Friday, February 25, 2011

A Perfect Kid with a Sleep Disorder

This is the only explanation. We've lived with this person for two years and a little over three months now. I know what he is like. Braden has been one of the easiest kids to raise that anyone could hope for during the daylight hours. But after dark he can be difficult.

Braden gave up his bottle cold turkey at 12 months. No trouble at all. Not one crying fit over his bottle. His pacifier went in the same exact way shortly after that. Braden has always been a good eater. That is part of the reason he got of the bottle so quick. He likes food. He loves fruits and veggies and will never turn them down. He loves milk and water, and drinks them almost exclusively.

But his greatness does not only revolve around food. At the ripe old age of two he has 80% mastered potty training in only a few short months. His terrible twos tantrums only lasted a short while. He always says please and thank you without prompting. If he so much as bumps into you he will offer a sorry.

This is daytime Braden. He is a sweet, loving, good mannered angel.

Night time Braden is a different story. He has been difficult from the very beginning. Arica and I spent months sleeping on the couch while he slept in his swing as an infant. We both took turns sleeping on an air mattress in his room when trying to transition him to his crib. We tried to get Braden to sleep in everything in the house short of our chest of drawers. You can go back and read The Quest for Sleep if you want to see what I'm talking about.

In fact just click Sleep to find all the posts that I have written about our troubles over the past two years .

Just last night Braden was up at 2 am crying for someone to get him out of bed. It took Arica and I two trips each to discuss the merits of sleeping at night before he finally went back to sleep. He woke up again later. Then he finally got up a 5:45 to watch TV. Then he went back to sleep on the couch and didn't want to wake up and face the day.

Arica claims he is part owl.

Braden has gone through long stretches where he wakes up around two am every night. I've spent more nights than I can count on the couch with him watching cartoons in the wee hours.

He is just now trying to get over a spell where he cries for two hours when you put him to bed. No matter how you go about it he struggles to sleep more than five hours at a time. He is just wide awake at the most inconvenient times.

Let me stop everyone from suggesting we cut out his nap. We tried that already. When we cut his nap time down to one hour a couple months back he morphed into a miniature flesh colored version of the Incredible Hulk. So naps are still necessary.

This all brings me back to my original point. Braden is the perfect child. He just has a sleeping disorder. I don't need any doctors or sleep disorder experts to tell me that. I know.

So as the twins approach, and Braden continues his all out war against sleep, I think there is only one way this all shakes out. It goes something like this. Coming this Summer to a blogging circle near you, ZOMBIE DAD! Starring me.


Sheila said...

oh wow - i have NO clue how you and your wife function, after so little sleep! WOW!!!
Now...Braden MIGHT be too young for this-my friend had a 6 year old who could NOT sleep at night. Her pediatrcian had her get melatonin?(I think that's right) she bought in the "vitamin" area of the pharmacy and it's all natural?
But wow - my butt would be DRAGGING at work!!! if i was up at 2am for an hour or two! HOLY MOLY!!!

Jen said...

Trust me when I say that I totally feel your pain. Hayden was like this. He didn't do the watch TV in the wee hours of the morning thing but he was always up multiple times a night crying and wanting to sleep with us. Then the triplets came and he stopped. Actually, it was when I went into the hospital while pregnant with them and his began to sleep all through the night.

Maybe this will happen to you. At least, here's hoping.

seashore subjects said...

I am so sorry. My son was up more at night than not, but largely because of breathing issues. My boss used to wonder how I was so upbeat and happy daily after hours awake at night. So believe me when I say I am sorry for you guys. It is exhausting.

Brian Miller said...

oh hard...i remember the nights but luckily ours settled into a you know anyone else that has gone through this?

Brandy@YDK said...

Yuck. Maybe it's so you don't get used to sleep before the twins get here.

Melisa with one S said...

Oh gosh, I remember those days. Isn't there somewhere you can send him for a few months?


That does really suck. Hopefully it's just a mini-phase and it'll all catch up with him and he'll start sleeping more! (Probably right around the time the babies arrive.)

Melissa said...

My daughter (3.5) is/was a terrible sleeper. Not as bad your boy - but still waking almost nightly. I was terrified about having a new baby, how would anyone sleep.

Thankfully, new baby sleeps pretty well (for a newborn). So much luck in getting good sleeping twins :-)

Melinda said...

awwwwwwww girls how sweet!
I've been blessed with pretty good sleepers over all so I can't even begin to understand that kind of stress. I do remember someone a couple years ago mentioning their kid having sleep issues and saying the kid slept deeper more quickly and longer and in turn didn't require as many hours IDK,
good luck working on it and congrats on the pink

KWG said...

Robert, sorry I haven't been around much -- I've been busy with life as well. But mercy, we've definitely got something in common. Mama and I empathize with you both. The tide is turning now that we've moved Bryce from her bassinet to a bigger crib -- just like when we moved Bea -- but I've been sleeping on the couch. ;)

SurprisedMom said...

It's amazing how kids go from toddlers that never sleep to teens that always sleep. Toddlers want to get up before the crack of dawn and teens get up at the crack of noon. I think it's a plot to drive their parents nuts.

I do sympathize. I remember those days on the couch, crying with my crying child begging her to go to sleep. The bags under my eyes were down to my knees.

Just take comfort in the fact that this is only a stage. You'll get some sleep . . . eventually.

Katherine said...

It's amazing how similar our kids are. All except the giving up tantrums bit. Ethan is very courteous. He always says please, thank you and you're welcome. And sorry. He's sweet and smart and everything great, but he fights sleep like crazy.

We were up from 2 to 5 last night with our insomniac. I feel your pain.

PJ Mullen said...

Hey, look, I didn't lose your blog address :) Sorry you guys are dealing with this. I promise I won't complain ever again when my son wants to "chat" at 3am ever again.