The problem with Dylan’s ongoing sleep issues—I mean, aside from the obvious problem of the whole thing being a giant festering pain in my ASS—is that he won’t stick to one irritating behavior long enough for me to deal with it. The only constant is the ass-painery, the details are an ever-moving target. He hates naps! He loves naps! He takes forever to get to sleep at night! He conks out immediately! He wakes up at 1 AM! No, 2 AM! No, 4! 5! He’s sick, so all bets are off! He’s fine, but now you have been programmed to eject yourself from the bed at top speed because maybe he cough-barfed and the only thing that’s worse than a crib cough-barf is a crib cough-barf that’s not immediately attended to, see also: CHILD SMEARING BARF IN HAIR.


Every once in a while he sleeps perfectly, never making a peep all night long, and I stupidly assume we’ve finally turned a corner. Well! I think to myself, mentally dusting off my hands and congratulating myself for nearly two solid years of never once hitting my own child with a mallet in the dead of night. Thank goodness THAT’S over!

Naturally, the very next night he sets his internal alarm clock for 2:36 AM at which point he unleashes an unholy bloodcurdling scream that prompts me to sprint on adrenaline-fueled legs into his room, whereupon he stands up in his crib and chirps conversationally, “Horse?”

Last night after he woke up crying at 3 AM, said “Uh oh!” and pointed to his blanket which he had thrown on the floor, demanded milk, shouted “No!” when I actually got the milk, then threw a tantrum when I took him back to his room because MIIIILK, MIIIIIIIILK; I came to the decision that I Have Had Enough of This Sleep Bullshit and It’s Time to Take Action Once and For All. Which would be great—yay for actually doing something instead of just whining about it, right?—except this is a very familiar place, this land of Having Had Enough of This Sleep Bullshit. I’ve been here many, many times before, and I can’t seem to find my way to the much-preferred land of What’s This Unfamiliar Sensation Hey I Think This is What Being Well-Rested Feels Like.

I’ll tell you what I did last night, though: I put him back down, went back to my own bed, and stuffed the equivalent of a super-plus tampon in each ear. I’ve tried twenty different varieties of earplugs and all have provided only a small buffer against the deadly combination of Dylan’s penetrating howls, our wood floors, and the proximity of his bedroom to ours, but I think I’ve finally found a pair that lets me block him out. Each plug is a massive foam chunk which must be squished into a narrow shape before slowly morphing back to its gigandor size once it’s crammed in your listen-hole. They’re horribly uncomfortable and protrude from either side of my head like Shrek ears, but by god I slept the sleep of the just last night after I put them in.

That is, until 6 AM when my husband woke me by roughly poking my shoulder and telling me he couldn’t find his gym sneakers. Which was totally understandable, being as how they were hidden away in plain view on top of all the other shoes and it’s my job to help him find his ass with both hands and an ass map and an ASS GPS and all.



75 Responses to “Familiar territory”

  1. Amanda on November 11th, 2009 5:42 am

    There needs to be a study done on the correlation between the inability to find something and having a penis.

    Although, this is the same penis having species that the military sends out to capture/find/eliminate the bad guy. Perhaps we’re doing it all wrong. I’m guessing Bin Laden would have been found roughly six years ago if a group of women had been sent. The men are all wandering around the desert with their hands on their hips turning their heads, waiting for the bad guy to jump out at them.

  2. Kramer on November 11th, 2009 7:38 am

    I need to know where you got those ear plugs! Seriously, anything that could block out my similarly sleep challenged 19 month old would be a God send.

  3. tina on November 11th, 2009 7:50 am

    Laughing at such an angry finger….
    My husband can’t find anything. What’s most annoying is if he stares into the refrigerator and asks “wheres the blah blah blah”? And I usually respond “right in front of you” and he stares, and stares and stares, until I walk over and do a magic trick by moving a jug of milk: abra cadabra! There it is! He is 6 foot 4, so added bonus is if I put anything on a shelf that is lower than his waist…which is conveniently at my eye level (I am 5 foot 3). I have learned he cannot bend at the torso or knees. Oi!
    As for the sleep stuff. My son is 2 and has always been a good sleeper, but I really think that has been because I am such a hormone induced crazy nazi about the whole thing. In fact, my friends jokingly refer to me as the sleep nazi. I know last time I posted I recommended a different book, but it’s kind of part of what I do for a living…that being said, I too use Healthy Sleep Habit Happy Child. Based on that book, I would go in, change his diaper, lay him back down and tell him it is still night night…time to sleep. At this age, there is nothing wrong with letting him figure that out the hard way. (and I am NOT a Ferber fan). I know it’s hard when they are sick though…everything gets jacked up and it takes forever to get back in gear. Also, is he taking good naps? One thing HSHHC talks about is the relation between night sleep, good naps and an early bedtime. Whenver we would hit a bump, I would adjust his anp time or his bedtime.
    Good luck to you. I love reading your posts!

