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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

Our little sleeping beauty has some sleeping issues. It's been about 2 1/2 years since we started these issues. It involves a lot of bouncing in bed and a lot of singing. Let's start from the beginning.

When Ella was about 18 months old she figured out how much fun it was to bounce in her crib. The mattress was bouncy and it was great. She also started singing around this time. It was mostly just the tune of song, but sung with her own jibberish (and the occasional word stuck in to make sure we knew which song it was). We noticed early on during these bouncing/singing episodes that she has incredible rhythm (I mean, Daddy is a drummer, after all!). So she would sing in time with her bouncing...(imagine a thunking noise with every syllable) Twin-kle twin-kle lit-tle star- How I won-der what you are...

For a while it was cute. Then it started getting a little annoying and finally, 2 1/2 years later, it is driving us to the point of insanity. It has become a habit for her. She does it in her sleep. She'll do it at 3:00 a.m., she'll do it at 6:00 a.m., she'll go for long periods of time if we don't drag our tired butts out of bed to lay her back down and tell her to go back to sleep.

Then there's the fun little fact that her Papa made her a 4-poster bed and every time she bounces it thunks the wall (THUNK-THUNK-THUNK-THUNK...aaaaahhhhhhh!!!). In fact, the thunking noise was so loud that our neighbors can actually hear it in their house. They thought that there was some jerk living on our block that listens to music with really loud bass at all hours of the night...a couple times a night. It was even pondered whether Jer and I know...every night...2 or 3 times...ya. What an impression we've given them : ) I think Tara was worried that she'd have to live up to some crazy standard, LOL! Anyway, one night us and Chris and Tara were sitting outside by the fire when we heard this peculiar thunking noise coming from somewhere. Jer listened closely and he's the one that figured it out. We were hearing Ella bouncing in her bed. Chris listens and says "that's the noise I hear all the time!" Crazy! My child isn't only interfering with our sleep, but our neighbors as well. Since then I've moved her bed away from the wall. We've noticed that she'll stop in mid bounce and this is how she sleeps. In the perfect position for her to start bouncing at the slightest whim.
In an effort to stop the insanity, I also took away her naps recently. Well let me tell you...that has been rough. She was still a really good napper. Now, we have a very grumpy, disobedient, defiant, screaming, temper-tantrum throwing, "what-kind-of-parents-does-that-kid-have" kind of little girl. It's SO frustrating. She's not bouncing as much during the night, but I'm not so sure the trade-off was any better! I think I'm more tired now than when I was getting up 2 times a night to tell her to go back to sleep. During the last week, every night she falls asleep while reading her books during her "quiet time." She's so exhausted from not napping and still getting up at 7:00 a.m. to sing that she doesn't stay awake longer than 10 minutes after she gets in bed. This, after waging war with us about how "NOT TIRED" she is. Right! This was her tonight. So peaceful. Such a princess. Hard to be mad or upset about the rest of it. I just hope she outgrows it soon. Her little sister has been sleeping 13 hours through the night for over a year already, but I still get up with my almost 4 year old. Not fair. Oh, well...C'est La Vie!


ValleyGirl said...

Isn't it amazing how annoying your kids can be sometimes, but seeing them sleep just erases all that? Our almost-3-yr old rocks in her sleep. She's on her stomach with her knees pulled up under her tummy and then she rocks back and forth like that. When she was a baby, the crib would be banging the wall the whole time. Needless to say, we got rid of the crib within a matter of days and she spent about a year and a half sleeping in the playpen, which, due to being closer to the floor, was sturdier. Now she's in a toddler bed with no headboard or footboard and she still rocks, but at least we can't hear it anymore. Kids are so weird!funny.

Dedee said...

I love watching my kids sleep.

Of course, I've given up on getting a full nights sleep. Four kids will do it to you.

Good luck and I'll pray that your cute girl will start sleeping at night and being happy during the day!

Andrea said...

A peaceful, sleeping child is one of the 7 Wonders of the World, if you ask me!! What a beautiful sight!

And don't worry...we don't wonder what kind of parents she have. We know you are fabulous parents. Toddlers just give you a run for your money (whether they start at 18 months like Joelle or at 3 like Ella).

Louise said...

She is SO flexible!! guess that is the dancer in!
What a love watching the kids sleep, makes it all worth it!!!

Anonymous said...

So peacefull when she is sleeping for you guys and for US! LOL. Now that I know what it really is I don't have to cover my head with my blankets, or think that I have to live up to "some crazy standard" Phew!

Jen said...

I love the pose shes sleeping in
in the first photo
praying for you and her

lil ole' me..... said...

Erin, I have to tell you that when I got to the part about your neighbors wondering if you and your husband were, well, you know...I just about died laughing.
I hope that things straighten out soon and she gets on a "normal" sleeping schedule!

it's me, Val said...

Oh no, dearie! So sorry!! You know, that's it with first children . . . you live and learn. None of us are perfect parents. We just try our best and deal with it. I think you've done an excellent job. She'll one day grow out of it. She will. And when she does, you'll be wishing for some more bouncing, eh? Haha. . . just kidding . . . probably not :) ((hugs))

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