Friday, August 15, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream-

Ay, there's the rub.

But not for the same reason as Hamlet.

Apparently when my little Princess of Denmark closes her eyes and falls asleep, the dreams are pretty freakin' scary. So, guess what that means?

It means that she isn't sleeping.

Which means that I am not sleeping.

Which means I am not a happy camper/mommy.

RxMan and I have taught Claire that it is acceptable to wake us if she has a bad dream and we will let her sleep in our room (in a chair or on the floor) for a little while. I decided to do this because I didn't have those parents who comforted you back to sleep after a nightmare. Or the ones who held your hair while you barfed your brains out. Nope, I was raised to take care of my own bidness and not bother the parents unless I was completely broken or required stitches.

So, we have allowed, even encouraged, Claire to come to us when she is frightened or awakened by a thunder storm. Until the last several days, it has been sporadic and really not a problem.

Last night, though, she woke us 6 times before midnight! Six. Times. Before. Midnight.


That totally sucked.

She is having nightmares and overall trouble getting to- and staying- asleep; 3 of the 6 times she woke us were to simply tell us that she couldn't get back to sleep....Again, we have encouraged this in the past but this is day 5 of having been awakened several (5+) times each night for some reason or other by the 8 year old.

So, at 11:45PM, I snapped at her. I barked and ordered her back to bed. I demanded that she stay in her room unless she was hit by a car! (I don't like to be awakened, people, bear with me!) Then, I gave her a Benadryl chewable and bid her a firm and not very nice good-night.

It was not one of my finer parenting moments- being mean to my kid
and drugging her, too.

We have spoken about it and I apologized for being cranky and kissed and hugged her. I feel bad but, honestly, at what point can she start recognizing that I cannot magically fix the problem that she cannot sleep? I am fine with soothing her when she is scared and will sit with her or allow her in our room but this other stuff? Is driving me batty...

So, tell me, am I being too harsh? Should I suck it up and let her continue to wake us a dozen times a night or is it time to lay down the law? I am tired- bone-tired- and frazzled so I need someone with a little distance on the situation to advise me....


Missy said...

I really don't think that you are being too harsh. My daughter has been getting up a lot lately too, usually shortly after she is put to bed because she can't fall asleep. Even though she is younger than Claire, it is still rather irritating!
With Emmy, the first time she gets up, I am nice about it, after that, I start to get a bit grumpy, usually by the 3rd or 4th time, I have to tell her that she is not allowed to get out of bed again, NO MATTER WHAT. My new trick is I found an old lullaby CD from when she was an infant, and I play it on a low volume in her room - works like a charm - she has hardly gotten up at all over the past month.
Again, I know Claire is a bit older, but maybe something like that might be comforting??

Melissa said...

I don't think you are being to harsh, either.

Has school started for you guys yet? Could she be anxious about that? My guys are starting at a new school so I'm watching for any odd acting up that's really anxiety in disguise.

Hang in there! said...

I think she's old enough to settle herself. I had parents that let me stay with them, too, but Claire is almost 8. She doesn't need to wake you every time she gets up. You weren't too harsh

Robin said...

I don't think you're being harsh at all. My parents allowed this, and it made me feel safe. We allow it with our son too.
BUT, if she is having this many nightmares, why?
And, now that she is also older, maybe it's time to work on coping in the middle of the night first and then if it doesn't work she can come into your room. When into your room, praise her for trying to cope on her own. That may help her feel more independent confident to stay in her room the next time too (or at least try).

MamaGeek said...

Tough love sucks. I am totally naive in this, so I'm anxious to read people with better advice/input. I personally don't think you are too harsh.

OY. Hope you found sleep!


I too do not think you are being too harsh...I can relate to your frustration...I agree with about letting her play some nice relaxing music in her room...I let both of my younger boys do that and it helps them drift off to sleep every time.

Dana said...

I, too, hate being woken up during the night. So I don't think you were too harsh. I do feel bad for being snappy but jeez louise,!
I wonder why she's having nightmares?
I actually have a blanket and pillow on the floor on my side of the bed. If one gets up, they can come and lay with me for a little while and then it's down to the floor. I don't sleep well with them right next to me and I am TO lazy to carry them back upstairs.