  4. Stephanie on November 11th, 2009 8:22 am

    No advice for the non sleeper. I have a 7 month old that I can see is in the early stages of becoming the non sleeper in the house. I fear for the next few years.

    But last night? My husband found his glasses REAL QUICK when he knew he was about to get a little sumthin’ sumthin’. I suppose sex really is the only motivatior for men.

  5. Stephanie on November 11th, 2009 8:25 am

    LOL @ Amanda! That’s freaking hilarious!

  6. Sharon on November 11th, 2009 9:02 am

    Earplugs are the best. Glad you got some sleep. Yeah, you have to resist with all of your might getting the milk at night.

  7. Melissa on November 11th, 2009 9:17 am

    I think you did the right thing by putting him back in and then hitting ignore. Sounds like he is playing you which is just what my 3.5 year old has decided to try again. WTF? I keep going in and then I realized she’ll keep doing it if I don’t put a stop to it. I’m done too.

  8. Laura on November 11th, 2009 10:15 am

    Dude, I feel your pain on the assholish child behavior. My youngest, who I adore (proper disclaimer there) is making me certifiable. He pees in the toilet no problem but refuses to poop. You can sit in there with him for hours and sure enough, as soon as you get up he’ll go hide and shit his pants. If that isn’t bad enough, he’ll then decide that he doesn’t like that feeling and will change his own underwear. Let me repeat that, CHANGE HIS OWN CRAP. Then he’ll call to let me know that he pooped and I am treated to the horrific sight of the turd on the carpet. I’ve tried EVERYTHING to stop it and nothing works. I never had this problem with my oldest or any of the kids I used to watch in my days at a daycare and as a nanny.

    Yesterday I hit critical mass and did the grown up thing of screaming “I am sick of this shit” as I cried and picked up the turd of the day. I wish I could ignore this and the problem would go away.

    WTF is wrong with kids, yanno?

  9. Jenine on November 11th, 2009 12:14 pm

    You kill me. Thank you.

  10. Christine on November 11th, 2009 12:24 pm

    Is it creepy to tell someone you’ve never “met” that you love them? Because I’m going to do it anyway. I. Love. You.

    I got nothing on Dylan, but man, my new husband does the same crap to me all the time. I’ll be sitting there, enjoying the coffee I just bought all ready to go, and he’s all “have you seen my: belt, shoehorn, brown shoes, wallet, BRAIN.” Jesus, man, can you just LOOK.

  11. Katherine on November 11th, 2009 12:37 pm

    Cut the end of those foam earplugs off so the don’t stick out so far. As in many other important areas, their value is in their GIRTH, not their LENGTH. ;)

  12. Liz on November 11th, 2009 3:31 pm

    I’m the one in the family who is always asking if my husband has seen X, Y, or Z. Basically it boils down to the following thought process: “I don’t know where my shoes are off the top of my head. Perhaps if I ask my husband, he will remember seeing them, which will save me some time.” “HONEY HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOES?” “NO.” And at that point I start looking for them for real. Sometimes the technique works and the reply is “UNDER THE COFFEE TABLE.” My husband also found this habit irritating until I explained to him that really I just wanted to know if he already knew where something was, not that I wanted him to find it for me. You may find this technique helpful as well.

  13. Anonymous on November 11th, 2009 4:02 pm

    you make me laugh out loud every single time I read your blog. thank you so much.

  14. Amanda on November 11th, 2009 4:48 pm

    Are you in my head? You must be. We have a 2.5 yr. old that pulls this same shit. He barely sleeps at night, never naps, oh god, it’s just so…..exhausting. We have literally tried everything under the sun, and still he just keep on with his bad self. I don’t have any advice to offer, just my sympathy. We also have a 5 yr old and 8 month old, they sleep somewhat regularly so thank God for that, but still.

    I distinctly remember bringing our youngest home from the hospital that first night. My husband came down with the flu and spent all night shivering and barfing, while i nursed a baby and sat on the floor of my 2 year olds room listening to him say “duck! duck” all through the night. All while trying to recover from a c-section. Oooh, boy the things we mama’s go through with our sleepless children.

