OK, this seems a little melodramatic at noon on Jeremy's day off, but at 4 in the morning it seems not only reasonable but likely.
SLEEP DAMN YOU! Just do it! You will be happier, I will be happier, my word finding deficits will abate...
I'll start with the little one. I asked the paediatrician yesterday what I could do about the fact that she just doesn't sleep at night. "How much does she sleep?" he asked. "Five or six hours max" I said, and waited for the look of pity and shock that I was sure was about to wash over his face. "Well, some kids just don't need that much sleep. We could give her something to make her sleep, but it wouldn't be the right kind of sleep". OK, so a) are you kidding me!? All the sleep books I've read say kids need, like, a zillion hours of sleep or they end up killing puppies in the alley and b) really? Something to make her sleep? Sign me up! I inquired further about the sedative angle only to be met with a look of disdain. Well? He offered! Sheesh.
So the medical angle got me nowhere. The sleep books are getting me nowhere, I think I'm just going to have to hunker down with my 5 hours a night self and try not to operate any moving vehicles for the next year. This is a harsh reality which is only compounded by the bigger child who, ever since his first birthday, slept like a champ. In bed between 6pm and 7pm, up around 7:30am. No nap, but I was willing to sacrifice the nap because he spent an hour in his room in the afternoon having quiet time (which was markedly unquiet and usually involved toy throwing and music and jumping but what the hell do I care? He is happily in his room and I am getting some time to myself!) and because he was in bed early enough that I had some (real)time to myself and could stay up until 10pm (gasp!) and know I would still get enough uninterrupted sleep.
About a month ago that all went to shit. Well, I guess the quiet time went to shit a little earlier - his room and Zeni's room share a wall so if she is napping I don't want to put Hayden in his room because his loud time will end her nap time and better one awake child than two. So instead of quiet time Hayden gets either special mommy and me time or "fucking go play by yourself time", depending on how much sleep I've had. Right. So day time quiet is out, but his nighttime sleep was still hanging in there. And then the Nanny 911-esq bedtime games started. We put him down. He makes like he's going to sleep. 5 to 30 minutes later there is the "thud" of his feet hitting the floor, the "patter" of them crossing his room and the "screeeech" of the bedroom door opening. "Mama?" If we don't answer he sits on the top of the stairs and sings (note - stairs located directly outside of Zeni's room). We did what we were supposed to. Unemotionally put him back to bed. It's been 3 weeks of this. The most times he's done it in one night is 57, but there are a number of runner-up-horrid-nights including 48 47 and 33 times. Every once in awhile he will fall asleep without coming out, but it has only to do with how exhausted he is, not with our wily and skillful parenting tactics.
AND (I know, you can stop reading and rsvp "NO!" to my pitty party anytime) in the morning he has started doing the same thing. Somewhere between 5 and 6:30 the same thud patter and screetch are heard as he exits his room and makes for our bed. I would suck it up and cuddle if he would go back to sleep, but instead he turns somersaults over us. AWH MAH FUCKING GAWD!
So now there is a gate in the door to his room. It stopped him from coming out last night but he just sat there and screamed and thrashed and banged the door open and closed (I should draw a map - in case it is not clear, Hayden's door VERY close to Zeni's room!)
Add to this the last minute cross country trip I made over Christmas because my dad was having diabetic seizures and in the hospital, Hayden's "Harold and the Purple Crayon" stint (if by "Harold" you mean "Hayden" and by "crayon" you mean "purple never to be removed Sharpie all over the wall") the three (not exaggerating) feet of snow between me and my "we're moving to North Carolina, we don't need all wheel drive" minivan and I am hanging on by a thread.
Any one of these things would be ok, I could deal and even probably still be a good parent and partner. But put them all together and as a parent I am short tempered and non-imaginative, as a partner I am sleepy and uninterested in anything that doesn't directly help me get to sleep (and strangely, I get really hyper after sex... sorry, tmi) and as a friend I am the loser who doesn't return phone calls or emails for weeks on end.
It's not pretty.
It will pass, right? Kids will sleep? I will have time to myself again? I might return to the career I love one day? I might go out to dinner with my husband and then stay AWAKE through the movie or, zut alore, we may have enough energy to do something BESIDES see a movie?
I know the answer is yes but it sure as hell doesn't feel like it today, or this week. So goodbye 2008, here's hoping that in 2009 the kids loose, I survive, the snow melts and we all take a nice long nap!