What is it about?

The rollercoaster adventures of parenting three kids, dealing with disability and mental health - and discussing disability discrimination and how to tackle it.

Friday, 12 December 2008


Earlier this week I'd had enough.

I told Beaver that, after two and a half months, I would go back to sleeping in my own bed. He wasn't happy, but a kind of compromise was reached that he could sleep with Charlie the bird in his room. For a few nights he went to bed ok, although as soon as he would wake up in the night, generally between 12 and 2, he'd come over and end up sleeping the rest of the night on the sofa.

Last night I said:

- No more sleeping on the sofa. You want to be a big boy, you sleep in your bed like a big boy.

Big boy said:

- No.

He didn't like that.

So we got him to sit on the living room coffee table. Not in the comfy chair or on the sofa. No, sitting in the most uncomfortable spot. He still listens and stayed there. While we were lying in the bed, waiting for him to fall off the table asleep. And waited.

Let me just say my son is more stubborn than me.

At about two o'clock in the night, I couldn't take it any more and ended up a blubbering heap sitting on the kitchen floor bawling my eyes out. I have to admit, I am exhausted, and I am at my wits end. All I can conclude is that I am not very good at this parenting business. Bummer it's too late for a career change. Hubby heard me of course and coaxed me back to bed with a stack of tissues.

Back to the waiting.

At 3:18 Beaver came into our bedroom.

- I am ready to go to my bed now Daddy.

So hubby took him. And we all went to sleep. Until 6:30 that morning, when Beaver was up again, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to start the day.

Oh my!


fabig said...

Ja, wat moet ik hierop zeggen. Wat heeft hij nu zo in zijn hoofd. Je weet nog, voor de geboorte van Bo Boo, dat hei okk elke avond uit zijn bed kwam en ook nog in de keuken op te stoel moest zitten, tot hij vanzelf terug naar bed wilde. Okk dit zal wel weer overgaan, maar ja, jullie hebben de nachtrust hard nodig!!!

Anonymous said...

I know there's another post on top of this, but I think your conclusion is wrong. Barbara

Heike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I came back to answer your question - now see it was removed after it came through to my email. I don't mind elaborating...nor that you would choose not to publish this comment. Your blog. I moderate comments on mine also.

I have a bit more confidence leaving a comment if I know the blog-owner has the discretion to not publish it.

Back to your question...

"All I can conclude is that I am not very good at this parenting business."

Exhausted and irrational, you assume the responsibility for your son's behavior. No?

I disagree that you are "not very good at this parenting business". I meant to be encouraging. I think the sleep-issue is very common among children and parents. (But I am not in the mood to research for exact statistics. chkl.)

You seem to be a very good parent. My humble opinion (conclusion). Barbara

Heike said...

Sorry about that Barbara. Your computer is too quick.

I thought you drew a different conclusion on Beaver's behaviour than me and wanted to know your opinion.

Then I read the original post again and thought you might be referring to my line about not being good at parenting - and it made my commnent sound as if I was fishing for complements. Which I wasn't. So I deleted my commnent not knowing that you'd already had it e-mailed to you. Which then make me look silly after all. Oh well.

In any case, thanks for your vote of confidence. But as a therapist yourself, do you have any ideas on the root of this problem! Beaver seems to obsess about dreams (especially bad dreams) and the diffenrence between being awake or in a dream. He ask numerous times in a day if he's awake or dreaming...

Anonymous said...

Naah, I don't think you are silly either. What happened is exactly what I suspected in terms of the order of events. Feel free not to publish anything I leave here.

I hope your visits with Dr. Z are going well. I encourage you to follow the recommendations of professionals who know you both - esp if it appears to be opposite of anything I might suggest - from long the distance between us.

My first suggestion is for you, Heike, to garner some confidence in yourself. Or fake it to Beaver. Children often take their emotional cues from their parents, and children DEPEND on their parents to show them the world, how to live in the world.

Beaver will benefit from the message that he is safe at home at night and that you and his father can protect and support him when he is afraid.

In the same way that you teach Beaver the benefits of good nutrition, teach him the health benefits associated with sleep. That's a cognitive approach. He is old enough to think about such concepts.

Finally, come to a clear understanding of the word 'obsess'. Put a number to it if necessary...like, if he asks this question 2x/day/3 weeks, but then stops. He has moved-on - no further concern on that.

Here's where your confidence will come in handy. Adopt a routine and calm answer for each time he asks. This allows him to LEARN to control frequent thoughts through reassurance.

But if the number of times he asks/day increases dramatically over a week - time to consult a physician/professional.

Not only are your other readers watching for your response, but your younger children are, too.