Lately bedtimes have been hard. We went through a period of very dragged out bedtimes for all 3 when they first came to live with us which lasted for a couple of months. Then bedtimes were easier, we had all fallen into a routine. Each kid has had a period of difficult sleeping, some of which are harder to deal with than others. S came first where she would wake us up with bad dreams and needs comforting. She is easiest to get to go back to bed. We simply walk her downstairs, re-tuck her in, and let her know that she can get us whenever she needs us. P came next (who else is thankful that they all didn’t happen at once?!). He would (and still does at times) have very bad dreams where he screams and cries in his sleep and won’t be calmed down once he wakes up unless he comes in to sleep with us or we rock him. There was also a point where he would not fall asleep unless he could see me. I would tuck him in for bed or nap and rest or watch tv in my room where he can see me until he fell asleep. This has mostly calmed down now so I guess it is C’s turn. So far C has had the worst sleep issue by far.
It all started about 4 weeks ago. C would sneak out of her room and get markers and coloring books to keep her occupied so she didn’t have to sleep. For a while I got super frustrated and was so confused. Then one night I came into her room and she had a special stuffed animal I had given her, my sewing scissors (no idea how she got them) and a box full of markers. She had colored the stuffed animal and cut it open to color the stuffing and take it out. My first reaction was to yell and freak out but (through God’s grace) I sat on her bed and asked what was wrong. She said nothing (of course) so I asked if she was mad at me. It was at this point that she started talking while bawling and I could understand nothing. I rocked her for a bit and then asked her to take some deep breaths. She finally got around to telling me that she was having dreams that I went to prison. When she got it out she cried and cried. Then all the sleep avoidance makes perfect sense, frustrating, but logical. I mean she will do whatever she can to stay awake (until well past 10pm). The last couple of days her and I have spent some quality time together before bed and when I tuck her in I remind her that she has a choice. She can go to sleep now or she will have to take a nap tomorrow since God made us so we need sleep. This has worked (for the past couple of days) so here’s hoping our sleep issues improve. If not we are thinking of asking the dr if we can use melatonin for our poor sleepy scared girl.