Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Dreaming of dreaming

G&T - 28-and-a-half months  M - six-and-a-half months

I love sleep. Love it. It is truly one of the greatest things a human gets to experience. Lying there, warm and snug, with a fluffy soft duvet, on a firm, comfortable mattress. I used to love getting into bed early, just so I could enjoy the luxuriant daze of slowly losing consciousness. Bliss... The last time I got a really good night's sleep was three years ago. Just when the twins started regularly sleeping through, I fell pregnant and it was back to the night-time toilet trips and bulky bump discomfort. All the more reason to get little M sleep-trained early. The twins were about one before we attempted anything other than rocking them to sleep in our arms. With two of them, you always worry they'll unsettle each other. In the end though, G decided it was time for a change. She began refusing to sleep on us, instead preferring to nod off in her cot. T was more of a problem. In the end, I spent a few agonising nights sitting by her bed at God knows o'clock, repeatedly lying her down until she got the message that I wasn't picking her up, followed by a few agonising nights sitting in the room at bedtime, waiting a seemingly interminable time until she went to sleep on her own. I gradually moved further from her until I didn't have to be in the room at all. I want to try the 'gradual withdrawal' method for M too, but my problem is again, T. The smallest thing has been known to throw her sleep off track, and force me back to training. If I sit in with M at bedtime, will T get too used to my presence? Besides, the twins are just too raucous at bedtime. They're in their cots by about 7.45, but can always be heard over the monitor singing, laughing or throwing their teddies at each other before silence reigns. Not exactly an atmosphere conducive to baby sleep. Especially when M adores them so much. She'll only want to join in, then where will I be?! So I tried the middle-of-the-night refusal to pick her up. But after two hours by the cot, she failed to see the fun any more, and screamed until I had to feed her just to stop her causing a riot. So I'm stuck in limbo, in an exhausted world, where my dreaming is largely limited to the daytime variety, as I imagine eight hours of uninterrupted peace. I do remember reaching a zombie phase when the twins were babies, but I'm feeling it so much more this time. When they were tots, I could at least collapse straight into bed when I'd finally got them down. These days, I have a day's worth of toddler chaos to rein in before I can stumble towards my mattress and grab what ever blackness I can. I'm so shattered I put T to bed the other night with no nappy on. And she's not potty-trained. I simply didn't notice I hadn't put one on. Thankfully, she stayed dry all night, and we only realised there was a problem when she informed her daddy in the morning that she was peeing on her trousers. Still have no idea how I did it. But I'm not really surprised. I'm living in a bizarre shadow world, where basic functions are all my brain can handle. Please, if anyone out there has any tips, help me... I want some sleep!!

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