03 April 2007
grains of understanding
For the past two nights the little Pooplette has taken it upon herself to turn into the neighborhood’s screaming banshee. She hasn’t just woken up crying and fussing. She’s been screaming, to the point we were really worried about when the gendarmerie was going to show up and take us to prison for murdering her.

The night before last I got up. Nothing I did would calm her. So I woke up the other one for help. We changed her, we fed her, we rocked her, and as soon as we put her back down in her bed, she started screaming again. Ear piercing, glass breaking screams. And it seemed, the more I insisted, the more she screamed. But if her Papa, that lovely man, did anything, she calmed down a bit.

Marc decided to take her to bed with him until she fell asleep ‘for real’ and then put her back down. Well, needless to say, Marc didn’t get much sleep and Pooplette never did make it back to her bed ‘for real’.

Last night, after Marc ‘went to bed’ (meaning he played on his computer until 12.:30 and made it to his bed at around 1 AM), the little monster started up again. Marc got up this time and tried everything from changing her to feeding her to giving her drugs. Nothing worked, and he ended up taking her back with him to bed.

Taking our kids to bed with us is something we’ve always sworn we’d never do, and so far we’ve been able to stick to that. We’ve had a no problems with getting them to sleep in their own beds or anything like that. But Pooplette’s screams these past two nights have been so terrible we honestly have no other ideas of what else to do. We’d like to let her figure it out on her own, but she shares a bedroom with her brother and, mon dieu, if she wakes him up at night (how he sleeps through any of this is beyond me) then I don’t think Marc or I could handle it. He’s cranky when he doesn’t get enough sleep, and cranky in a ‘gimme the rifle, I’ma gunna climb me a clock-tower’ kind of way. Couple this with the screaming banshee and I doubt seriously Marc or I would have the strength of character not to toss one or both of them out the closed window.

This morning I got a glimpse of the monster Marc has been living with for the past year and almost three months, and let me be honest, it was not pretty. I know I’ve complained constantly about his not being around, not helping in the way I want, when I want, how I want. But folks, if you had to wake up to that almost every morning, I think you’d probably try to find as many excuses as possible to hide far, far away.

Now, if I could just get a bit of that validation I’m looking for, a bit of that old ‘Gee, maybe it ain’t so easy after all’-ness that I’m craving, then, then my friends, I think I might actually have the man bronzed when I kill him.

PS: Anyone got any suggestions of what to do with her if she starts up again? Other than killing her, that is?
posted by Doc at 10:13 | Permalink |


  • At 13:02, Anonymous jessica

    mon dio you are a funny lady. the kind of funny i aspire to be, but will never be. so ill continue to come read here and try to soak it up thru ossmosis

  • At 14:09, Blogger Reb

    Hi. Been reading your blog for a while but haven't posted.
    I don't have any suggestions for pooplette's nightime activities, but I think you're right that the monster needs to stay inside. Men just don't deal with the sleep deprivation as well as we women (we are so much stronger than they!)

  • At 14:43, Blogger Nicole

    Are you sure its not an ear infection? If the fluid is caught in a certain part of the ear it only starts to hurt when you are lying down, hence baby seems fine all day and nighttime is absolute hell. Otherwise, the only other trick that we use is Quietude for when Ella is getting over jetlag. It is a homeopathic syrup to help children sleep and works like a charm for us. It won't make her go to sleep but it seems to keep her groggy enough that when she does partly wake up at night, she goes back to sleep on her own. Good luck- I don't think that there is anything worse than trying to handle sleep deprivation.

  • At 16:25, Anonymous Anonymous

    I also wonder if it is an ear infection. They can really hurt!

  • At 19:16, Blogger Nicole

    You know how they are at they age - so many things going on. Could be a reaction to the upcoming newest member of the family. Could be separation issues, could be the handy dandy ear infection, could be newly scared of the dark, could be needs a new lovey, could be night terrors. The list, unfortunately, is long. As for ideas, jeez, my kids started sleeping through the night at a year so I'm like the lamest advice giver EVER. That said, you could try a new friend (stuffed animal) that she chooses, play it up big, and give the new friend a big job and promotion, comforting poolette and helping her get back to sleep on her own, quietly and tell the friend all that in front of her, make it a family meeting. I know what you mean about bringing them into bed, but most of us have done it at one time or another. It doesn't have to be a permanent thing just because she slept with him for two nights. - Laval Nicole

  • At 17:39, Blogger misschrisc

    What I do is sleep by the bed (for the ten minutes it takes him to fall asleep). I tell him "look, mommy will sleep here tonight next to you!" Then I have to do this sort of slow-mo escape thing but it works. I do a lot of fake snoring to get him to believe it.

    The bath at night has worked wonders for sleep. I don't know if you do it mornings or nights but it helps a lot. I also have a cd player in his room and I pop Enya on it when we start to bed and let it play afterwards. Who can stay awake through that I ask you?

    Stay sane. I feel for you!

  • At 14:38, Blogger jchevais

    Ahhh... the memories....

    My charming daughter used to do this for months up until she was 18 months old. And after that one screaming fit that ended with "Hi Mom, How's it going?" when I finally stumbled into her room, I thought, fuck that, this has got to stop.

    Here's what I did and knowing that there was nothing physically wrong with her: I let her scream her head off. It was the longest night of my life (Hubs was on a business trip btw, otherwise he would have been saying go go go to her, even though he wasn't the only one with a full-time outside the home job).

    She howled for three hours. Her brother, in the same room with her, didn't wake up. However, she woke up the whole bloody apartment building. I could hear them pacing in their apartments. Even the crabby lady next door only started thumping on the walls when it got to the three hour mark.

    And then? Daughter fell asleep and never ever woke up in the middle of the night "for kicks" again.

    Probably not recommended for everyone. But this was after months of being woken up in the middle of the night. I was at the end of my tether.

    If the phenomenon of waking up becomes a habit though, you'll have to play hardball.

  • At 00:29, Blogger Gigi

    I know you're not supposed to but I slept with my children when they were very small. I was so knackered it was just easier to feed them when they wanted a feed at night! I don't think it did them any harm and when the time came, they went to their own beds in their own rooms quite happily.

    My middle daughter would scream every evening from 6 p.m to 9p.m but at least she went to sleep afterwards!

  • At 17:01, Blogger Heather

    It's funny - there are the ones out there that tell you co-sleeping is the only way to go and the others thjat tell you NEVER do it! I co-slept with all of my kids for varying lengths of time. No. 1 was until about a year, or when she quite nursing. No. 2 was two and a half and kicked out for the sake of the next. No. 3 made it to about 8 months when he had an orthopaedic brace on his feet and was kicking the crap out of us and ripping my hair out all night - he is permanently banned for the hair thing alone.

    Co-sleeping is a survival mechanism and it doesn't last forever. Good luck and I hope Pooplette settles down for everyone's sake!