08-11-2013, 09:06 PM
We spent the night in my car. DH put him in the car seat and strapped him in and he fell asleep, and I got into the driver's seat and leaned back, with my pillow and my sleeping bag. I'd also removed a seat in the van, so there was a space big enough on the floor for him to lie down and fall asleep, but he didn't want anything to do with that. After we dozed for about 15 minutes, he woke up screaming and thrashing around, as much as he could. I ended up getting him out of his seat and trying to comfort him, but there wasn't any comforting him. He just screamed and cried and kicked, and it was all I could do to keep him from doing damage, and if I held him tighter or touched him too intrusively, he screamed louder.
At one point he was able to come to himself enough that he could tell me that someone was trying to kick him. Another time, he was trying to reach for something that was just out of his reach, and he was next to Claire. He would settle down a bit, doze off for a short time, and then wake up crying and screaming and kicking again, totally unable to be reasoned with and I couldn't wake him up and I couldn't get him back to sleep. It was like he was trapped in a nightmare. DH remarked today that I spent the night with a hallucinating toddler, and aside from the age group being slightly off, he was right. A couple of times he kicked the horn, which was just the icing on the cake.
As daylight broke, he came to himself more and more, and was in a totally foul mood. He was incensed that we weren't in the tent and beat his little fists against me. He didn't know why I didn't take him there immediately. He shouted at me to take him to the tent. He didn't remember any of the dreams or the crying or the screaming or the kicking, but couldn't calm himself down enough to be around other people in a semi-quiet campground. I could see a peacock wandering around the campfire where a few people were starting to stir, and even the peacock wasn't squawking. I kept him in the car and slowly cajoled him into feeling more like himself again, as I brought out the brochure from the campground ("Hmm, what shall we do today?") and some books ("Hey, I haven't seen this Fire Cat book in a long time! Do you remember what it is about?"). We stayed snuggled together in the car in my sleeping bag until he could manage a complete sentence in a normal tone of voice.
I am exhausted. This is my fourth day in a row with minimal sleep. I set up the entire camp, with two tents, packed up everything to get up there, and then had to scramble to leave this morning. S. fell asleep within 5 minutes on the drive home, which is totally unusual for him. He doesn't nap, and doesn't nap in the car. Unloaded my car when we got home. Two loads of laundry so far. Made dinner.
Many of the nearby parents were understanding. One of them had a child who'd had night terrors, and actually screamed during camping trips when she was younger. Another one started questioning S. why he was screaming at night, though, when we were waiting in line for coffee. I felt like even though she wasn't doing it to be mean, and I took him to the car as soon as I realized he wasn't going to stop, it's not like he was doing it on purpose.
However, the whole rest of the time the camping trip was great. Aside from not sleeping. The kids ran around freely. They loved it. One mom told me that Claire was just wonderful.
08-12-2013, 06:41 AM
Oh L, many many to you. I could not even imagine. I don't know how you manage to stay as calm and collected as you do. I wish there was more than virtual that I could provide
Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog
08-12-2013, 07:51 AM
God that sounds awful. I am glad you were able to somehow manage to have fun despite the sleeping hell you are facing. I worry about you. You cannot continue for long like this. ((hugs))
Conner used to do something similar, but it was in the evening and would 'only' last 2-3 hours every night. I thought he needed a nap but was fighting it, but I remember all too well the frustration of trying to sooth him when he was inconsolable. It's heartwrenching to let them have at it. You WANT to help. I hope this phase ends soon.
Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13
08-12-2013, 08:29 AM
He went to bed on time and slept through the night! And so did I!
08-12-2013, 08:30 AM
You must feel like a new woman!
Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13
08-12-2013, 08:34 AM
08-12-2013, 10:20 AM
I don't know how you manage to not cry, L. Me, I would've screamed just as loudly as the kid, and decided to go home and never go camping again.
Glad everyone got some sleep, however.
08-12-2013, 10:25 AM
L, I'm so sorry for your lack of sleep over the weekend. Does sound like night terrors, which are the absolute worst. dd1 had them for hours and hours sometimes - the screaming, hallucinations, not able to be woken up or snapped out of it, not remembering anything in the morning. It's so, so terrible and I feel so bad for you. I can't even imagine dealing with it in a car in a campground. Holy crap, that's awful.
And what a rude person to ask S why he was screaming. Even if she wasn't being mean about it, that's just clueless and passive-aggressively nasty. After a night of no sleep (and you'd had several) I would have had a hard time not replying sarcastically.
So glad he slept through last night and so did you. Many more nights of restful sleep to come, I hope. Also glad you had a fun trip the rest of the time. That campground sounds really fun - a petting zoo! Might have to try it sometime.
-- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09
08-12-2013, 12:27 PM
L, I feel relieved for you and S! Nwy
08-12-2013, 12:45 PM
I tried editing my last post. The nwy was meant to be "May the good sleep continue." I don't know how you do all you do with that little sleep! Like Chrissy said above, I do worry about the amount of sleep you get compared to all the tasks you do on top of working as well!
08-12-2013, 05:29 PM
I don't know how you do it, either. I feel for you and for S. Poor thing. And that woman was just rude. As if he could have helped it! You'd think people with children,let alone multiples, would be more understanding.
Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
08-12-2013, 08:04 PM
S has managed to have a couple of messy poop incidents today (on himself, on the floor, etc.) despite only being home for a short time today and not actually having an illness. I was washing his hands a few minutes ago after the latest one, and he said, "Gott ****it!" I was very surprised. I don't really swear, except for a very colorful and deliberate expletive every once in a while, and DH also doesn't tend to swear very much although he's been letting some things slide lately. I said, "That's not okay to say." He replied, "But Daddy said that when he was really mad one time, when the door wouldn't open." I told him again that Daddy must have made a mistake and must have been very upset, but that didn't make it okay for him to say it.
On the other hand, I am pretty impressed with the fact that he's really trying hard to wipe himself and doesn't want me to help when I couldn't get the twins to do it well into kindergarten starting.
I'm going to take the twins out camping by myself next week when I have a few days off in a row during the week. I was going to take all three, but after this past weekend, I'm not going to chance it.
I had so much fun today showing the twins a "fun drawing game." I told them it was kind of like the stories we tell, with one person continuing a story the other person starts. I showed them how to draw a head, and then make a neck sticking out the bottom and fold the paper, and pass it to someone else who doesn't see the head, and just draws a body (of an animal, robot, person, whatever) attached to that neck, and then folds the paper again with legs sticking out the bottom. The next person continues with legs and feet. They were delighted and I heard laughter for a good hour from the table as I did laundry and chores and they kept running over to me and giggling and showing me the amazing mystical creations of beasts. They did some great drawings, and they could each start a head and exchange papers so nobody was bored. This is the plus side of having multiples.
08-12-2013, 11:00 PM
L, my cousin and I were talking tonight and she mentioned her oldest (now five) had night terrors. He did the same, keeping her up screaming all night, too. She said they started around 15 months and he outgrew them around age four. So the good new is, he did outgrow them at four. The bad new is, he outgrew them at four. Just depends how you want to look at it, I guess!
She did say now he's older, he is her best sleeper of the three.
Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
08-13-2013, 06:08 AM
08-13-2013, 10:22 AM
Mine only wakes up in the middle of the night, making demands. "I want my blanket to be loooong. WAAAAH! My blanket is not long". And/Or "My blanket has a wrinkle, fix it!" Then there is "Rub my back!" which she might want me to do hard/soft/in circles/to the tune of music, etc. At like 2:00 AM.
This, BTW, is the best, least disrupted sleep I've gotten in over 3 years. And I'll take it over night terrors, any time.
08-13-2013, 06:57 PM
Josh still has issues falling asleep. Just a few minutes ago he came downstairs and said he was hungry. He asked me if he could go downstairs and make himself a sandwich in the morning if he wakes up before we do.
Which leads me to the question, at what age would you let your kids go downstairs by themselves and make food (not using anything hot or sharp), play, etc.?
08-13-2013, 07:49 PM
I made a kid-friendly cupboard for my kids about halfway through kindergarten. There are all kinds of snacks, cereals, protein bars, peanut butter containers, raisins, breads and English muffins, as well as fruit on the counter and in the fridge. They know they can go in there and have anything they want as long as it's not too close to dinner time. They make their own breakfasts, pack their own snacks for school, and make their own after-school snacks. They open up the baby-proofed silverware drawer to get butter knives or spoons and put the magnet out of S's reach again (although he could get it if he got a step-stool). There are unbreakable plates, cups, and bowls in this cupboard as well.
They still have me make a lot of their food, but it's really nice to be able to have them get it themselves.
I don't know if you remember my failed experiment with trying to sleep in on weekends and letting them watch tv and make themselves breakfast, and telling them they could watch tv only as long as they were quiet and didn't wake me up, but if they did wake me up that was it, the tv was off.
I left a big note on the tv saying "You can watch a show YOU ALL AGREE ON as long as you stay quiet" on Friday night. On Saturday night I found that Claire replaced the sign with another sign that said, "You can watc a show that Claire piks, Love Lydia." It worked that weekend. I slept in a bit. The next weekend they decided they would rather cuddle and be noisy than watch tv. So much for that experiment. Right now my daughter is helping herself to some dessert of strawberries from the fridge instead of having me get them for her. Since I have been on my feet non-stop all day, I am appreciating the time to sit down and check in with you guys.
