Monday, December 28, 2009

What's a mother to do?

Everyone went to a Shark's hockey game tonight except for me and the boys. Walt went down for bed in less than 5 min. Dean, on the other hand has been going on and on and on for over an hour and a half now.

Since being here we've tried pretty much every sleep situation possible. The first week he went down really easily, but he kept waking up in the middle of the night. So I stopped giving him naps for about 3 days. By that third day he was sleeping through the night, but I could tell he was super tired throughout the afternoon and he was falling asleep in his dinner chair by 5:30 pm. So we started giving him naps again and tried putting him to bed a little later. This, however, started a very long, drawn out bedtime.

Though he already has his "special flashlight", he discovered that he can turn the light on in his room, so he does and starts playing with his toys. He comes out telling us he needs something. He wants me to stay in the room. He wants me to hold his hand. I've tried staying a few extra minutes. I've tried leaving his door open and the hall light on. I've tried staying by his bed and holding his hand. I've tried sitting in a chair by his door (so he can't escape or turn the light on). Everything works for a little while and then it stops working.

After an hour and a half of this tonight, I started getting a little tired and frustrated. I finally told him I wanted to say an extra prayer. I knelt by his bed, started praying, and began crying as I asked Heavenly Father to bless him to not be scared and to go to sleep. When I finished, he said, "Please say more prayer." So, I started again and paused after I said, "Dear Heavenly Father" He then started his own, "Dear Hevn'ly Father. Gank you for day. Bless Dean no get scared. Bless daddy hockey game. Gramma at hockey game. Grampa at hockey game. Everyone at hockey game. Dear Hevn'ly Father. Dean no get scared. Mommy, please say more blessing." I couldn't hold back my tears. I said another quick prayer, and he prayed again as well.

After he finished his prayer, I told him that if he ever got scared he could always pray to Heavenly Father to help him not get scared. I then told him I needed to go. He came out one more time after I left. I put him back one more time. As I was leaving I heard again, "Dear Hevn'ly Father. Gank you for day. Dean no get scared...." Finally, I think he is asleep.

I love my little guy and I hope that I can help him be a secure little boy. I also hope that I can figure out how to help him and find a good schedule so we don't have to go through an hour and a half bedtime routine every night. I hope this is the beginning of him finding comfort and peace through prayer.


Lady Steed said...

Poor Dean. It will get better eventually. And I think praying was an inspired thing to do. I'm really impressed that Den can say a prayer like that.

Lindsay said...

Toddler + Bedtime = HARD. Garrett was giving us huge amounts of grief with his bedtime towards the end of the summer. I did a little research on how to fix the problems we were facing, and with a lot of time and patience, we got bedtime back under control.

And then we went on vacation.

Vacation itself is one major hurdle. Traveling back east over two time zones? Blah. The fact that Garrett thinks 11:30 is an ideal time to actually go to bed is not sitting well with me. We're slowly (S-L-O-W-L-Y) getting him adjusted back to our time zone, but these late late nights are starting to really wear on me.

I really hope Dean's bedtime routine doesn't get any more challenging once you return home from your trip. Maybe some more of those darling prayers will help. :)

The Drapers said...

That's really cute. Lily has a hard time with bed and naps since we put her in a big bed. I can only imagine how it would be traveling. Well good luck and happy new year!

Lois said...

What a sweet little guy! This too shall pass. Hang in there! Mom

Laura said...

Maia does the same at night. She just started that "routine" you were talking about in the last month or so. It takes so long to get her to stay in bed and fall asleep. She loves to get up and play with her toy instead. I'll try praying with her and see how it goes. Thanks for the suggestion!

Ali Seaman said...

That is such a sweet story! I'm sorry it's so rough. It always is. I hope you find something that works for you. I heard one girl set her night light to a timer from Lowe's and make it the special light that once it's on, they have to stay in their room and when it turns off (set for 7 am or so) then the kid can come out. I've never tried it, but it's worth passing on...

Alisa doesn't nap anymore, but when she had that same problem, I'd put her down and wake her up 45 min. to 1 hour later. It was a rough wake up, but bedtime was much better! I still do that if she falls asleep.

I am kind of a bed-time nazi, so I just say no when they beg me to lay by them, hold their hands, sleep in my bed, come out, etc. You have to find what works for you. Good luck!

And thanks for telling the sweet story. Made me tear up! :)

Ali Seaman said...

Here is the link to the night light idea. It's a great blog, by the way. Good activities for toddlers.