Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It may be a little premature to call it success yet, but I would say it's at least big-time progress. Here's the situation:

Caroline has had big reactions to sirens for a while. We were always appropriately compassionate, but we never wanted to encourage the fear by making a big deal out of it. Well, somehow it became a big deal, despite our efforts. It really got a lot worse the last time I went to Tennessee (my parents live across the street from the hospital), and then she just started waking up all the time, screaming about sirens, even if nobody else heard a siren. It made for a lot of sleepless nights. We learned that she was fine as long as we were in the room, so we started spending more time in their room after saying goodnight.

Of course, this just escalated the problem. Finally, we took turns sleeping with her in the guest room. We all got more sleep, but I wasn't totally ok with it. As sweet as sleeping with my daughter is (and it's sweet!), I really prefer sleeping with Bob.

Anyway, Bob was out of town all last week, and I realized that I was NEVER going to get a break from the girls if I was sleeping with Caroline. So I decided to play hardball. That first night, I put her to bed in the guest room (so she wouldn't keep Lucy up -- not that that's an issue; Lucy could sleep through a tornado) and told her that even if she screamed and cried, she was going to have to sleep in there, and I was not coming back in. Oh boy, did she scream and cry. For two straight hours. It was awful. Torturous. I watched a movie, just to drown her out. But she fell asleep!

The next night, it took just over an hour and a half. It kept gradually taking less and less time, and now, for two nights straight, she's gone to bed (in her own bed, now)with no tears. None. I decided a couple days ago to take the same approach with the sirens. She can cry, but I'm not going to go comfort her. She did hear a siren late last night, and she woke up screaming, and I debated whether or not to go in. (I know, so much for resolve...) I waited until I couldn't hear the siren anymore, and then she just stopped. Mid-scream. And went back to sleep. Who knew??

Anyway, everybody's sleeping where they're supposed to, and we're all getting more sleep, and I feel so good about it!

1 comment:

bethany said...

you could write a book about this!

hope you had a happy Mama's Day!