Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dreading Bedtime


My confession is that lately I have been positively dreading bedtime, especially when it's time for the twins to go to bed for the night.

I started sleep training the twins when they were just a few months old, not just because I am some wise sage or super mom. I have two other children and have learned that sleep training is beneficial for EVERYONE. And, flying solo, I don't have the time, energy, or anything else to hope people drift into Never NeverLand and hold my breath counting on sleep to go well with everyone.  So, this problem of going to sleep or waking up screaming for Mama has nothing to do with sleep-training, okay?!

Separation anxiety is another story however. Good thing I was warned by the pediatrician and others that separation anxiety is something that is visited and revisited, on and off again, up until children are around 12 years of age. Being warned about separation anxiety and living through it are entirely different sorts of encounters, though.

The twins have been taking turns freaking out, and this is, well, to put the matter mildly, wearing me out. The boy sometimes freaks out just because I am not in the same room. This pair, unlike the older two, have been fine with me leaving for brief amounts of time, whether for a meeting or for church service, without panicking or expressing crying outbursts. So, I have been caught off guard by the sheer panic when I am out of sight. I have work to do (how am I expected to keep my job, if I cannot keep up with deadlines), bills to pay, food to cook, dishes to wash, girls' stuff to prepare (for school the next day). Though I would love to just pass out for the night, I have things that must get done!

Usually, when they wake up in the middle of the night, the twins can soothe themselves back to sleep. Not recently. There are a multitude of excuses from the twins: I need to potty. I want to nurse. My nose is runny, and I need to wipe it. Mama, where are you?? Hold me!

That's right, the twins are not yet 2 1/2, and they can talk. Wow, can they make their voices heard.

Maybe this is a bout of separation anxiety with a twist of terrible 2's or terrible 2's straight-up.

Coupling the separation anxiety with two older siblings (who are still quite young) who are constantly bickering and fighting, and a bottomless list of MUST-dos with precious little time, and me stretched in all directions, I am ready to shed a tear or two.

Oh wait, I don't have time to cry.

And tonight, I cannot finish grading papers (before a deadline) because I cannot access my students' assignments. Wunderbar. Good night.

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