  15. Karl on November 11th, 2009 9:32 pm

    The earplugs sound like a good start. Some other vague ideas:

    – whack JB and tell him to go see what D wants. (worked for me .. and it was a hell of a whack too. Yes we’re still married.)
    – noise machine in addition to the earplugs. is one source. Radio Shack used to carry them but I guess not any more.
    – D is probably too young to react favorably but you could try going ballistic and sending him to the deck / garage / outside / etc to sleep. (That is what finally worked for us, but the kid was 5 at the time. Can’t believe we let it go on that long.)

    PS JB is way braver than I am. If I wake up Her at 6 AM the house had better be f’ing on fire. Did you explain things to him? He’s just a male, you need to make things crystal clear… :)

  16. Brooke on November 11th, 2009 10:05 pm

    Not to be a total ass here, but my little boy is the same age as Dylan and pulling the same thing waking up 2 or 3 times every night – and I just noticed that he’s getting his molars. Yeaaahhh. Not sure I can do anything to help with that precious hell, but it makes me feel better to know there might actually be a reason for the torture.

  17. mrs.notouching on November 12th, 2009 12:06 am

    ….arrrrh! story of my life!

  18. Sonia on November 12th, 2009 12:13 am

    I’ve already offered up sleep assvice here, so I’ll zipit this time, lol. I do think you have to get to that place of ‘Enough with this bullshit!’ before you can really dig in and solve or at least improve the sleep sitch. Good luck, sleep deprivation is a bitch!
    On the husband not finding things in plain sight…..when mine asks (usually while standing in front of the open fridge door) where something is, I answer with something smart ass.
    “Honey? Where is the mustard?”
    “Why it’s in the shower, where we keep all of the mustard!”
    “Honey? Where are my socks?”
    “DUH! In the FREEZER!”
    Not terribly affective, but highly amusing for me!

  19. Sonia on November 12th, 2009 12:13 am

    Effective! DUR!

  20. sarah on November 12th, 2009 8:37 am

    Oh my effing holy GOD you are the best way to get a morning started off right! Thank you for the laughs!
    Ass GPS. You slay me.

  21. Sarah on November 12th, 2009 9:51 am

    Yeah…my husband would SO be in the doghouse for that. and he would know it too. Of course, he does it to me ALL the time.

  22. Megs on November 12th, 2009 11:21 am

    Nights that I make every effort to get Hank off to sleep from a nightwaking gently and with no crying and he actually goes down, I go to bed worn out and worried he’s going to wake up ten minutes later. There is no satisfaction.

    Nights when I lose patience (after, say, hours of shenanigans or a nice BITE to the nipple) and toss him in the crib with a swift “I love you but it’s time to sleep. BYE” and he cries for like 2 angryangryangry minutes but then is immediately soundly asleep? Those nights I feel AWESOME. Like, THIS IS WHAT JUSTICE SOUNDS LIKE.

    And 95% of the time it’s damn scenario 1. But when scenario 2 happens…magic.

    The sleep of the just is right. I should feel satisfied and happy about scenario one, but after I sleep the restless sleep of a pussy. Sigh.

  23. Kim on November 12th, 2009 9:50 pm

    My 2.4 y/o does not sleep through the night. Ever. I can count on two fingers the number of nights I’ve slept 8 solid hours since he was born. We got his adenoids taken out, and while we hoped it would be the answer to our prayers, God clearly could give a shit. My son is slowly and methodically killing us, and all I can hope for now is that when he becomes a parent, his child will not sleep. Ever.

  24. Gleemonex on November 13th, 2009 12:27 am

    I almost vomited just now thinking of that situation, on your behalf. Holy flaming sleep-deprived hairy-chested SHATNER …

  25. Cat on November 15th, 2009 5:22 pm

    bwahhaaaaaa…oh, sorry. Don’t want to laugh at your pain but my….

    Children are almost grown but still remember rocking them while in tears repeating, “please go to sleep, please go to sleep” over and over. I think that’s were the phrase, “nothing that good drugs couldn’t fix..” came from. And the husband, almost 30 years later… I’d like to tell you it gets better but ummm, no. Still won’t bother to look for stuff himself. And really if it weren’t for blogs like this and good friends I so would have divorced him years ago. It helps me to realize that he not doing “it” just to irritate the hell out of me, just something that comes with the chromosones apparently.

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