At this moment our children are tucked in bed and talking quietly. I’ll come in the room in a bit to tell them to go to sleep.
I have always felt rather smug (a dangerous emotion) when considering all those children who obviously manipulated their parents into getting another drink, another kiss, another answer to a question. Our children have always gone to bed without fuss. Of late, however, Bethel, in particular, seems to have developed a difficulty going to sleep. I’ll never judge another’s child again. [if you believe that, then you clearly do not understand the depravity of a mother]
As is my custom, when I consider a problem, I look for developmental or environmental causes (or motivations) before considering a spiritual cause (or motivation). Of course, a problem may have all three components, but I try to take care of the first two before tackling the third.
In this case, I remember that the problem started when we took away the pacifiers. At that point, Bethel didn’t know how to put herself to sleep. Shortly thereafter, we put her in David’s room, because we thought David would be less distracting throughout the night than Laurel. Bethel seems to have discovered that wiggling (putting her feet on the wall, putting her feet through the slats on the foot of the bed, etc.) helps her to stay awake. I am not sure if she’s trying to stay up, or just doesn’t know how to go to sleep. She’s also learned to find my room in the middle of the night. Last night, she came in my room. I scared. I sleep with you. I tried letting her sleep beside me last night (I’m desperate for sleep lately), but she wiggled too much and I sent her to bed. Forty-five minutes later when I got up to check on a crying Laurel, I am startled by a chipper, Hi Mommy! I guess Laurel woke her up and she was coming to check on her. Now if they were in the same room… Bethel could put the pacifier in Laurel’s mouth. That’s a thought, but I don’t think Bethel can do that unless she climbs in the crib. Not a good idea.
David is a little better, but probably only because he’s too afraid to get up and walk to our room in the dark. He just wants to talk: What is this song about? I’m really thirsty. Do we have any wings so I can make an airplane in the morning? Bethel isn’t feeling good. Bethel is keeping me awake. Can I get a drink in the morning? You get the idea. If you ignore him, he’ll just keep calling “Mommmmmmm” over and over. I don’t want to completely ignore him because I do want to be available for a real problem (I consider a nightmare, for example, to be a legitimate reason for asking for mom at his age). So I don’t want to say, “I’m not going to answer you.” David responds very well to talking through a procedure, so I might try that. “Here is what you cannot call mom for. Here is what you can.” [I just tried this. I told him he could call for mom if he was hurt or had a scary dream. He told me his big toe hurt.] Now he’s crying. Sigh. Bethel is now up to tell me that David is crying…
Think merciful thoughts… as I head off to the bedroom… again.
… Mom… Can I make some wings for an airplane in the morning?
I hope this is not another very long night. I better get to bed.
Mommy, Bethel is stuck.
Get Bethel unstuck.
Yawn and sigh.
I need to stop proofreading. There’s Laurel, who for some reason isn’t sleeping well this week. If you see any typos, just chalk it up to the result of sleep deprivation.