Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Enter Sandman, Part III: Enter Already!

The first two nights were as I expected.  She had trouble falling asleep and we were up and down all night.  The last time I made her do the walk of shame was probably around 2 or 3:00am, and then eventually I passed out and woke up to her staring at me with a goony grin and asking me to assume the position.

By the third night, she had no trouble falling asleep, and then "accidentally" slept in her own bed the whole night just from sheer exhaustion.  I showered her with praise and let her play with Leapster for like 5 hours.  While I slept some more.

After that, it was a full week of alternating nights of up-all-night and coma sleep. 

Then she got a head cold and all bets were off.  Audrey is the biggest baby about head colds.  She literally slept better after breaking her arm and getting 20 stitches in her face from a dog bite.  God, she is such a miserable pain in the ass with a cold.  All night long it's "I need a tissue!" "I need Vicks" "My nose is locked!" "I'm siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick!!!!"  So I caved and we were back to square 1.

After she recovered, we got back in the saddle and progressed basically as before.  Eventually, she bagged two nights in a row.  A couple of times she'd come barrelling into my room in the middle of the night, and I'd start my usual effort of dragging myself out of bed, only to see that she was just standing in the doorway and before I got up she had already turned around and brought herself back to bed.  Sweet!

Our biggest issue now is getting her to understand what is an acceptable time to come in and wake me up.  I can handle 6:00, but anything earlier is considered the middle of the night in my book.  We've had several pre-6:00 wake up calls, with the earliest being 4:45.  She comes in all woo-hoo, where's my Leapster?  I'm not sure how to get her to understand it.  I can't really say to wait until it's light because the sun's coming up pretty late these days and she's never slept until 7:00 in her life.  I can't go with a clock in her room because I'm afraid that she would get too obsessed with it.  I do have a clock radio on my nightstand that I think she looks at when she comes in, and is starting to get why some days she gets a parade thrown in her honor and some days she gets a slipper thrown at her head.

So we've made some good progress, but are still working out the kinks.  Today was a 5:30 wake up call.  I'm trying to tell myself that we are still getting better and more solid sleep even with the early rising, but I dunno...to me, 5:30 is 5:30 no matter how good you've slept during the night.  I tried to keep some perspective about my little problems as I watched miners 8 through 11 be rescued at the crack of dawn this morning.  I mean, c'mon.  They've been trapped 2,000 feet under the earth for 69 days in unbearable heat and claustrophobic conditions.  They had it much worse than me...right?  I wonder how they slept down there...

18 comments:

  1. Wow! It sounds like you're making great progress! Hang in there.

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  2. I love this plan. I should try a variation to get Charlotte to fall asleep by herself. We've never done ABA though so I don't have an expert.

    You could try a light with a timer in her room. Set the light to come on at 7:00 and then she'd know that's when she can come to your room. Just a thought...

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  3. It's amazing what we can do with persistence- and you rock!

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  4. My cousin sent me a clock (similar to this) that glows green when a kid's allowed to come visit the parental zombies. Luckily for us, Boo's still crib bound, so I haven't actually tested it yet, but in theory it seems like a good idea. Not sure how to deal with Audrey's possibly obsession with the clock part of it, though. How's that for unhelpful?

    Edit: Ooh. Goodfountain's light with a timer thing sounds like the perfect alternate.

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  5. @goodfountain @samandboo: I like the suggestions! The clock looks cool and the timer on a lamp is ingenious...why don't I think of such things? Oh, that's right...I'm sleep deprived. I will seek the advice of my consultant before making any investments...I'm picturing the downside being Audrey staring at whatever I use all night long waiting to get the OK.

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  6. Look at it this way: if she's lying in her bed staring at the clock or the lamp waiting for it to signal "time to wake zombie-mom", she's still lying in her bed. My Aspie girl loves the predictability of knowing that at 6:25 we HAVE to let her wake us up. It's A RULE, and she does love THE RULES. She frequently wakes at 4 am, and before we instituted the 6:25 rule she would have run in and out of our room ten times before we finally relented and dragged ourselves out of bed. Now she stays in the bed obsessing, yes, over the clock - but because she's lying still, sometimes she falls back to sleep. Aaahhhhh. Sweet, sweet sleep.

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  7. Well, I don't feel nearly as clever now but...these ideas are similar to what we do. I put a digital clock in my daughter's room and I print the "wake up" time on an index card. She knows when the numbers match up it's Olly Olly Oxen free!!!!!

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  8. Sounds like you've made good progress! I'm with neverthetwain - even if she's lying in bed watching the clock, it's still more restful than if she got up and out of bed. Plus, you're still getting to sleep. We're getting Georgia this clock (http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=536615&parentCategoryId=85182&categoryId=85212). It doesn't have a clock she can see, just that it's either Night (go back to sleep!) or Day. There's a clock in the back that you set for when she can get up. Good luck - I'm sure she's going to get it soon.

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  9. ok. so I can't really relate. my kids love to sleep. always have. the biggest problem we ever had was finding Owen downstairs in the middle of the night with his hands in his diaper watching Girls Gone Wild. I'm serious. But he'd always go right back to bed.

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  10. BB has an alarm clock that plays his CD instead of an alarm, so he can just wait for the music to tell him to get up rather than looking at the numbers on the clock (and we can be sneaky and set it to later at the weekends!)

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  11. There's a moon/sun nightlight that you can set the time for the moon to change to the sun. It might help her figure out when she can get up and when she needs to stay in bed. Hi from the Special Needs Blog Hop.

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  12. Wow! You just made me sooooo... grateful for the good night sleep I just had, wish I could give you some of it : ) Consistency and predictability certainly wins the race, not sure if you would put yourself near the finish line but it sounds like you are almost there. Focusing on the positive baby steps of progress and keeping your wonderful sense of humor will help. You will deserve more than a blue ribbon when you get there but remember to celebrate along the way. Good luck with the clock idea if you try it. Routing for you here from the Special Needs Blog Hop.

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  13. My son comes running and screaming into my room at 3 AM because of nightmares. So I totally understand how you feel with interupted sleep. Hope it continues to get better. Thanks for signing up for the blog hop. I am now following your blog.

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  14. My follow took this time. I see my picture above the google friend connect. On one of the blogs it put it in my feeds not in my google reader. So something funny is up :) Finally I am following now :) Thanks for letting me know.

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  15. I'm constantly amazed at how precious good sleep is! Sounds like you're making great progress :) The clock idea has worked well for us!

    Chris

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  16. GGGiiiiirrrrrlllll!!!! I feel you! When Jaylen has a cold life is a nightmare!!! We are just finishing up one. I slept about 10 hours total this entire week. He is up all night complaining too. Next time, let's just lock he and Audrey up somewhere with a box of tissues and some halls and let them just have it out. I can't stand it!

    And I may be an idiot and have missed this, but have you tried really getting her "tucked" in? Jaylen does best with weighted blankets, surrounded or even piled on with pillows, and sleeping right against his little toddler fence in gate thingy. He likes to press right up against that and also feel tightness on the other side. Something about Autism and being lost in the spaciousness of things; something an OT/PT once told me....

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  17. Funny. My husband acts the same way when he gets a cold.

    Good luck. Life is pretty shitty when you don't sleep.

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