I felt like I waited a really long time before I had them do a lot of things on their own, partially because I had two at once and it was just easier and faster and less messy to do a lot of the self-care things myself, and also because if I tried to instruct one how to do something, the other one would just pile on top and shove the other one over and whine about not having a turn, etc. and it was so hard to get a sentence or movement in to help them learn. However, with the food, I just said it's time and I'm willing to deal with potential mess. It has helped so much. Plus I'm letting them be independent about cleaning up, too.
It took a while to get used to having my pots and pans in different cupboards, but it's really nice having all of the kid food and plates, etc. in my lower cupboard. And it's nice to be able to ask them to pack their own snacks if I'm running behind. I feel like I have about a zillion things to do in the evenings to get ready for the next day on school or camp days.
I feel kind of guilty for all of you feeling so sympathetic for my bad vacation. Can't I just whine for a while without making it a calamity? Or am I just describing it too colorfully? I've always done pretty well on little sleep, and once I do it for a while, I get better at being a zombie. I do think it's probably why I'm not as patient and cheerful as I used to be, though. When the twins were born, I did all of the night-time wakings because I do so much better on little sleep and DH is just terrible if he doesn't get 9 hours.
I am going camping again next week, just me and the twins. My mom is going to take S. for his first ever sleep-over at her house, so it will be special for him, too. I was going to take all three of them, but can't chance it after last weekend. If any Bay Area ladies are free next week during the week, my campsite is big enough for two tents, and I have two tents. I'm hoping for a do-over.
08-13-2013, 08:23 PM
I was thinking of setting out a plate and cup the night before, since he'd have to climb my step stool or get up on the counter to reach them and this would reduce the risk of accident. Other than that I think he'd be capable of making a sandwich, but probably wouldn't be able to turn on the tv with all the different remotes and settings we need, and I'd feel horrible if he managed to hurt himself and I wasn't downstairs to help him.
I think we just all know what it's like to be sleep deprived, and that's why we're so sympathetic towards you.
08-13-2013, 08:33 PM
08-13-2013, 08:43 PM
Maybe she doesn't want to overstep her boundaries. Have you asked her right out to get a drink for him?
I've had a little breakthrough with Josh. I've told you guys that I just don't feel like he listens to me. That I have to repeat myself day after day about the same things. Well I found out the other day that he plays a little game in his head when we have a disagreement. He likes to "power up" when we disagree. Like every time he challenges me and wins he gets a power up, in his head. I guess this is our fault for introducing him to video games. LOL But I cannot tell you how wonderful it is just to have a reason why he defies us all the time. He's playing a game. And while I haven't figured out how to make this into a positive thing (although I did mention he should do something positive in his game instead of wanting to "beat me" all the time) it is so great to know the reason why he's defying us all the time. I really just understand him better now.
08-13-2013, 10:24 PM
There are definitely kids who do this. I think video games are the mental vocabulary Josh is using to describe it, but I suspect whatever it is that he enjoys mentally from "winning" would have been there even if video games didn't exist. I may have mentioned in here about learning the hard way not to get into power struggles with kids. It gives them the chance to "win." Where if you set it up so there isn't winner or a loser, you opt out of the game.
Sorry, I hope that didn't come across as preachy. I'm just hoping to share what I've found the hard way.
It's fascinating he could tell you that, though. He's a great kid.
Last edited by Gwenn; 08-13-2013 at 10:25 PM.
Me (39) DH (46) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
08-14-2013, 01:54 AM
Kate, could you spin it in a way for Josh that he gets more points or power ups when he works with you instead of against you, like working together Marioand Luigi style? Just an idea. I've been using points with Travis lately. He starts each day with zero and earns them as the day goes on. I guess it's like a sticker chart, but I'm too lazy to actually make a chart, so we assign points for things like tidying, brushing his teeth and using manners.
08-14-2013, 07:19 AM
It has definitely been a big power struggle for a long time. I've never been able to figure out which battles to pick and how to portray myself as an authority figure without being too controlling. He defies me so much I find that I'm trying to regain ground by insisting on really insignificant things, which leads to more resistance, which makes me feel like I must not be making my point strongly enough, and the cycle starts all over.
