At night a little burglar comes to our door, he wrenches the gate I've wedged there away from the door jamb, lifts it over his head, breaks it across his knees and hurls it down the hall. Then he crawls into our bed and robs us of sleep by hitting his papa in the face and back and pulling my hair repeatedly to make sure none of us falls into a deep sleep for the rest of the night - heaven forbid!
So I gave up on the gate as a security measure for preserving my now most-prized possession and pastime: sleep.
We then simply told the little bugger - whose name happens to be Danny Sam, "You're not allowed to come into our room no matter what! You're too old. You're four-and-a-half-years-old!"
So last night he got up to use the potty and then staged a sit-out right outside our door where every twenty minutes for an hour beginning around 1 am he whined, "Mommy, I can't go back to sleep. I can't."
Firmly and sleepily I informed him that he must go back to sleep and on his own in his own bed, his brother being in the next bed and his stuffed tiger there to snuggle. Whereupon he whimpered, stomped to his room, flung himself against the wall and wept....until, revived - and just as I began to doze in hope - he came back to his NO! NO! I won't go! placard right outside our door and, holding it high in the dark, whined, "Mama, I tried. I can't go back to sleep! Can you snuggle me in the recliner?"
I gently told him that I could not; he is not a baby. (And to be fair, I calculate that I have spent years of my life in that recliner with sick, sleepy, unsleeping, or sleeping children.) Thus the whole whimper, stomp, and weeping phase began anew until my brain shut my body down about 2 am or so for self-preservation.
Can you guess my mood today?
Danny Sam was the first one up this morning. I'm not even sure he slept. In high dungeon I told him that he no longer has the right to disrupt my sleep at his age and that I will not tolerate it, so after using the potty he'd best just return to his bed and lie there in complete quiet until he falls back asleep. I have no sympathy, because he, his papa, and I sleep far better when we're apart.
Will this new policy work? Oh, I don't know, but I hold fast to the dream of a complete, unbroken night of sleep. My dream is there, a reality, somewhere in the future. I just know it.
But maybe it requires a steel door and ear plugs.