Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Mother's Curse

It's a cliche, but it's happened to me.  You know how at least one point in your teenage existence you are screaming at your mother and she comes back with, "When you grow up, I hope you have a daughter just like you!"?  Well, that is, apparently, the story of my life.

I am talking, again, as usual, about sleep.  Or lack of sleep.  Ever since we instituted a bedtime routine at 11 months, going to bed has not been Charlotte's problem.  It's been falling asleep at bedtime, or waking frequently, or staying up once she wakes in the middle of the night.  I am continually grateful that we can put her to bed at bedtime and she stays in bed, and (usually) falls asleep quickly and without fuss.  (Dudes, I am knocking wood SO HARD right now.)  Every now and then she'll have trouble falling asleep at bedtime, and we recently took all the books out of her room and moved them to a bookshelf in the hall, which helped immensely with that.  She was staying up to read, rather than going straight to bed. (*cough*justlikehermother*cough*)

Once we took the books out, we thought we were golden.  Every so often Charlotte will go through a cycle where she wakes frequently in the night.  But this past week it's been BRUTAL.  She will wake up and then be up for HOURS playing, bouncing, making lots of noise.  If we didn't live in an apartment complex (luckily her room shares a wall with a laundry room and we're in the basement, meaning we have just the neighbors above us) I would probably just be able to ignore it, but as it is, she really can't be shouting at 3 am.  Even if she's kind of hilariously shouting, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!"

I think the next step, as much as I'm dreading it, is to take the extraneous toys out of her room, so if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she falls back asleep out of sheer boredom.  Charlotte is not going to like this plan, but she needs to sleep!  If she won't take a nap, then she needs a solid 12 hours at night.  A kid her age really needs to get that much sleep.  I told my friend Morgan last week that Charlotte has bags under her eyes like a college freshman during mid-terms week.  And I wasn't exaggerating.

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