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.

Etc.

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.

shoeobvs

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Light Sleeper
Light Sleeper
12 years ago

These are my personal hero:

http://www.macksearplugs.com/

Soft, comfortable, cheap….and found at most stores!

samantha jo campen
12 years ago

This sleep regression thing is 19387465X worse than the newborn stage because they can TALK now! And flail! The last thing I want to hear about at 3 AM are his ‘guys’ (AKA Little People) holding “A BALL!” or “DIAPER! PEE YEW!”

I feel your pain and have nothing helpful to offer. Though I really wish I did.

jen
jen
12 years ago

Dude. Is JB still alive? Because I don’t think mine would be.

C is also doing a weird middle of the night howling thing and I keep running in there thinking he is sick and then he isn’t but he just lies there and looks at me. I rub his back for a bit and then have to try to sneak out or talk my way out. It’s weird. Kids are weird. And they always come up with something new.

I’m sorry you are having to deal with this again. And again. Hopefully he’ll grow out of it?

Nolita
12 years ago

Horse? ;.)

Amanda
12 years ago

I would murder my husband. Murder.

Also, don’t take Dylan out of his crib. Give him what he thinks he needs, but don’t release him.

<3

Rach
Rach
12 years ago

At the risk of offering Assvice, I will tell you that I lost over 10 pounds when my two year old son wouldn’t sleep – because I was so tired each night, I couldn’t physically stay up to eat dinner. If you knew me, you would know that was truly amazing (I never miss a meal, and usually throw in a couple extra each day for good measure). It took us almost two years of not sleeping, visiting Dr. Ferber (yes, THAT Dr. Ferber, who was totally not helpful, BTW), getting violently angry with my son (totally unproductive) and all sorts of other terrible stuff (well, the weight loss kind of kicked ass, I must say) before we finally figured out that this kid was literally gagging on his adenoids each night, waking up feeling like he couldn’t breath. I’m just saying. Take him in and have them look at his tonsils and x-ray his adenoids. You’re skinny enough.

Erin @ Fierce Beagle
12 years ago

lol this is my life only on steroids. My kid has only been doing Weird Ass Sleep Stuff for the past week, and my husband doesn’t get up that early anymore.

Other than those two things, THE SAME.

Korinna
12 years ago

I don’t know how someone has not ended up bitch-slapped in the night due to the lack of consistent sleep.

Also, how is it humanly possible for Riley to sleep through the screams of unjustice?

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

Thank God you found some good earplugs!

The other day my Husband was looking ALL OVER the house for his cell phone (which had a dead battery so he couldn’t even call it). I found it in 2 seconds, in his coat pocket.

Deb
Deb
12 years ago

Once my husband came into the living room demanding to know what I had done with some piece of paper. I said, it’s on the kitchen counter next to the stove.

One second later (apparently when the paper did not LEAP into his arms), he’s all “No it’s not.” Amidst mucho eye-rolling, I heave myself up and go find the paper. On the counter. Right where I said it was.

I stand there, pointing. “You mean THIS paper, RIGHT HERE?” So he says, “You said by the STOVE. THAT is by the MICROWAVE.”

The distance between the stove and the microwave is 30 inches. At most.

I just looked at him. I said, “How are you not just COMPLETELY embarrassed to be you?”

Honestly. It’s just insane how often that exact same scenario is played out in my house. HOW are they not ASHAMED?!?! HOW?

Christina
12 years ago

Hey, not to be a jerk or anything but would JB consider going in to check on Dylan now and again? I know you joke that he sleeps like the dead but seriously a huge difference this time with our 2nd is that I actually force my husband up and out of bed to deal with the crying baby more often this time and by god it has made a world of difference! First of all I do not jump at every sound all night long and second of all I get to sleep more then I did with our son.

Her reaction to him is like pure comedy to my sad tragedy with her. If Kevin goes in to check on her, she leaps away from the edge of the crib, buries her face in the blanket and goes right to sleep. I go in and the SCREAMING CRYING PICK ME starts and goes until I pick her up,let her nurse, yada-yada… Anyway, just a thought.

