Sunday, January 17, 2010

The lengths I'll go to for a whole night's sleep...

I'm pretty sure my sons are too young and their communication skills too juvenile to put their heads together and formulate cunning plans, but if they weren't I'd be tempted to wonder.

Because just as our one year-old baby started sleeping through the night last week, our toddler stopped. There wasn't even one measly night of uninterrupted sleep in between the switch. Not even a hint.

You see, we have a small M.I.L.K. problem over here. We've taken to spelling the word to avoid saying it out loud, because saying it is like announcing that everyone can just skip dinner and move straight to chocolate pudding. The mere mention of the white stuff and I can practically hear the cogs of my toddler's brain ticking as he contemplates holding off on dinner in favour of his preferred meal - milk.

So, after several nights of being woken up for cow juice (while our baby slept blissfully across the hall), we decided to take a stand.

It's not as easy at it seems though - this taking a stand business. Sounds good, but really it's bloody hard.

But when, at 4 this morning I heard the familiar cry "MAMAAA? MAMAAA!", I stood firm despite the urge to hand over the milk and climb back into bed.

Thirty minutes and two more visits later, one alternative offer of water in a sippy cup rejected, no longer willing to argue about milk, I climbed into my toddler's bed. Last resort.

"Okay sweetie, time to sleep now."

"No sleep!"

In a last ditch attempt to divert his attention, I start singing.

"Edleweiss, Edelweiss, you look happy to see me. Small and white, clean and bright..."

He seems somewhat amused by this.

I finish Edelweiss and tell him "Okay now it's time to sleep. Goodnight.".

"More songs mama!"


"Okay. Twinkle twinkle little star...."

And then "Another song?".

"Just one more song... The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout... down came the rain... and washed the spider out... I don't know the words but I'm singing anyway... and it's five o'clock in the morning and I want to go to sleep."


I pretend to be asleep.

"More spider song mama!"

Flip. The one flipping song I don't know the words too.

Eventually, after - no kidding - ten songs, he closes his eyes. I'm drifting off to sleep when suddenly I sense him turn to look at me.

I open one eye slowly to see him staring back at me wide-eyed and extremely awake.

"Tickle tickle!" He yells in my ear and begins tickling me. Which, of course, is hysterical at five in the morning.

This is how it went on, until about 5:30 in the morning when finally I crawled back into my bed.

In the end though, despite all the antics, he didn't get his way - no milk.

So, we're hopeful that our efforts will secure us a whole night of sleep. Soon. Maybe tonight.

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Heather said...

jeez, I would so have caved and given him the milk!

Lady Mama said...

It's very tempting, trust me, but we want to avoid it happening every night!

The Woman who Can said...

Maybe he'll give up with the milk, and settle in for a singalong?

Best of luck!
Tina x

Loukia said...

Oh, you are so strong - I would have given him the milk for sure! Just so you know, we are going through a similar thing right now in our house, too. My now 2 year old (!!!) wakes up at 1 a.m. and comes to bed with me. He sleeps no problem until about 4 a.m., when he wakes up and says: 'walk, walk. Mink.' Mink = milk. Anyway, I have to walk him around the house, downstairs, etc. We sit on the couch. He gets his milk, which he rarely drinks, and then he says: "up, up. Nana." (nana = bed). Then he'll likely fall asleep, or not. If not, we go back down and do it all over again. In Florida, we ended up (my mom and I on different nights) walking him in the hotel lobby at 4 a.m. Yes, that meant getting dressed in the middle of the night!) OMG. And my 4 year old also wakes up a few times, crying most nights. A night of sleep, with no interruptions seems like it's years away for me! Can't believe how many songs you had to sing!!

Lady Mama said...

The Woman who Can - I'm hoping he'll want neither and settle for sleep! (wishful thinking?)

Loukia - Oh gosh! Okay well I'm glad to know I'm not the only one going through this. Trust me I've been tempted to cave many times.

Tammy said...

Wow you did great Sarah!! I am sure if you keep it up it will pay off! :)

Lady Mama said...

Thanks, I really hope so... *pours another large coffee*

Elaine A. said...

Good for you! I'm sorry about the sleep "trade-off" your guys did. Keep it up though and he'll get the message and you'll be sleeping like a baby!

OH wait... ;-)

Perfectly Happy Mum said...

I admire you. You are one brave lady. We have the same thing going on in this house. Milk is gold and we spell too! I had to decrease considerably the daily intake because it was ruining their appetite. We are good now and they only have 3 beakers a day. However let me tell you that up until approximately 6 mths ago Elliott was doing the same as your son and asking for milk in the middle of the night. I wasn't as strong and wanted my sleep. So I had a beaker ready every night and said "B***CKS" to anyone telling me "You really shouldn't" in a condescending manner. It turned out that he gave it up by himself and now never asks for it anymore. Don't put too much pressure on yourself :) x

James (SeattleDad) said...

Oh jeez. I am whooped after a couple of 'cover me up's in the middle of the night. I couldn't take a sing along. Although if I tried to sing Lukas would fake being asleep just to get me to quit.

Good luck.

Lady Mama said...

Elaine - I hope so!

Perfectly Happy Mum - Yes I agree you really have to do what's right for you.

James - Thanks, at this point, I'll do pretty much anything to get some sleep.

Captain Dumbass said...

Download the Michael Buble version of Spider Man, it's pretty good.

Mwa said...


lil said...

LOL sorry, I know not funny but the tickle part was hilarious! You will successed just keep with it.