Dec 4, 2008

You Haven't Lived Until You've Had Tarzan Wake You Up.

You all are about to see a side of me the outside world rarely gets to see.


Oh sure, the AG sees it. All the time. I cry and mope. I scream and become hysterical. But when I walk out that door, I put on a straight face, make sure every hair is in place and my make-up is top notch. You will never see me sweat.

Oh, Lordy, I'm laughing at that already.

What a load of hock! On any given day it's a toss up if I wear make-up. Today I decided brushing my hair was too hard on my arms. And my clothes didn't match. Again.

Suffice it to say, I'm good at asking for help. Heck, I'm great at it. And now I need yours.

Look, I got a problem. Granted, it ain't a big problem. No one is sick. No one is dying. And I know there are far worse problems in the world, but this here problem, well, it's inconvenient. And so I need all you mamma's to help me figure out a solution.

I have a baby monitor beside my bed that stays on during the night were Remi to need me. (It stays on my side, too. Not the AG's. Shocking, huh??) About three weeks ago I woke up at 4AM to the sound of The Little Mermaid. And let me tell 4 AM even a singing, dancing crab ain't all that cute. When I went up the stairs to her room her light was on, she had made a pallet on the floor and she happily exclaimed "Good morning, mama!"

The next night? I thought I was waking up to wolves attacking our dogs. But nope. It was just Copper and Todd, on Remi's current favorite, The Fox and the Hound, going at each other's throat. That will make you wake up in a cold sweat. Trust me.

And this time? 4:15 AM.

Now listen, I got a 3 month old that has been sleeping through the night for the past two weeks. I have paid my dues to late night feedings and early morning crying fits. I am proud of the fact that Rocco is sleeping through and by cracky, I want to relish that pride in my big king size bed and jersey sheets. And I don't want nobody - NOBODY - breaking my groove.

Not Todd.
Not Copper.
Not Aeriel.
And certainly not Lilo.
Nope, not even Remi.

So in the past three weeks I've woken up between 4 AM and 4:15 AM, almost every night. Sometimes it's 3 AM and sometimes it's 5 AM. But it ain't 10 AM...and that's the problem.

What do I do?

I've gone up and put her back to bed threatening everything but her life.
I've told her not to get up before she sees the sun.
I've told her not to get up until mommy and daddy come to her room and get her.
I've told her Santa is keeping score.
And one morning I may have accidentally told her God was very very displeased with her.

But nothing works!

We've placed a baby gate on her door so that she can't leave her room. Mainly because she immediately comes to wake me up, but also because she knows how to unlock the doors now and I can see this being a problem. But mainly cuz she's waking me up. So she can't leave her room. But c'mon! I can't let my child get up at 4 AM. I wasn't raised like that.

I don't know anyone who gets up at 4 AM! And I know a bunch of people.

So please all you momma's, grandmomma's, babysitters and school teachers...what do I do?

And don't tell me to make one of those clocks out of paper plates and brads and tell her not to get up until the long bunny ear meets the little bunny ear. Because that is having to be crafty and create something, and then who's getting punished? Again, ME.

So I'm looking for a solution. If you all don't provide me with one then my declaration is that every morning she wakes me up I will call one of you up at your home and make you talk to me until the sun comes up. Try me!

This blog is now open for comments. I pray you leave one.

(And feel no pressure, but if what you say makes me do anything inconvenient at 4 AM then I will make fun of you - by name - on my blog. But again, no pressure.)

Carry on.


Givinya De Elba said...

Big Problem. One I have had to deal with in the past. And you are very right to want to fix it. Cruelty to mothers must stop.

The only half-sensible idea I had - and I haven't even tried it, so I don't know if it works - is to put the radio or a CD or goodness even ARIEL on Sonny Ma-Jiminy's CD player which can be timed to go off at a sensible time in the morning. No getting up until you hear the CD, that sort of idea.

I forsee two problems: 1. If you want a little sleep-in, that's gonna wake you up through the monitor anyway, and 2. if your current threats not to get up aren't working, I don't see why this should.