08-14-2013, 07:25 AM
I feel ya, Kate. That's Kai for me. Everything was a battle with him. I'm really going out of my comfort zone and giving him more control over his life. We sit and talk about what he wants and I tell him what I want and together we compromise. So far it's working really well. I won't say the battles are gone but he's walking taller and I'm not spending the whole day correcting him. Our biggest issue is his "kindle time". He LOVES playing it. He LOVES talking about his games. I had a 45 minute limit daily for him and so he'd do it the second he woke up and then randomly throughout the day, he would start to talk about how he wished he could check on his zombies or play dragon box, or whatever. He couldn't get it off his mind. Monday night we sat down and decided that he wasn't going to have time limits anymore. We talked about balance and moderation. We set some ground rules. We're trying it for a week. So far it's going ok. This is a really big change for me as I have always been almost totally opposed to screen time. But the kids spends hours and hours outside and then comes in and plays for a bit...so I'm going to trust him with this and see how it goes.
08-14-2013, 07:26 AM
So what are your, say, three biggest battle with Josh right now?
08-14-2013, 08:25 AM
I'm in need of a vent.
The one thing DH does normally, is to get Mira out of bed, feed her breakfast (that's her iPad time), get her dressed while I shower, and get her stuff ready for school. Lately, she won't get out of bed without me. I have to do everything, except feeding her breakfast, and now we're reading books (YAY!) instead of iPad, and she wants me to do it. So, instead of taking a leisurely shower (for about 10 minutes), I have to rush around like a mad person, and try to cram it into about 5. She doesn't like me to take a shower, I have no idea why. Once I'm done reading to her, and I let her know I'm going upstairs, she wants to come with me, to make sure that I change, and don't shower. I don't want to lie to her about it, but I'm finding myself being ambiguous about what it is I'll be doing upstairs, because I don't want to deal with the fallout from the word 'shower'.
Then today, I come downstairs, just in time to not be late for school, and she is just getting dressed. DH knows that he has until 8:22 to feed her, and until 8:30 to get her dressed. And of course, today is the day she decides she wants pigtails, and DH says he doesn't know how, so there I am, cast on one hand, horribly late, trying to get her hair done. Of course, she screamed all the way to school, because I had smooth hair, and she didn't like what I had done to her hair, in my rush. I listened to her, offered my sympathies, told her we'd fix it once we got to school, and nope, no dice. So, I listened to her scream off and on. In between the screaming, she told me how she'd cut off my pony tail, or cut off my head, or my skull.
It just seems like this is my life. In between the screaming, there is all this jealousy (she hates it when other people have long hair, for instance), and "mean talk". The nicer I am to her, the meaner she is back. I just don't know what to do any more.
08-14-2013, 08:28 AM
I've tried to compromise and he just won't have it. (do you like that dragon box game? Josh loved it)
We don't really have time limits on screens either but I do try to moderate it. He likes to play Skylanders (xbox) as soon as he wakes up and there aren't a lot of save points, so he usually plays a chapter, and then I try to have him go outside or do a craft or something before he plays on the computer, or watches a movie.
The biggest thing for me is that I tell him something and he immediately forgets it. He's told me before he doesn't like to remember things that don't make him happy. Like if I ask him not to hang onto Bo or please don't swing your toy sword so close to him, he'll stop for one minute and then he's back to doing it. Same with hugging on hanging on me or rubbing my hair and it's hard to be consistent with that because sometimes I don't mind it and sometimes I feel like I'm going to scream if he touches me again. I've tried to tell him it's really important to give people and animals personal space but I can't seem to impress it upon him. I'm telling him the same things every day. Even his routines-we have charts and lists and he still can't remember the three things he has to do when we go up and get ready for bed and it feels like my reminders are futile, that I'm wasting my breath and it's exhausting.
Also he has taken to calling us liars if we have to change our minds about something, or if he misunderstood something that we said, he insists that we lied. He hits and kicks me sometimes and he screams and throws things. Not to say I've never done those things, so he probably learned from me! I feel like a lot of the time he doesn't think things through and think about other people. I'm not sure where his ability for thinking about other people should be at this age.
None of it sounds all that horrible when I explain it to someone but it's living it every day, feeling like nothing's ever going to change, that is wearing me down. And then add on not feeling a bond with DH anymore and I just feel utterly invisible here.
08-14-2013, 08:30 AM
It sounds like we're having similar struggles, Suja.
08-14-2013, 08:39 AM
I was just going to say that Josh appears to be an older version of Mira.
The one change I've made that I'm happy with - I've put most of Mira's 'stuff' away. She always has access to books, crafts, and play-doh, but everything else is living on top of shelves. I figured, if she doesn't ask for it after a while, those toys can migrate to the basement to be 'out of sight', and after a while, they can be given away.
08-14-2013, 08:44 AM
That's probably a good idea. Josh has a room full of toys he never plays with.