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Sleep is for the Weak

January 21, 2010

I have come to realize that the survival of this blog depends entirely on positive relationships with sleep. This is why I have been having issues finding Mumologic’s pulse.

So,very briefly, James has been moved to the futon in his room because the crib is now just a jungle gym that he can successfully navigate. Unfortunately he is not developmentally able to grasp the phrase “STAY IN YOUR BED OR THREAT THREAT THREAT” So bedtime, instead of being a 15 minute process of story time, prayers, and sweet little boy kisses, is now also accompanied by an hour and a half of this:

Parent: James it’s time to stay in bed.
James: Stay.
Parent: that’s right. Stay.

Parent leaves under severely misguided impression that tonight James will actually stay. Parent then hears the bedroom door open, curses under breath, denies James whatever it is he’s asking for (another drink of water, goldfish crackers, his BIBLE. I have a feeling we’ll be explaining THAT one to God at some point down the road) and repeats above process. Over and over and over and over until everyone is ready to snap and we all take a sharp left down the street of inconsistent parenting.

Then there’s the dead of night wake up calls where James sproings out of bed and comes looking to chat. Unfortunately for him, there is not a receptive ear to be had at that hour. Nor is there consistent parenting.

Anyway, we’re all feeling a little broken these days. If you have any advice or a giant holding pen I could borrow, send ’em this way.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    January 21, 2010 3:10 pm

    Claire, get a lock. I know I know I sound like a horrible parent, but that is how Jord and I survived this stage. His room became a monastic cell devoid of everything but bed and dresser (with child latches). We put a little eye and hook latch outside his door. After he was asleep we unlocked it in case of emergency in the night. Also, he went through a sleep walking stage which proved a little dangerous, so the lock stayed on through the night during that. Anyway, maybe this isn’t for you, but it worked for us. Eventually Isaiah would fall asleep somewhere, on bed, under bed, by door, but asleep none the less, and we were much more sane for it. Now that he is older a smarties reward chart also works, every time he gets out of bed he looses a smartie (which he gets in the morning). Other “reward” charts work, you just have to figure out your chid’s “currency”. Love you guys- sorry for being the advice giver today I just want to see you get some sleep!

  2. Jean Allen permalink
    January 21, 2010 4:55 pm

    I agree with Theresa. A temporary lock is not a nasty thing to do, especially since you have the intercom to alert you to any real problems. But the problem for you might be that you are in a house where you may feel reluctant to make even small holes in doors for a hook and eye lock. Have you tried the child proof plastic things you stick over door knobs? They make it difficult for a child to turn the knob.

    Failing that, perhaps JD could very gently remove the current door knob and replace it with a knob that locks (like the knobs on bathroom doors) but the lock is facing outside so you can lock it. Then you replace the doorknob before the owners come back.

  3. Katie permalink
    January 21, 2010 6:29 pm


    I live on the street of inconsistent parenting!! Whatever works in that moment is what I do! That said, we also have a lock on the outside of Sam and Sarah’s bedroom. And, one of us (Ryan if he’s home) stays in the room until they fall asleep.

    Good luck!

    • Katie permalink
      January 22, 2010 6:53 am

      Oh, maybe I should clarify, we don’t use the locks for during the night, we use them for time outs. At night the kids get up and climb into bed with us, which is fine, because in the Yukon, the more warm bodies in the bed the better!

  4. Patti permalink
    January 21, 2010 9:57 pm

    Hi Claire,
    Bernadette is the same age as James and we just put her in a bed almost a month ago so I can certainly relate to what you’re going through.
    In our case we put her to bed and then I just let her do what she’s going to do. If she decides to get up and play or read or something I just let her. She’ll go to bed when she’s ready. Sometimes she falls asleep on the floor or near the door. She can’t open her door so I don’t need to worry about a lock at this point. Sometimes she actually just goes straight to sleep! Sometimes she decides to visit her sister or beat on her, in which case we do go in and put her back to bed. But otherwise we just leave her. There is the odd time when it’s obvious that she is just not tired. Maybe she had a longer nap or something. In those cases I let her out for another hour or so. In those cases she just doesn’t leave us alone, calling, knocking, playing loudly. But for the most part she plays quietly and then goes to sleep when she’s ready.
    Because she’s been in a crib from day one her bedtime routine is still the same. The only difference is that she can actually get out of bed and it is still a novelty I think. I don’t get stressed or anything. This too shall pass. It did with all the others. Maybe we live on the street of too much consistent parenting. 🙂 Ah, but it has its benefits.
    Blessings on this stage of James’ life. 🙂 We’ll pray for you guys. 🙂

  5. Eileen permalink
    January 21, 2010 11:00 pm

    I agree with all re the safety covers for doorknobs (or lock, as the case may be) – we used them for our kids – worked like a charm. I felt a bit mean at first when they struggled to get the door open, but they learn pretty quickly! Hope you find the trick that works for James . . . especially in the middle of the night!

  6. Elena permalink
    January 22, 2010 6:07 am

    And here comes another opinion. We actually had a giant holding pen for our male twin. We took the bottom of his crib out and put the mattress on the floor. Thus, the crib was extra deep but still had sides and was still safe with no gaps where he could get caught. It was just high enough that our acrobat could not get out and our problems were solved. (We actually took this crib on trips out to NS to visit my parents!) I am against beds until naptimes are over and children are actually exhausted enough to sleep the minute they crawl under the covers. That said, I met a family with ten children who actually turned their cribs upside down: you do what you gotta do. (And try not to let CAS know…)

  7. bakerjac permalink
    January 22, 2010 6:41 am

    I have no advice for you, sorry. What I do have is plenty of sympathy and prayers for better sleeping all around.

  8. Davida permalink
    January 22, 2010 11:55 pm

    These are great comments Claire, unfortunately I don’t have anything to add, Lachlan hasn’t even attempted to crawl out of the crib, he loves bedtime because that is the only time in the day that he gets his soother anymore, and the only time of the day that he gets to cuddle with his favorite stuffed animal, so I know none of that will help you, and I am sure sometime down the road here I will be in the same boat when he decides to become a mountain scaler. But, to add to everyone elses’ comments, I know that my sister in law basically did the same thing, they put their little guy to bed, closed the door, let him play until he went to sleep (wherever that might have been in the room), and they actually just had the child gate up across the door so if he opened the door up during the night he could see out, but couldn’t get out…same idea I suppose. Good luck though…I know what it is like not to get sleep! Hope there is some in store for you in the near future!

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