We have been very fortunate that both our kids, on the whole, have been good sleepers. Astrid had her moments when sick or teething but generally you’d put her to bed and not hear from her for 11 or 12 hours. The last few months though, she has been a bit of a shocker……… constant nightmares, and general unsettledness resulting in lots of overnight wake-ups, often several times a night. Sometimes the reasons are fairly legitimate – a nightmare, needing to go to the toilet or a wet bed. Most of the time though it’s a very silly reason that results in crying, screaming, tantruming and no sleep for her, or her parents.
I’m not sure what is more annoying – a small baby who wakes up crying and you have to decipher the reason: hunger, thirst, wet nappy, teeth, needing a cuddle or just being a small baby……. or a toddler who tells you exactly why she isn’t sleeping, often for the most downright insane reasons!
Here are a list of recent excuses for either not going to sleep when put to bed, or being awake in the middle of the night (and I’m sure I’ve missed a few)……. Most of them are really annoying at bedtime, but even more ridiculous at 11pm or 3am.
1. I’m not tired (usually said while yawning)
2. I’m hungry (standard bed time delay tactic after eating a huge dinner)
3. I need another drink (yay, so you can wet the bed again!)
4. I need to go to the toilet (fair enough, but you went 2 minutes ago and are now just delaying)
5. I need another story (hmmm, we have read the requisite number for the night and rest need to wait until the morning)
6. My leg, foot, hand, eye, arm, finger etc is hurting (sleeping will probably help it)
7. I’m too tired (well maybe try sleeping?)
8. The cat/s is in my room, get it out (usually screeching at the cat accomplishes this fairly well)
9. I want the cat/s in my room (pretty sure they are hiding far away from the screeching toddler)
10. Baa baa, green sheep, spotty ray (insert one of 12 other toys here) is missing from my bed and I need them NOW (usually discovered at 3am when they have been out of the bed for several days)
11. Baa baa, green sheep, spotty ray (insert one of 12 other toys here) has fallen out of the bed (you could try picking them up, or scream like a banshee……. whatever!)
12. One of my cloths (comforters) is missing…….. (there are about 12 different cloths and she knows what they all look like and if one dares be put somewhere all hell breaks loose, usually at 1am. Of course she is the one who plays with them around the house during the day and forgets to put them back).
13. My cloths aren’t folded correctly (apparently they need to be folded in a certain way in the bed. Ah toddler OCD tendencies!)
14. There is a spider in my room – get it out (yeah I don’t like them either, but I prefer you don’t point it out at 2am when we all should be sleeping, even the spider is probably sleeping)
15. There is a spider in the toilet, it’s a rectangle spider (yes, this was an actual excuse the other week, I don’t know what a rectangle spider is, but apparently it isn’t good).
16. I need another tissue (less annoying when not said at 11pm)
17. I have a snotty nose (yes, they are annoying but sleeping might help)
18. I have a cold (yes you do, go to sleep)
19. I’m too hot (well take off a doona or blanket)
20. I’m too cold (well pull up your doona and/or blanket)
21. I’m lonely (not sure how you can be lonely with 25 toys in your bed and 2 cats in your room)
22. There is something scary in my room (requiring us to demonstrate there is nothing in her room)
23. There is a wolf in the house (I had to prove there was no wolf in the house, I wasn’t believed)
24. I want pancakes for breakfast (nice to know, now go back to sleep)
25. I want to watch some TV (are you ever allowed to watch TV in the middle of night?)
26. I need to go and tidy up my toys (admirable, but not at midnight you don’t)
27. It’s not bed time/night time yet (yes it is we definitely know when it’s bed time,we’v been counting down all day!)
28. I would like to read some books now (5am is sleep time, not reading time)
29. Maybe I can just have a rest instead of sleeping? (not a chance child)
30. There is a loud noise in my room, it’s coming from the ceiling (it’s the central heating, go back to sleep)
31. I wet the bed (I know it happens, but surely you can time it for when I haven’t been up all night with your brother?)
32. Mum, Dad, where are you? (In our room, where we go with the hope of sleeping, occasionally)
……. and our favourite, that gets rolled out frequently
33. I don’t want to sleep anymore (too bad it’s 10pm, 1am, or 3am – you WILL be sleeping some more)
Some of the excuses for not not sleeping are downright hilarious……. except we are too tired to find them very funny. There have even been a few nights that there have been middle of the night tantrums, requiring a visit to the ‘thinking corner’. A little ridiculous at 4am, and not very funny when the tantruming toddler wakes up the baby so we have stereo screaming!
I’m sure we will laugh about this in a few years when we’ve caught up on all that missed sleep and we are dragging her out of bed every morning. Until then though, we will try and stay good humoured about the non-sleeping toddler and dream of nights with lots of uninterrupted dreams!