not easier for her, but it has been even harder for us.  I would decide on a bedtime strategy, but E. wouldn't necessarily be on board, or we would think we agreed, but then find out we didn't, and then one of us would end up giving up and laying down with her until she fell asleep, only to wake up hours later, groggy and passing out stink-eyes like they was pate. 

Then we'd do the whole thing again multiple times during the night when she wakes.

Not good.  Not good for us, who are always tired.  Not good for her, who is not learning to soothe herself to sleep or put herself back to sleep when she wakes.  And she turns four in two weeks.

So, the new plan:  we sit in her room while she listens to two songs on her favorite cd.  Then we tuck her in, give kisses and hugs, and leave her in her room with the door open.  If she gets out of bed, cries, or screams (most common), then her door gets closed, which she hates.  So the incentive is for her to stay in bed quietly and talk to her animals and magical friends and get sleepy.  We check in every few minutes to pat her and kiss her and eventually she whimpers and cries quietly and falls asleep.

It's not perfect.  But it's progress.  If I can get her to do it a few times this week, then get E. to do it while I'm in London next week, I think we're set.

I think.

Mostly, I know that she is stronger of will and temperament than either of us, and may take it all.  We may be left by the side of the road, shattered, mere shells of our former selves. 

It could happen.

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