Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Oh my word, the expectations on this child. Speaking foreign languages? Getting accepted to Harvard? Landing a modeling contract? You people are stressing her out.

At this point, none of those things have occurred. Instead, she has figured out how to checkmate her mom. She has penetrated the barrier. She has entered the next stage. She fully understands power - she has kissed the crib goodbye.

Oh, I know, a few weeks back she had jumped ship, or crib as it might be, on video. But after that one day, she stayed safely inside the confines of her crib. If that is where I put her down, that is where I would find her. A certainty that I, mistakenly, took too lightly.

In the span of nine short days she went from Addie E., Bean, Miss Thang and Babydoll (too many nicknames for a kid? maybe) to The Night Stalker. Let me rewind a bit and set the stage:

There I was drinking a martini, eating cheese and laughing. I was confident that my daughter was having a great time with Gramma and I knew I was in for a great time with Sean and Ali - as we all now know, too good of time.
While I played, Gramma went about the business of getting Miss Thang ready for bed. She ate her hotdog, played with her toys, explored Gramma's house. She splashed in an extra long bath, got in her pjs, drank her milk, listened to her stories and snuggled down in the port-a-crib. From what I hear, Gramma kissed her goodnight, left the door cracked and headed downstairs.

Gramma reported that by the time she reached the bottom step she had a 33 inch tall shadow, hugging a giraffe behind her. All the tucking in rituals were repeated. Gramma kissed her goodnight, left the door cracked and headed to her own room - only to turn around and find that shadow again.

Gramma: It's time for ni-night little lady.
Miss Thang: No.
Gramma: Yes, sweetie. Do you want Gramma to rock you?
Miss Thang: No Gramma. Gramma's bed.
Gramma: No Addie. No Gramma's bed - how about Gramma rocks with you?
Miss Thang: No. Gramma's bed. Let's watch the news.

By some trickery or skill Gramma got Addie back into the port-a-crib, without watching the news, where she slept soundly 'til morning. And that was last sound night of sleep that she or anyone else has gotten.

After breaching the port-a-crib a few more times during Saturday's nap time, we decided to pull out the trundle bed, outfit it with a bed rail and pray. Our prayers, sadly, were completely ignored.
Addison spent every evening at Gramma's playing the Try and Make Me Sleep game. For those of you who haven't played that game, it totally sucks and you never win. And I love winning.

I would read to her. Sing to her. Rock her. Hold her hand. I would shut the door. Leave the door open. Keep a nightlight on in the hallway. Leave the hallway pitch black. No matter what I did, it failed.
We put up three different safety gates, one of which was taller than her by almost two inches. If she was unable to knock them down, she found a way over them. On average, I would walk her back up to bed eight or nine times. She would sneak downstairs and hide behind a chair to watch TV, not realizing that I could see her little feet. She would slink into the living room and sit in her rocker, in the dark, singing. She traveled with supplies - blankets, giraffe, baby kitty and maybe even a book.

When I would finally triumph, and she would pass out, I knew my victory would be short lived. Without fail, in the wee hours of the morning, she would pad into my room with her her supplies, crawling into bed next to me and falling back asleep.

And snoring like a 75 year-old man with severe sleep apnea.

A sunny baby after a sleepless night.

This lovely trend has continued to the great state of Ohio. Our first night home she jumped the crib four times before finally falling asleep. And she was curled up next to me by 4 a.m.

Sunday we converted her crib to a toddler bed and talked about what a big girl she was and how fun it is to have big girl bed, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Sunday night she fell asleep as I read to her. I eased her into the bed, tiptoed away and hoped for a good night sleep. Sadly, between 11:55 p.m. and 1:38 a.m. The Night Stalker came to visit over a half dozen times. She cried. She pleaded. She threw herself on the floor. Each time I walked her back to her room and tucked her back in. At one point I thought I was in the clear, until I saw her come down the hallway with her supplies and set up camp in my doorway. Again I walked her back to bed - where she finally stayed until morning.

Last night she fought us again. It was a double parent intervention. The Thinking Stool made an appearance. There was crying, and blubbering, and screaming, but after an hour or so she walked her self into her room and went to bed. Triumph!

At 3:40 a.m. I found a sweet-smelling, cuddled-up little girl curled into me.
At 3:41 a.m. she was walked back to bed.

At 8:30 a.m. I brewed a six cup pot of coffee.


Kathy said...

a partial nights sleep= PROGRESS!!!

Kate C. said...

Ha! Good Luck!

TKW said...

Miss D. will be 8 in December (Jesus, that sounds old) and she still winds up in our bed 3 nights a week.

On the bright side, The Night Stalker is absolutely adorable to look at, which is probably why she is still alive...

Gibby said...

The Night Stalker...I love it! Don't worry, this too shall pass. Eventually.