So now you can make fun of me on your blog by name (spelled Givinya de Elba) because goodness knows, it's been quiet enough over at my own blog recently, and I'm thinking I need the mention.

Givinya De Elba said...

Or ditch the monitor, whatever's easier.

Amy Waldron said...

I'm a mom to 3 little boys 9, 5, & 2. here is my totally fail proof thing that will work so you can sleep longer. . .turn off your baby monitor! You, my friend, will sleep like, shall we say. . .a baby! That's about all I can help you with! Heck, I'm just being HONEST by telling you what I would do!!!!!

Be Blessed,
Amy (Honestly)

Amy said...

Ok. So..she cant leave her room..and she is up watching movies at 4am? I would sooo take that TV/DVD, etc. out of her room. If she has nothing to wake up and do then maybe she will go back to bed?! Just sayin'....

Ashley said...

Yeah.. if the TV is in her room (and you like having it there) just unplug it before you go to bed, so she cannot turn it on. If she figures out how to plug it back in...then turn off the power to her room... drastic times!!!

My kids are sleepers so I have not really had this problem, but I would stop it quickly and with force. A momma needs her sleep and 4 AM ANI'T my hour!

Karol said...

Alright. You've got a gate across the her doorway, we do that too. I like Amy's idea of taking the t.v. out of her room.

I also heard once to try a nightlight hooked up to a timer (like the one for the Christmas tree) and tell her she's not aloud out of bed (and has to lay quietly) until the nightlight comes on.

We use a digital disney clock, that puts the time on the wall, for my 6yr old who tries to get out of bed at 5am. (he's not aloud out until 7)

Good luck! We had this problem when my 6yr old was 2. Not fun. He grew out of it. Well, kinda.

Leah said...

Does Remi still take naps? If so, it may be time to cut those out. She may be getting at the age where she doesn't need as much sleep anymore. Maybe try changing her bedtime to an hour later, or if all else fails ..... have her job around the outside of the house for 30 solid minutes before putting her to bed ;o)

Leah said...

Oh, and I meant to tell you, if you have to cut out her naptimes, it doesn't mean you won't get a little breather during the day. When mine cut out their naptimes I still gave them 1 hour of quiet play time in their room behind their baby gates. I told them they had to quietly play and read books and draw until the timer went off.

Midwest Mommy said...

What time is she going to bed at night? My almost 3 year old use to get up earlier and earlier because we kept her at her 7:30 bedtime. Now we let her stay up til 8:30-9:00 and she sleeps til almost 8:00.

Oldwomaninashoe said...

Hmmm.......sleep? I have had early risers,ask to see all the pictures of the sunrise that son #2 took with MY camera, late sleepers, all day sleepers then they turn into nocturnal critters. Then there are the two terrorist, er, blessings that DO NOT SLEEP and trust me, at my age I want those kids to sleep! Take the television out of her room, turn down the monitor and put out some quiet things for the child to play with. By the way, Rocco has spoiled you!! My little foster baby is up at 4 every stinking, day for a diaper change, a bottle and a snuggle. And if Daddy is up, then Timothy just wants to lay in bed next to Daddy and make faces. Then Daddy goes to work, the baby is pumped and the other two are winding up for another day.

midwestmom3 said...

I agree with the other mommies about the naps. So sad but so true that at some point the nap must go if you want to sleep past 4 am. I would unplug the tv, turn off the monitor and buy her an alarm clock that she can read herself. We taught our little darlings, "Do Not Call Me Until Your Clock Says 7-0-0!!!!" And every once in a while it actually worked!
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I'd try the timer on the TV idea and tell her no TV untill Mommy gets up and says it's OK. If/when she wakes up early she should lay in her bed and "read" her books, or play quietly in her room. Does her TV have headphone jacks? But I agree with the other moms that say maybe time to cut out the nap or a later bedtime. My own son would have trouble going to sleep at night sometimes, but would lay in bed looking at the pictures in an old set of ChildCraft books.(he's 21 now).