Otherwise, earplugs work too! ;)

annie
annie
12 years ago

am laughing my ass off at the accusitory finger pic! Whenever my husband bellows at me to help him find something, I holler back, “BEND OVER!”… works 9 times out of 10.

Congrats on the ear plugs BTW…

g~
g~
12 years ago

What is sadly comic is that my 6 year old son has been this way since BIRTH–which is, Just Like His Father. Seriously, my daughter, who is 4, walks up, hands on hips and says, “Drew! Your shoes are RIGHT THERE!” (rolling her eyes and pointing dramatically at the shoes that my son is Literally Standing On). I suppose she may have heard a similar situation played out between her parents a time or two…or fifty billion.
Sigh. It’s genetic. And related to a penis, evidently.

g~
g~
12 years ago

HA! Evidently, I can no longer conjugate anything. Shoes…ARE. Not shoes…is. Whew.

Della
12 years ago

Like Erin – I think you’ve got my life on steroids. I’ve got a newborn, so that makes things exciting too, but basically my 20 month old has been doing that same thing.

Scream/heartbreaking cry at 4am – go in – “hi! nose!”

Super tired with meltdown, (or without meltdown), requests “ni-ni” (or doesn’t) – put down to nap – hear high-volume chatter and babbling coming from the crib for an hour plus.

ugh.

Joanne
12 years ago

Ooh you are a nice person – I would have a dead husband if he woke me up like that.

In my experience with bad sleepers – and all three of mine SUCK – SUCK! – at sleeping, I think the best thing to do is make a decision *during the day* and not in the middle of the night. It is always, like you say, going to be something in the night. I know I’ve seen it recommended here in the comments, but I really recommend Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, if only because it helps make sense of all this crazy bullshit that is young child sleeping.

I hope it gets better, or at least quieter.

cindy w
12 years ago

All I can say is that I sympathize. We’re currently going through our own form of No-Sleep Hell here too, and it’s god-awful. I don’t remember what well-rested feels like either. I just know that I miss it. A lot.

Veronica
Veronica
12 years ago

The snapshot. Lord I almost peed my pants!!

Amy
Amy
12 years ago

What brand of earphones are you using? Please fill me in! The only ones that seem to work for me our the “Quiet, Please” brand.

maggie
12 years ago

Yes, yes, yes, all of it. I was up with my 14 month old from 11 to 2 in the morning last night, after a solid week (and the only week we’ve HAD in 14 months) of half-decent sleep, wondering where I’d gone wrong. Woe. And one time my husband ran up 3 flights of stairs to ask me if there were any toaster waffles in the freezer. And no! He HADN’T thought of opening the freezer first!

Faith
Faith
12 years ago

Thank you so much for not just writing about the good times. One day in the hopefully near future when I get to that inevitable time in parenthood when I’m totally helpless and at the end of my rope and can’t think of what to do, I’ll remember that I’m not alone, and that this misery is somehow normal.

From where I’m sitting, you seem to be doing as much as you can. It sounds like Dylan just needs to learn this, and that’ll take as much time as it takes, and no less. Sorry that it sucks so much. Glad the earplugs help!

Serror
Serror
12 years ago

What is wrong with husbands not being able to find anything? Sheesh. My husband was morosely complaining about loosing his new jacket for about a week. I gave him ideas on where to look and helped him think about where it might be. He finally gave up, and I spent about 2.5 seconds looking for it and found the damn thing.

all things BD
12 years ago

I found that earplugs PLUS a noise machine set to white noise do the trick for me. Our bedroom is right off the dining room/kitchen/family room, and mama likes to sleep in once in a while.

When my husband is rooting around for something and I tell him it’s there and he STILL can’t find it, I tell him to TOUCH EVERYTHING.

kakaty
12 years ago

We just ended a YEAR of sleep hell. We moved our girl to a toddler bed just after her 2nd birthday because she was flipping/jumping out of her crib. At that point we used the much lauded and successful “by any means necessary” route to get her to actually stay in the bed at bedtime. This evolved to one of us staying in her room until she fell asleep. And as she often woke up at night, one of us would go in until she fell back asleep (often falling asleep ourselves). Nearly one year later and were still doing this, and these “bedtimes” could last up to two god damn soul-sucking hours. It was killing both of us, because on most nights by the time you could sneak out of her room it was after 9:00 and evening was shot.

