Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sleep? I remember sleep...

We've been staying at my parents' place since 19 December for Christmas/New Year. Over the last 16 nights we have not had a single uninterrupted, solid block of slumber and I think it is slowly killing me.

His bed is nominally a borrowed port-a-cot which is very similar to one we have at home. In reality, he spends as much time in our bed as in his.

If he isn't taking four or five attempts to settle him in during the evening, he is waking at 2am and refusing to be resettled until he gets a feed whereupon he refuses to go back to sleep. If we're really lucky, he'll go back to sleep after about 2 hours of babbling, blowing raspberries and crying because we have to restrain his arms and legs to stop him hitting us in the face and give us sweet release for maybe an hour before insisting it is time to wake up.

During the day he refuses to nap and we often spend more time trying to put him down for a nap than he actually spends napping. This afternoon it took almost 2 hours to put him down for a 1 hour nap, and that was made possible only because his Mummy went to sleep with him on the bed. Because he won't nap, we can't nap either. It seems like his mobility has increased exponentially over the last 2 weeks and he needs constant supervision (he causes enough damage to himself losing balance on furniture and crawling into things while we are watching - the thought of leaving him to his own devices for more than 5 minutes makes my skin crawl).

He wants to sleep. His eyes are often red through extreme over-tiredness. He yawns and rubs his eyes. In fact, he rubs his eyes so much he has a nasty red scab on one eyelid where actually rubbed away the skin, making his eyelid bleed. I don't know why he is fighting this so much!

I snap at the slightest provocation. My teeth hurt from constantly clenching my jaw to prevent myself from screaming in his ear or biting him or crying when trying to settle/re-settle him for naps or bedtime or mid-dawn stirrings. My shoulders are like rocks from restraining myself from hitting him or shaking him or just dumping him on the bed and walking away. I'm tired and am starting to feel like a total failure as a dad because I can't even get him to do the one thing he desperately wants to do. His mother's back, neck and shoulders are constantly aching from leaning over into the port-a-cot to calm or re-settle him.

There are 5 more nights until he is sleeping in his own cot once more. I don't know how much more of this either one of us can take. I hope we have at least 5 more nights in us.

Don't get me started on blowing raspberries during mealtimes. That's a whole other world of aggravation, irritation and pain. I think I've expressed enough poison for one post.

(For the record, I'm just blowing some steam. He's not in any physical danger. It's our mental health I worry about.)

1 comment:

Brooke208 said...

We hope you all get some sleep soon! That sounds really rough, and definitely frustrating!!

To Elijah- Take a nap so your parents can get some sleep!! :)