When the mackerdoodle didn’t take naps it was cute. She was an only child who came to school with us. Jonathan could walk the halls with her in the morning, I could entertain her and soothe her in the afternoon, and in the evenings we could take turns with her until she fell asleep. It was also cute because once she did fall asleep in the evening she was asleep until morning. Sure, she wanted to eat in the wee hours, but she woke just enough to let me know she was hungry and then went back to sleep immediately. I could handle micro naps during the day because her night was just so . . . solid.
The last few nights it has not been so with the cheesedoodle.
His day time routine has been normal: a morning nap around 10, an afternoon nap around 2, bedtime around 7; but instead of being down for the night, as had been his routine before this bug hit him, the last few nights he has woken at 9:30 pm and not gone back to sleep until close to one. Thursday night his antics woke his sister who didn’t go back to sleep until 2:30, meaning this mama got less than six hours of sleep before starting over again.
The thing is, the mackerdoodle’s sleep needs are at the bottom end of normal for a kid her age. She had micro naps, but for the most part she woke happy and rested. If she woke cranky, or gave any other indication of being tired, we would encourage her to go back to sleep, and often she would. The cheesedoodle NEEDS his sleep, and the four hours at night are not happy ones, but he REFUSES to go back to sleep.
When it was just my mackerdoodle with sleep issues, I could shrug it off as a quirk in her biology. “I guess she doesn’t need much sleep.” I would say. “I guess she’s just always going to be one of those kids.” But now that her brother has developed sleep issues, I must draw the reasonable conclusion that there is a flaw in my sleep parenting. I don’t have the first clue how to fix it, but in some way I am contributing to poor sleep habits for my children and resulting sleep deprivation for my husband.
I realize the problem has to be me, but at midnight, holding a squirming, cranky, over tired baby and trying to stop him from waking his sister (and sometimes the neighborhood) I can’t tell you what the problem is or how to fix it. All I know is that I clearly love sleep more than both of my children.