If this was our only problem, I would have accepted it and would have prayed that this phase would pass. But, not only is he fighting going to bed, he is now coming into our bed at 4 a.m. every morning. It was adorable the first week or two. Now, not so much. Especially because toddlers have some need to breakdance while sleeping and they also enjoy kicking you in the head.
These past 4 weeks were starting to wear on us and the crowning glory was when the Husband told me last week that the neighbour downstairs had complained. Now, I didn't realize that someone lived downstairs all the time. I never saw the lights on consistently and just assumed that it was a Vienna part-timer. I was wrong. The Husband told me she seemed very nice and was trying to be understanding. Because she didn't do the traditional Viennese call the cops on us move, I decided to be proactive and make her some cupcakes on Saturday. I rang her bell with my tray of artificially coloured cupcakes and introduced myself.
"Hi! I am Raphael's mom. We live upstairs. I brought these to apologize for all the noise" she eyed me warily. "I made you CUPCAKES!" I proclaimed.
|All natural... all natural neon food colouring|
"Nope! Just some good old fashioned food colouring. So anyway..." I answered in falsetto. She motioned for me to come in and I realized that the Husband had been napping so if he woke up and I wasn't home, he would have had no idea I had been kidnapped and kept in a box downstairs. Stupid, Tova. Stupid.
I walked in and she pointed to the kitchen and told me to sit down. Being nervous and trying to think of ways to say "special needs" in German, I kept blabbering. "So anyway, I am sorry about all the noise. Our son, he is a little developmentally delayed and is having a hard time adjusting to all the changes."
"Oh yes, I noticed that he was mentally disabled." she replied. Now, at this point I did the full bodied twitch but swallowed my rage and kept listening "There a lots of special schools for children like him." That was a line crossed. I took a breath.
"Well, he is three and a half and just a little delayed. We're not thinking of special schools just yet. So anyway, I just came to aplogize and to let you know that we are starting sleep training tonight and hopefully in a few days, he won't be waking you up in the middle of the night." She thanked me and was very nice and then I left with my full tray of cupcakes. Luckily I could pass them on to a good home since I am watching the calories and can't be trusted around things with frosting.
Thinking I had nipped that problem in the bud, I spent the rest of the day with the Kid and decided to wait another night for sleep training as him coughing up a lung was probably not conducive to a new regime.
|You call that a cough, I'll show you a cough|
|If Heather Locklear lived downstairs, I believe the Husband would be making cupcakes... a lot.|
On Sunday I went to a lovely birthday party for a friend's daughter. In the evening. I re-read the e-mail I had gotten from my therapist about sleep training and made the Husband read it as well. Essentially, this training should take three nights. In a nutshell, you, without saying a word, calmly take your child back to his or her bed over and over again and wait until they fall asleep. This is different from our normal "GO TO SLEEP! GOOOOOOOOOOO TOOOOOOOOOOO SLEEP!" I was open to this new method. I hunkered down and started reading The Tao of Martha. After about 45 minutes, my throat started to seize and I decided that was enough for the night and told the Kid it was bedtime.
I walked out and turned off his light and one minute later, he came out. I took him by the hand and brought him back to bed. One minute later; repeat. This happened about 30 times over the next hour and then I finally placed him in bed and pointed angrily at his pillow. I turned into that closet monkey from the Family Guy.
The Kid couldn't see my rage but he sensed it and his head hit the pillow. I sat down on the floor and stared at him. After an hour he fell asleep and I was done.
"WHY IS IT CALLED SLEEP TRAINING IF HE ISN'T SLEEPING?!?!?" he yelled.
"WHY ARE YOU ASKING THIS AT 3 IN THE MORNING! YOU READ THE E-MAIL! YOU UNDERSTOOD THE RULES!" I yelled back.
"IT DOESN'T WORK! IT ISN'T WORKING!" he roared.
"IT WILL WORK! YOU READ THE E-MAIL! I TOLD THE THERAPIST TO KEEP IT SHORT YOU ILLITERATE JERK!"
"OH? I'M THE JERK? I'M THE JERK?'
It wasn't pretty, ladies and gentlemen. It wasn't pretty. Lest you think we screamed in front of the Kid like this, I can assure you that these were angry whispers. Very very angry whispers outside the Kid's door. We are very mean to each other at 3 in the morning. I might have said something about visiting a lawyer. Might have. Perhaps. At least we could both smile the next morning when I pointed out that the Kid made it through the night without sleeping in our bed. Needless to say, we are fine again. For now. Never forget.
|Sleep training; 2014. We will rebuild.|
Sleep training? "Hi Mommy!"
So last night was night two and it went a LOT better than the first night. The Husband put him to bed and he fell asleep within minutes. Well, they both did. Then, yes, he did wake up at three but I put him back to bed and laid down on the ground beside him. I am currently awaiting an email from my therapist confirming that this is a mistake. He slept until 5 and then I gave him some milk and then I headed out for my walk and the Husband took over. Tonight will be night 3 and I just hope he makes it through the night. I am a zombie. I am at the end. Please keep us in your prayers or just send me a referral for a decent divorce lawyer to keep on file. Maybe send one to the Husband as well. Fair's fair.