So a few weeks ago we did the Super Nanny method and after 3 nights (i’m going to jinx it by saying it out loud) she fell asleep on her own and stayed asleep all night. The few times she woke up we repeated the method and it worked. OMFG – it worked!! Now she goes to sleep on her own and if she wakes up she goes back to sleep by herself and holy christ on a cracker we are all sleeping all night.

Also – JB needs a firm kick in the sack for 1)not getting up with D in the night and 2) find you own fucking shoes already!

Type(little)a
Type(little)a
12 years ago

ASS GPS

I love you, the end.

Maria
Maria
12 years ago

That finger pointing photo?!? Ba ha ha ha ha haaaaaa! But your talent as a photographer has nothing on your words. You slay me.

sheilah
12 years ago

Heh…my husband is like that too…’where’s my shoes?’ ‘where’s my contacts?’ ‘where’s your goddamned BRAIN?’

Men think a uterus is a magical detection device…finder of all thing lost.

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
12 years ago

Is that a hole in the toe? Clearly, JB needs new sneakers.

I’d be afraid to sleep with earplugs, because what if something really WAS wrong?

I lay awake from 2:30 a.m. on this morning, and at 5:30, the kid and the dog decided it was time to get up (this is new, since we got the doggy; before, you couldn’t drag the kid out of the bed!). So I got up to nastygram emails from someone I don’t want to hear from ever, let alone at 5 a.m. and started doing RESEARCH for the first-grade written assignment on an animal found at the nature center, forpetesake (we’re doing the pond turtle). The kid can’t even write legibly (ah, but he can compose!), and I have to google his resources? I’ll be typing his sentences from dictation, too, until the stupid school district comes up with a workable modification that lets us wait it out until his fine motor skills catch up (probably in third grade, unless they suck the love of learning right out of his little heart).

I hate teachers who give homework to parents… Especially THIS one, who needs to retire, dammit.

Becky Mochaface
12 years ago

You let your husband continuing breathing after that? He should consider himself lucky.

haitian american family of three

I am so glad that I am not the only mom who uses earplugs to sleep! If I tell my partner that I have then in they he becomes the light sleeper ready to leap out of bed and attend our restless child (last night? 2am, 4am)
and I get to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. To whoever said the comment about the kids different reactions with different parents-I totally second that experience!!

shygirl
shygirl
12 years ago

You’re a better woman than I, Gunga Din.

After 17 years, I have finally come up with a bulletproof response to the male “I-can’t-find-my-stuff” problem. It goes like this:

Him: Where’s my jacket?
Me: I don’t know.

Him: Do you know where my keys are?
Me: Ummm… nope.

Repeat, ad infinitum. It doesn’t stop him from asking me, but it does free me from having to look for his crap all the time. The first few times I tried it, it almost made me giddy, because I haaaaate being enlisted to find whatever-he’s-lost-now.

(Learned this trick from a man whose partner– also male– did this to him all the time until he’d had ENOUGH of it. Wouldn’t have thought of it myself, to be honest!)

AndreAnna
12 years ago

Does JB wake you up to tell you when he can’t sleep?

That’s my FAVORITE.

Molly
Molly
12 years ago

Just a thought – didn’t D have reflux when he was real tiny? Do you think he could be having reflux/heartburn that wakes him up at night & then he can’t get back to sleep?

Phoe
12 years ago

It’s a good thing your husband’s shoes don’t have teeth. He could have been seriously injured.

Melissa
Melissa
12 years ago

My child never sleeps either. NEVER. She is 20 months old. Wakes up at 9am, doesn’t nap, we try to put her to bed at 9pm which almost never works and she ends up staying up until midnight when my husband and I go to bed. And then she crawls all over me for a half hour before finally passing out. Oh and she wakes up at least once a night to potty.
I have no idea how she can survive on so little sleep. I have a hard time and I’m an adult. She is only 1 1/2 for pete’s sake!

