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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Forward Makes Momma Unhappy

Emerson CKS1702 SmartSet Alarm Clock RadioEver had to defend your parenting with "it worked with the other one!"? I have this issue every year at Daylight Savings Change. Because Lizzy is a bad sleeper anyway, and this just makes it worse. And while hubby is - reluctantly - willing to help, she's not willing to deal with anyone but The Momma.

I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Pantley, and in fact, when I was a single parent to Abby, we were a test family for more than one of her books. They worked perfectly for Abby, aside from Abby's apparent need to Cry It Out about quarterly. I could be doing everything right, but she'd still need to just cry at bedtime about once every three or four months when she was a toddler. I could live with that.

Lizzy is another story. A large part of Lizzy's problems with sleeping are because when she was little, she didn't have a quiet space, or a full-size crib we could reasonably expect her to stay in, so we put her in a Big Girl Bed earlier than we should have. At least with Abby, I had a way to keep her in bed (aside from Dire Threats of Doom); she could not climb out until she was over two. The other part of Lizzy's problem with sleeping is sheer personality. When Abby was having trouble, she was still a baby; she was fifteen months old and her father and I had just separated and there were actual reasons one could point to.

Lizzy's just stubborn, over-curious, and sure she will miss something if she (gasp!) sleeps. She also has a mild form of a sleep disorder. When it first occurred, we thought it was some sort of seizure activity; she'd get up and she'd go through the motions of things like breakfast and cooperating with getting dressed (she was only about a year and a half at the time - and already in a Big Girl Bed), but she didn't seem there. She'd shake violently too - the sort of shaking that is reminiscent of a surgical patient coming out of anesthesia - which is what caused us to suspect seizure. We took her to her pediatrician, who said he thought it wasn't a big problem, and who assisted in figuring out the pattern of when it happened; it was only when she had either had a nightmare the previous evening, or when she was suddenly awakened by someone else.

He referred us to the pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital, with whom we did a phone consult. She reassured me greatly; this is not some form of epilepsy. It's actually sleepwalking behavior; she is not truly awake when it happens. As she was prone to night terrors as an infant and young toddler (night terrors being essentially the same thing as sleepwalking in the very young), this made perfect sense to me. And (as with me as a child) it only occurs when she is extra super duper tired.

But it doesn't make life any easier on nights like tonight. When she - vehemently - declined her nap and is so overtired that the bags under her eyes have bags under them and she still will not sleep. And when we have done the Spring Forward thing so she's short an hour on top of that. It does not enhance her behavior either. Or her mother's mood.