Andrea Frederick said...

I've seen this cute little clock you can make out of paper plates and brads.....just kidding! I agree with turning off the monitor and taking out the t.v. I would also tape her light switch so she can't flip it on. It it stays dark in her room, will she still want to get up and play? Mine wouldn't! I don't know about the 6 year old still would take a nap everyday and then go to bed. Good luck!

Perksofbeingme said...

I agree with everyone so far as to turning off the monitor and/or unplugging the TV, but also have you thought about instead of a big TV, have a portable DVD player where you can attach head phones to it? That way she can only listen to the movie with her head phones on therefore, cutting the sound/noise out for you. Just a suggestion.

Sheri said...

I like the suggestions of cutting out nap times, and a later bedtime, but what about sweets, etc? I only know from personal experiance (me!) that if I don't have those after 4 or so pm, then I get a more restful, and longer, nights sleep. Ugh. I've at least taught my puppy that there is no waking me up until there is light in my room!!!

Lisa said...

This too shall pass my friend; but until it does I whole-heartedly agree w/ the previous suggestions. Andy has always been an early riser and he too had a tv in his room because it was either deal w/ the noise of the tv or hear him yelling "momma, momma, momma,.." until I dragged my half sleeping hiney into his room where I was greeted w/ a wonderful sweet smile and a "Good Morning".

Now, one thing to be greatful for is that Remi seems to be a morning person as far as her mood which you will REALLY appreciate once she starts school and you have to get her up for breakfast and such and to school; all before 8AM!!!

I say push back her bedtime at least 30 minutes first and go from there. Good Luck!!

Anonymous said...

Get the tv out of the room!

Denise said...

First thing you should do is turn off the monitor. I had a hard time doing this myself, but when your desperate it might be easier. The second thing I would do is babygate her in her room and let her play. Tell her that you would rather her sleep, but if she is up then she has to be super quiet so she doesnt wake anyone else.

Good luck....I hope you get some sleep soon.

Kori said...

Maybe she's taking to long of naps during the day. Does she nap? I guess that should've been my first question.

Or maybe she's going to bed early, maybe she's consuming too much caffeine. Oh wait nope that would be my problem sorry.

I get up at 3 usually cause I can't sleep so if you wanna call me I bet I'll be up.

Rhonda said...

Okay, first off, the TV has to go. If I don't get a TV in my bedroom, well then, by God, neither does your three year old. lol

And if she is old enough to get up and set herself up with a good movie, breakfast and cup of coffee and a smile, then she it is time for the baby monitor to go.

Or hook it up to headphones and slip the little suckers into the AG's ears while he sleeps. If Remi ain't listenin' to her mama, well then she'll probably listen to her dad, because once he's the one getting up, he'll find a way to make it stop!

If nothing else works, then taking out anything noisy, and telling her she has to read or play quietly until the rest of the household gets up will at least let everyone else sleep in.

Good luck, my friend.

NC said...

Well girl, I am going to have to agree with everyone, GET THE TV OUT! We have a big no TV in the bedroom policy in our house. All my kids went through a little stage like this where they would wake up but I would just make sure she is safe in the room where she can't get out. Remind her that if it is dark outside, that means she is to sleep. If she wakes up, she is to stay in her bed until she falls back asleep. And just keep consistent with it. She will get bored and eventually fall back asleep. Mine right now have been getting up around 5:30 a.m. and we are doing the same thing. You stay in your bed! She may play for a while but eventually, she'll get back on track. Mine always do this too after the time change. Don't ask why. You would think the fact that it is pitch black outside would be an indication that you are not to get up! Good luck! Don't worry, Rocco won't even know what is going on. Those babies are amazing!

tina said...

Well, it looks like it's time to cut back on the nap time during the day. :( Sorry for the news.

Anita J. said...

