I'm sorry. Did I nod off during my holiday salutation? You'll have to excuse me. Sleep issues persist in the Uncommon Household and I'm afraid Mama isn't fairing too well.
In the interest of full disclosure and sisterhood, I wanted to update you on our efforts to get Banana to sleep, and their relative success (or lack thereof).
Sticking to an earlier bedtime(8:00, versus 8:45) seems to have made no difference, except, perhaps for the negative, because Banana is now consistently waking at or before 6:00. And in my book, that's way to effin early. Also, the time change has sufficiently dicked with our schedule enough to throw off any "results" of our sleep experiments, rendering all data null and void. We are now considering pushing her to a 9:00 bedtime to see if we get a more 7:00-ish wake-up.
As for going to bed in the first place, things are good there. Her nighttime routine is still the same as it was when she was 9-months-old, give or take a few extra stories and some tooth-brushing (or is it teeth-brushing?). Obviously we won't be changing anything there.
But the night-time waking, now that's where things are continuously tricky. Some nights, she's fine, sleeping all the way through, with the only sticking point being the early wake-up. But other nights... oh, those other nights, how they do so suck. She'll wake up one or two or three times, but each time it can take upwards of an hour - an HOUR, people! - to get her back to sleep. We've pretty well stuck to the Super-Nanny technique of quietly placing her back in bed then stationing ourself next to the door, careful not to make eye contact, until she gets out again. Lather, rinse, repeat. I will say that this technique has worked in some respects. For the most part, Banana now understands that we will not be taking her out of her room or rocking with her hour after ceaseless hour each time she awakes. She generally gives up on getting out of bed after two attempts. But now, if she's not utterly exhausted, she will persist in re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, instead. You know, if you think of her Clifford books, George, a sippy-cup of water, and some heinously over-loved blankies as deck-chairs.
The downside to the Super-Nanny method is that it doesn't always seem to work. That, and it requires your presence. Your awake presence, which can be frightfully hard to muster between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m.
And the naps are seriously, seriously screwed. She has become willfully defiant on this point. She will fall asleep in the car or in her highchair, but it is now a rare occasion that she actually goes to sleep in her bed following our nap time routine. I had to put a door-knob no-open thingie on yesterday as she discovered how to open the door (though, thankfully, she didn't leave the room). Today I'm trying something new: I read her stories and then put her down and leave. I give her 30 minutes to try and sleep. If she doesn't, we get her up and do something for a while, trying nap again in another half-hour. As I type, she is knocking on the door as she recites the list of grown-ups who live her ad nauseum. "Mom?... Da?...DaMa?..."
I am starting to fray around the edges. I don't know what's causing all of this. It could be the perfect storm of circumstances: lingering stuffiness from allergies, cutting her eye teeth, the time change, the temptation to get out of her big girl bed to examine her surrounds, an super-late 18-month sleep regression... who the hell knows. I certainly don't.
I'm beginning to fray around the edges. If anyone knows anything helpful, please, for the love of all that is holy, help a sister out.