For some time now we have been having problems with putting Jack to bed. It seems that the child NEVER wants to sleep, at least, that is what HE would say if you asked him. I know that a blog post cannot truly convey my frustration adequately, but I truly do feel that I am at my wit's end, for many reasons, but mostly over issues with Jack. I know that God's grace is sufficient, and that he will not give me more than I can handle, but I would have to say, I feel as though he is taking me as dangerously close to that point as I can be. I am just going to be plain honest and say that although I love this child growing inside me in a way that can hardly be put in to words, I am also very frightened at the prospect of having this baby AND Jack.
Our main issue, as I said, is bedtime. Jack turned two on Thanksgiving Day. It is very hard for me to accept that he may be "outgrowing" his naptime, but I'm starting to wonder if that is part of the problem. It is hard to accept for many reasons: he is busy ALL THE TIME, but not doing constructive things (some of you may laugh at that and say "welcome to being two", but seriously, once other mothers have a little peep at Jack in action, they generally just shake their heads and say, "wow, he is really BUSY and, I think, silently thank God for their normal active children), he is BORED alot (so we tried playdough--he eats it and tries to stuff it in his ears, we tried coloring--he refuses to color on any paper and would rather just eat the crayon, we tried those cool markers that supposedly only make marks on the special paper--again the problem with wanting to color on anything BUT the paper, and those markers CAN leave a mark on other things!), he is OBSESSED with water (whether it is pushing a chair up to the sink to turn on the faucet, putting a glass under the water spout on the refridgerator, pushing another chair up to the counter to reach a discarded drinking glass, or trying to lock himself in the upstairs bathroom so that he can "brush his teeth", aka play in the water, for as long as he wants), and lastly on this particular list, he refuses to OBEY. We have chosen a method of discipline that we feel is honoring to God's Word and we implement it frequently, to seemingly no affect. All of these things leave a tired, hassled, frazzled, pregnant, congested, bewildered mommy desperately needing for this child to take a nap--even if it is for only an hour! So, you're saying, this is really about you, Betty? YES. We're on the same page.
So, our "normal" schedule is as follows:
7:30-7:45 a.m. Wake up
7:45-9:30 a.m. Watch some cartoons, mommy drinks her one allotted cup of coffee for the day, change diaper, snuggle on the couch, try to force-feed some breakfast (Jack is NOT a breakfast eater)
9:30-11:00 a.m. Mommy tries to "get some stuff done". This may be cleaning up any kitchen mess, check email and respond, get dressed, get Jack dressed, household chores, etc. This time is usually wasted because Jack wants me to stop whatever it is I am doing and do whatever he wants to do, which usually involves some form of water. Or candy. Or pop. Or Bob the Builder videos. This entails him following me around the house, crying and pulling on my hands or my legs, trying to stop me, begging to be picked up.
11:00 a.m. Mommy gives up, bundles up in coats and either goes in to Delphi to McDonald's for lunch or goes to Walmart for an hour or so and meets Daddy for lunch at Wendy's.
1:00 p.m. Jack is falling asleep in the car on the way home. Mommy tries everything to keep him awake--rolling down the window, singing loudly, playing radio loudly, keeping a hand on Jack's knee and shaking him vigorously. If Jack falls asleep for even 5 minutes--IT'S OVER. There will be no napping. He will scream in his bed for two hours, but he will not sleep.
1:30 p.m. We make it home with him awake (hopefully), get him in the house, change the diaper, get a drink, get a tissue, get blankie and AG bear and head upstairs. Turn the music on, turn out the light, sit down on the rocking chair. This is a great time for having conversations with Jack. He will talk about ANYTHING to keep from going to sleep. After about 10 minutes of trying to get him to lay his head on my shoulder, I start to threaten him--"if you don't lay down, mommy will administer the God ordained method of discipline". He doesn't obey so mommy obeys Jesus. We try again. We again fail so another round of discipline follows. At this point I put him in the bed. The tantrum ensues in earnest. I walk out of the room, leaving him to his fit. HE CLIMBS OUT OF THE CRIB and opens the door, running for freedom. More discipline ensues. He is placed back in the bed, and round and round we go until finally, an hour and a half later, he is worn out and finally goes peacefully to sleep, while mommy goes to her room and cries! He will then sleep for two hours! Then I have to decide if I am also going to nap or if I'm actually going to try and get something done around the house.
4:30 p.m. Making dinner, daddy comes home, eating dinner, playing with daddy until bedtime, or if we have to go somewhere that evening, loading up in the car.
9:00 p.m. The naptime process is repeated, although not quite as badly because usually daddy is home and he seems to do better. He generally will not crawl out of bed at night.
11-11:30 p.m. Mommy and Daddy finally get to bed.
2:30 a.m. Jack wakes up calling for mommy, or daddy, or both. I usually get up, turn his music back on, get the drink, get the tissue and rock him back to sleep in about 10 minutes, which really isn't too bad and I don't mind that so much.
3:00 a.m. Jack is awake again, this time he is screaming for someone to get him. I turn off the monitor, and lay there, awake, listening to him throw his fit for sometimes 30-45 minutes. He may or may not go back to sleep. If he doesn't I try getting up and doing the whole "routine again", but by this time I am wide awake and can't go back to sleep.
5:00 a.m. Jeff's alarm starts going off.
6-6:30 a.m. Jeff is gone to work, the alarms are off, TV is off, and I am drifting off to sleep.....until.....
7:30 a.m. Jack wakes up.
What am I doing wrong? I really need to know, so please tell me. This pregnancy has been really hard on my body, and the poor sleeping routine keeps me tired and cranky all the time, not to mention I keep getting sick.
Should I just give up the afternoon nap and go for an earlier bedtime?
What happens when Grace is born and I've got Jack AND an infant that eats every 3 hours?