MRW
MRW
12 years ago

Christ, I got so damned sick of my husband and son never finding things that now when my husband or son tell me they can’t find something even after I tell them where to look for it, my response is “if I go in there and find it in 5 seconds you owe me (fill in the blank with what you want here).” My husband counters with if I don’t find it I owe him a blow job, my son says he gets candy. Neither of them have got what they want in some time and now they both go back and look much more closely before they take my bargain.

Heather
12 years ago

Sounds like a Man Search. This is how it goes:
1. Realize you need something (say, shoes).
2. Go to a room, any room will do.
3. Stand in the entry of said room, put hands on hips.
4. Do not actually ENTER the room (very important).
5. Turn your head from side to side.
6. Yell “I can’t find (insert object here) and I’ve looked EVERYWHERE.”
7. Repeat.

Happens at m

Heather
12 years ago

Sounds like a Man Search. This is how it goes:

1. Realize you need something (say, shoes).
2. Go to a room, any room will do.
3. Stand in the entry of said room, put hands on hips.
4. Do not actually ENTER the room (very important).
5. Turn your head from side to side.
6. Yell “I can’t find (insert object here) and I’ve looked EVERYWHERE.”
7. Repeat.

Happens at my house every day.

Lesley
Lesley
12 years ago

Oh, what wicked humour/charm your little D must have to summon you with a bone chilling scream, only to greet you sweetly with “horse?”

Glad you found some ear plugs, cuz it sounds like the boy might need a little nudge to get him around the corner.

Victoria
12 years ago

Oh no he di’int!

Reagan
12 years ago

Yesss! When my fiance can’t find something, I always ask him if he “man looked for it” or ACTUALLY looked for it.

leahh
leahh
12 years ago

OMG I’m right there with you.. my ummm 26 month old is pulling the same shit with me. Me and google go wayyyy back trying to figure what the fuck I’m supposed to do now?
It sux.. luv knowing that I’m not the only one roasting out in hell by myself!

Smileen
Smileen
12 years ago

Oh Linda, LINDA. How you tickle me funny bone and flow streams of pure hilarity my way, when I am indeed lip chapped and dehydrated by the lack of ha ha and he he’s in this world. HOW do I lerve theee… let me count the ways. Really, hit me up, I’ll count ’em off.

Elissa
Elissa
12 years ago

The last time my husband couldn’t find his keys he asked me if I knew where they were.

“Probably up your ass along with your head.”

It didn’t go over very well.

:)

lisa
12 years ago

I don’t have kids, but I use earplugs like that to block out the sound of my husband’s chainsaw-like snores every night. Best invention ever!!

Jae
Jae
12 years ago

Hahaha, ass map.

April
April
12 years ago

I love how angry your finger looks. Heh.

Sarah0
Sarah0
12 years ago

Oooo. Your finger looks mad. That’s the same look my finger gets when sleep deprived, too.

Shouldn’t there be some sort of support group for parents whose children refuse to sleep? MAAC – Mothers Against Awake Children? Or perhaps EGE – Everyone Gets Eight? I’m working on 4 plus years of such behavior. That’s 49 months and one week of no sleep. It’s bullshit.

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
12 years ago

I have no assvice to offer on the sleeping thing, the twins have been pretty much sleeping thru since 10 months after modified CIO and our wonderbaby, at nearly 9 months falls asleep with one of us after a bottle in the recliner and usually stays asleep till 8-9am the next morning (please don’t hate me for that, I know how fortunate we are). You are amazing to be able to do all you do on so little and such interrupted sleep.

I really was just thinking some of your artwork of you and the giant earplugs would be in order. And hilarious.

Men can’t find anything. Period. One morning my husband couldn’t find his keys, he looked for over 2 HOURS. I had to take an early lunch, come home from work, I found them on the bed (granted under a little bit of the quilt but STILL) in about 10 minutes. He did look a little ashamed, I have to give him that.

Even worse than the “do you know where the xyz is?” is the “where is the…..and it trails off sometimes followed by a nevermind as they find/see whatever they were going to ask about. It’s like they preemptively ask where something is, it’s a habit, a terrible habit. Maddening.

Carina
12 years ago

My guy woke up SCREAMING early, early, early this morning because a fire engine scared him. No, not a real one, one that he dreamed. And since when are fire engines scary? They’re NOT.

I have to find every ass thing around here. NO ONE has GPS but me.