Here's a trick if you don't want to lug the TV out. Only remove the VCR OR if you want to leave that, too:

Teach her to read the word "NO" and make a sign with big letters and put it right in front of the T.V. and VCR when she is asleep at night. It sounds silly, but my two year old figured out how to open the front door which scared me to death, so I did this with my front door and she was VERY upset when that sign was on the door. It was like a magical barrier. BEAUTIFUL.

Heavy curtains, tape on the light switch, no television or VCR, and an hour later at bedtime. Yep. Those sound good.

Anita J. said...

I was going to offer my phone number because I could use an early wake up call (Keith has a habit of turning off my alarm clock and forgetting to tell me it went off), but then I remembered that you are in TN too. If you were on the West coast, it would be different. Get her down to 5 AM and I'll talk you down from the ledge; 4 AM is too early! ;)

Karen said...

Duct tape.... Nuff said

This Little Hen said...

I recommend leaving the TV in her room. It keeps her busy at 4 am and from wanting mommy to come play with her. (and from waking the baby) I would just leave more quiet DVD's maybe baby einstein type DVD's something you think you might could sleep through. Turn down your monitor if she cries you will hear her. She will get tired and go back to sleep, and if not she will take a great nap for you. Apparently I did the exact thing to my mom, but then I would turn on my tape player. LOL. She swore this worked.

Kelley said...

You got you some smart commenters, girl.

I'm on the turn-off-the-monitor, cut-out-the-nap, threaten-her-with-her-life bandwagon. A girl's just gotta have her sleep.

Seriously, I know many "real" parents gasp that our children have TV's in their room(s). Mine do (they're 10 and 15 now) and always have. Nowadays, instead of them waking up early to watch (heck, my 15-year-old wakes up early for NOTHING), I have the problem of them not going to sleep because of watching the thing. I guess my point is this....if it ain't one thing, it's another.

Sidney (Sixy Mama) said...

Love Karen's comment! I was gonna add earplugs, but maybe not. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with TV's in the bedroom...but I'm an older mom and a bit less idealistic than I was when I had my first. Life's gonna happen no matter what!

Benadryl works well for my kids..all night long.....hehe

Memphislis said...

I like the turn down the monitor idea. You could also put a piece of tape on the TV where the volume line shows up, and tell her the line has to hide behind the tape. You could also put a digital clock in there and draw a picture of the time you want her to get up, and tape it above the clock face. No getting up until the clock matches Mama's picture.

KO said...

I agree with the moms here with the exception of the "unplug the tv". Remi sounds like she would LOVE to figure out how to put that plug back in to see her shows, and as horrible as waking up at 4 a.m is, I'll bet an electrocuted Remi is worse! So, pull that tv out, and tell her when she is back to sleeping again through the night, it can go back...

But the nap thing, yes!

Turning down the monitor, yes!

Lacey in the Sky said...

Ughhh... Nyquil? Lots of it.

Sissy said...

These ladies have some good ideas, and as I have no children I will just echo what they are saying. But I do wish you luck, and a paper plate clock. LOL.

Melissa said...

Bless her little heart. Remi is going to grow out of this.

But, I will ride on the coat-tails of the advice above. Get rid of the monitor. My hubby hated those things. Try not to threaten her life. Kids can smell an empty threat a mile away.......:)

You're a good mommy and this, too, shall pass.

Aja Jenise said...

Hey girl... so sorry for the rough time. I have a few ideas...

1. Take away any day naps.

2. If you cant take them away, get her good and tired in the afternoon. Give her some roller skates or a bike and tell her to learn... that will get her good and tired. Parks in the afternoon for a good draining of energy. The frsh air may invigorate you.

3. Take away sugar foods, soda and juice, especially from the afternoons until bedtime... it stays in their system.

4. Use a sticker chart... and tell her if she stays in bed until the sun comes up or until her alarm goes off (get her an alarm when you go grocery shopping, not too inconvenient) she gets a sticker. Give her praise and maybe a special treat for a day, maybe a date with mom or dad for a week stretch, and something grand for a month of following the regime.

With the colder weather and staying in more often in may build up and she isnt getting enough energy spent.

