This is a topic I've been reluctant to bring up because I fear my impotent rage might break the Internet.
Zoe does not sleep. Not as much as she should. Certainly not as much as we'd like her too. Which equals at least two hours more than we need to unwind and then go to sleep ourselves and still be able to function. And a little more on weekends.
You know those Chuck Norris "facts" that sometimes make the Internet rounds? The one I'm thinking of right now is: Chuck Norris doesn't sleep, he waits. Well, Zoe doesn't sleep, she delays. Zoe doesn't nap, she refuses. Zoe does not lie down in her bed, she prefers to turn the rocking chair's ottoman upside down, step inside of it, and then rock back and forth until she falls over still inside it and cries.
The initial sleep training took a long time. I studied both sides of The Debate: the No-Cry Sleep Solution vs. the Cry-It-Out Method. Incrementally reducing the time spent in the room until Dear One goes to sleep as soon as her head hits the pillow. The Routine. The Cry-It-Out was the most horrendous. I pride myself on my hard-heartedness but listening to your own child cry for an hour straight really takes a toll. I tried all these things and more, so you can imagine my reaction when I stumbled on a site whose main advice was: Consistency Is Key. Well, you know where they can shove that key.
What gets me is she's so obviously exhausted. The signs she displays have flashing lights. Whiny, easily frustrated, increasingly clumsy.
"Time for a nap," I say.
"No," she responds, furiously rubbing her eyes.
"You're obviously sleepy," I counter.
"No sleepy," she refutes.
"If you go to sleep, then you can wake up refreshed and play."
" . . . " (pause while she yawns.) "No refresh."
I brought the sleep diary to the doctor, fretting over this lack of sleep. From what I'd read, it seemed Zoe was sleeping at least three hours less than the amount needed. The doctor said she was fine, that it was just an approximation, as long as her mood was okay. What about my mood? He laughed. He thought I was kidding.
Towards the end of her first year, she finally slept through the night, if you consider four in the morning to actually be morning. Which I do not. Now, approaching three years of age, Zoe's made it clear that this is just how she is. A good night has her entering our bedroom at 5:45 A.M. cheerily shouting, "Wake up, Mommy!" and thoughtfully handing me my glasses from the nightstand. A bad night has her scream-running through the apartment at 3 A.M. yelling, "Juice!" Anything after 6 earns a place in the win column.
When she became a toddler we entered a new phase of charm and manipulation at bedtime known as the delaying tactic. Here are her excuses for why she can't go to bed presented with translations.
"THIS book!" (I must read just one more book.)
"Outside!" (This toy belongs outside the bedroom.)
"Weebie-wobble!" (I need that other toy which is lost somewhere in the apartment, hidden within another toy perhaps, so that you will have to struggle to find it, a situation I did not in any way plan, and then I can go to bed.)
"Window!" (I have to look out the window.)
"Let's see Daddy." (Self-explanatory.)
I've had it with these @#*$
sleepless toddlers in this @#*$ crib.
Lately I find myself engaging in a lot of the behavior they tell you not to engage in since you'll be setting such a poor example. From Negotiating/Bribing (the carrot and not the whip, though that better be a chocolate carrot in your hand): "One more sleep and we'll have an adventure." To Threats: "Go to sleep or you won't watch Dora tomorrow." To Manipulation and Flat-out Lying: "Dora and Boots are sleeping."
Lying's my favorite. Just last night I told her: Mommy's tired and is going to sleep too.
Mommy's certainly not planning to watch TV with her feet up while drinking a chocolate ice cream float spiked with tequila. You might not think that would taste very good. And you'd be right. But I don't have time for right. I've got about five minutes before she's slowly turning the knob on her door again and peering out of her room to sweetly request another glass of water.
Zoe: 7; Universe: 0