My littlest little has had a REALLY tough time sleeping lately. She's woken up virtually every night (at least once a night) for the past several weeks. And, I gotta tell ya...it's getting a bit... well.... tired (sorry... couldn't resist).
That child has some imagination. Her dreams are waking her up, and they contain things like "smelly old crabs", "spiders", "big, barking dogs", and "brother".... all chasing her. She comes flying into our room like a whirling dervish, screaming her fool head off and shaking like a leaf. My heart just breaks for her, every time. That is, until she wants to crawl into bed between my husband and me. Then she becomes all legs and arms, poking me constantly with her bony little body. Just this morning, she had her feet firmly dug into my stomach. It reminded me of the final days of my pregnancy with her!
I don't know who looks more worse for wear with all of these nighttime escapades...her, or me. I know it's partly my fault. When I was sick, I'd allow her to lounge in bed with me at her leisure. It made me feel a lot more comfortable about being so immobile, knowing that she was right there with me (instead of getting into some kind of unexplained, or unimagined trouble). But now, she's gotten very used to curling up next to me and falling asleep, and she wants to do that.... EVERY NIGHT.... before she goes to bed.
I allowed her to fall asleep in our bed last night, hoping (beyond hope) that she'd be calm and comfy enough to stay asleep once I transported her into her bed. No such luck. She ran, screaming into our room at a little past midnight, still more than half asleep, and complaining that brother was yelling at her to get out of his room, and she wanted to stay outside of his room and hang out. I tried to tell this poor little soul that she was just dreaming, but she wouldn't wake up enough to understand. I laid her down next to me and she was out like a light again in minutes.
Again, at 3:45 a.m., she came running into our room. This time, I escorted her straight back into her own bed again. There's only so much comforting you can do when you're shell shocked and worn out yourself, you know?
And again... at 6:30, she was crawling in between us, trying with every fiber of her being to crawl back into the place in my body where she'd originally grown from, and bruising my stomach and lower ribs in the process.
Husband, who can sleep through a nuclear holocaust, finally had enough of her squirming and singing (which she proceeded to do at around 7:30, when she declared "it's morning time, Mama!"), and got up and escorted her out of our room.
How nice, to have the bed all to myself, with the screaming, singing, fidgeting, whirling dervish safely on the other side of the bedroom door!
If anyone has any advice to give me about how to calm this little soul down, so that we can all have a peaceful night's sleep, I'd greatly appreciate it.