Good luck lovey... If these are too inconvenient then let me know and I'll send name, full address and SSN for said humiliation! It has worked for me!! And I get up at 10am some days... and their still in their rooms. WHEW!!

Aja Shoup

Ruby Red Slippers said...

No toys, movies, in bedrooms is my idea until they are older. (I see others said the same thing.)
I have three boys, and I don't think I could deal with getting up so early!
You'll have to tell us what works...

Amy said...

No naps!
Keep her up later at night :D

Anonymous said...

When I was little, if I had a nap, Mother and I would stay up and watch Jack Parr until midnight. I never had a nap after I was 18 months. Have DAD go in and tell her what's up. It always works when Dad puts his foot down. Even now when my boys are 22 & 24, Dad's words mean business.

Julie said...

Unplug the TV or turn off the baby monitor.

Of course this is coming from the Mommy that slept in her child's room until I felt she was fully attached so what do i know!

harrysally said...

Those are great suggestions. None of which worked for my soon to be 3 year old. So, we went with putting him back in his crib with a crib tent ( and toys and books. Worked like a charm. Now when he wakes up I just let him play knowing he's safe. (oh, and turn off the monitor!) The only problem is if I'll ever get him back in his big boy bed...he may go to college sleeping in a crib.....

harrysally said...

Oh yeah, and once the kids are potty trained at night and the diapers go bye-bye, the crib and crib tent must disappear too....

LaDeana said...

Okay, so I have never tried this myself.....cough cough...but I have heard that every once in a while when mamma needs some sleep you can give the little darlings some medicine before they go to bed. You know, some Benadyl in case they sneeze.

Nili said...

I can't really give you any advise....beyond what has already been given...but as a momma-to-be thanks for posting this...and thanks to everyone who commented. My hubby was an early riser when he was a kiddo and well I need stuff in my my back pocket so I will get sleep...if this one does the too early wake up thing.

Trish said...

As long as she is in her room, she is safe right? So lay down the law, tell her she cannot come out of her room or call for you at all, then turn off the monitor!!

And in response to your betrothment request.......why yes, I would be very pleased to have you lock her away until the day arrives when courtin is appropriate, however, with what I'm reading here Ben is not her type. He likes his sleep, to be at 8:00om, asleep by 8:01 and forced out of bed at 7:15am.
However, Cooper is a non-sleeper. To bed by 8pm,asleep at 11. Awake at 2am, sent back to his bed at 2:02am, awake again at 4:30 usually playing his guitar or something, yelled at at 4:31 to go back to bed, in my face at 4:35 asking to snuggle, in my bed at 4:36. begging for breakfast by 6am.

I have not slept through the night in over FIVE years!

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Benadryl. Sweet, sweet Benadryl.

Big Nanny said...

Well, I let everyone have their say and now I will have new I would be bringing my opinion to the blog, right? Here goes...

1)Take TV out of room. Maybe as a reward she could have TV in her room on Saturday mornings.

2)All of these people that say you should let her give up a nap...I'm just gonna say it...HAVE BEEN DIPPIN' INTO THE BENADRYL! I believe all children under the age of five should have to go to their room for rest time. I don't care if they sleep. A child that doesn't take naps at home, usually has issues taking naps at preschool, which will quickly get a child kicked out of the local MDO. They still have to take naps in kindergarten these days so NEVER GIVE UP THE NAP!

3)I would turn off the monitor and you should take some Tylenol PM. And keep the spank spoon on the night stand.

4) My grown up daughter is reading that book about vampires. I may need you to give me a synopsis.

Tracy P. said...

We did the quiet time thing, too, when naps ended. It was great! Not only because it bought me the breather I needed to be a halfway decent human being the rest of the day, but because they learned they could find things to do for themselves.

My kids were never asked to nap in any school setting.

Now I'll go see what Remi had to say!

Summer said...

oh my! You must read my struggles on my blog. I feel for ya! And you are definitely not alone!

Okay, try this (as though you haven't tried enough!):

We love it and use it.

Good luck!