Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ho-Ho-HO, don't get me started...

So I did my first Big Deal interview. It was fine. Maybe. I think. In my brain there was much more witty back-and-forthing. A few more high fives. Perhaps an invitation to dine at one of his amazing establishments. (Pretty much every fantasy I have ends that way.) Unfortunately, it didn't quite roll like that. Everybody was very, very nice. Nobody mentioned the awkward silences as I looked up the next question. It was a little like being on a blind date minus the sexual chemistry, but with a job on the line. So, you know, fun.

But I'm done (well, I still have to write the thing) and busy getting ready for the grandparents. Can I just say that Christmas with a toddler is way more fun than Christmas without? Granted, my Christmases usually consisted of a Hickory Farms cheese ball and 24 hours of "A Christmas Story", but having the little guy around to bake cookies for (not that we've done that) and see Santa with (haven't done that either) and sing Jingle Bells to (that we've managed. Over and over. And over and over and over and over) is definitely cool. He'll be turning 2 in 5 days and I've already wiped out the dollar store buying stuff for it. (There's no party. I just like paper hats.) Last year I spent hours - literal hours - crafting a nonsense of a 1st birthday cake. (Carrots, flax oil, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, ground up raisins. Happy Birthday, kid!) This year? Please. While I can't bring myself to go full-on Betty Crocker (partially hydrogenated oil and corn syrup are still out), he will be getting chocolate cake spackled with homemade vanilla frosting and sprinkles. There will also be ice cream. And presents. Last year all the poor kid got from us was a balloon. My how things change.

And, er, don't. At almost 2, Owen is still a crap sleeper. Let me rephrase: my wonderful son sleeps how he sleeps, and I am working hard to come to terms with that. After two years of fritzing and worrying and whining and reading, I think it's time to accept that my child will probably always struggle with sleep. Some children are prone to temper tantrums, some cry all the time. My kid wakes up often and early. I comfort myself with the thought that at the very least, this will eventually end. There isn't a single 15-year-old who jumps out of bed, ready to race to school. Still, articles like this make me want to throw something. For those who don't feel like reading, it basically says that kids who have trouble with sleep during the first few years tend to have cognitive issues later on.

Thank you, Science.

Who are these articles for? They can't be for parents because all they serve to do is make people like me feel even worse about a miserable situation. It's not like parents of non-sleepers are happy about the lack of shut eye or that we haven't tried (and tried and tried) to fix it. Warning us that we're in for a world of hurt later on... I mean, what's the point? It's not any of these pieces ever offer a solution. (At least this one admitted that fact.)

He did sleep until 6 this morning and only woke up once. That, friends, is the magic of Christmas.


Bad Sara said...

i don't know if i've told you this sotry before... i'd like to think i had the good manners NOT to while you were struggling with sleep issues, but given my past track record, signs would point to no.
anyway, here it is. my mother is a great sleeper. the kind we'd all like to be... can stay up late, sleeps like the dead, wakes relatively early ready to go. my father conks out around eight at night and wakes up at like five in the morning. myself, back when i could, would go to sleep very late and wake up late, groggy and bitchy. i have two brothers. one sleeps like our mother, life of the party, up early, ready to go. makes me jealous. my other brother, however, is like our father. he falls asleep early, despite his young age, wakes before the sun. used to drive my mom nuts. they put a lock on his bedroom door to keep him from wandering around so early when he was little. of corse, my crazy early rising dad had already left for work. jeeeeesus.
i guess my point is that i admire your fortitude, and that sometimes, nothing can be done. if that is Owen's natural schedule, then there you go. at least in a few years he can wake up, make his own cereal and turn on the tube while you catch some zzzzz.

Tor said...

Yay Christmas with a toddler :D Much more fun.

And fuck off science. What, sleep deprivation for years on end isn't enough? Now they're telling us it's our fault and we are making our kids stupid? Well I know the lack of sleep is making ME stupid but I am doing the best I can so they can go jump. It's not like we aren't letting the kid sleep, we're doing everything we can to encourage sleep! OK I didn't even read the link cos it'd get me so steamed up and guilty and I can do without that right now cos I'm too bloody tired!

Ali said...

Bad Sara: The cereal-by-themselves thing! How could I have forgotten that someday THAT will happen? Another reason to be hopeful... (So if we have a second kid, there's a chance he'll sleep, right? That's what I'm taking away from your story, at least.)

Tor: Amen. Bless you for you commiseration. So nice to know I'm not the only one hurtin'.

Bad Sara said...

yes, that was what i was getting at. i didn't want to presume, tho, or make you feel unhappy.

although, because Nature does seem to have a wicked sense of humor, it could be that Owen will be the GOOD sleeper! HAHAHA thank you Nature! you are sooooo funny.....

caramama said...

Amen. Amen. Amen.

I've decided to stop reading articles like that because they just make me feel bad over something I simply cannot change, though I've tried everything I'm willing to try.

And Christmas is just getting more and more fun every year with kids!

Mama Cass said...

my first was an awful sleeper. when she got to be about 2 1/2, suddenly, she started sleeping until 5:30am (a good hour or more longer than normal before that), and napping like a champ. now she's 4, and she sleeps from about 9pm (it still takes FOREVER for her to actually fall asleep) until about 6:30am...and she takes a 2-3 hour nap every day. it's so much better than it used to be! you'll get there! i didn't do anything magic (though i did try every trick in the book), she just grew out of it a little.

Valerie said...

I'm late to the party, but the boys are have only in the last year started to sleep through the night more than not. And in the last few mos they have become pretty decent sleepers.

They have always been on the low end of the sleep ranges so if it said 11-14 hrs they slept 10.5.

For good or bad, when they woke up we just let them crawl into bed with us. For me this worked, I'd open one eye adjust the covers and fall back asleep. It didn't work so well for Ed who would take the kicking and flailing personally.

Not that Owen will take that long to start sleeping :)

Colleen said...

Very late to the party here, but some of the smartest people I know have had LIFELONG sleep problems, so I think the article is mostly b.s. Plus my oldest child never slept until she was 3 and at age 10, she's doing quite well cognitively speaking! So, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Next week another study will come out that says all geniuses sleep less than four hours a night or something!