Friday, December 19, 2008

Mean Santa

Amelia is not a sleeper. She never has been. The first time she slept through the night she was 10 months old. It wasn't until she was 18 months old that she'd sleep through the night with any consistency -- maybe 3 nights out of 7, if we were lucky. Now part of the problem was reflux, but part is just Amelia being Amelia.

Amelia in her crib. Nine months old, Feb. 2007. Wide awake, as usual!

Amelia's sleeping habits have gotten a lot better as she's gotten older, but she still wakes up a lot at night. We're just grateful that now she can go back to sleep on her own or with minimal help from us.

But lately, Amelia's back to her old tricks. She's been waking up three and four times a night, sometimes asking for a pacifier (would it be wrong of me to duct tape it to her hand?), sometimes having a conversation with herself, and sometimes -- this is my favorite -- screaming. When she screams one of us will go in to see what's wrong. Generally she answers that question with, "I don't know." UGH! I love you child, but I am at my wits' end with you on this sleeping thing!

So the other night inspiration struck. Amelia and I had a little conversation. We were reading "Twas The Night Before Christmas" and I showed her how the children in the book were asleep. Then I told her that Santa couldn't come to her house and leave her a present unless she was sleeping. I told her that since she wakes up all the time at night, he won't know when to come. Then I told her that she wouldn't get a present from Santa unless she started to sleep all night long.

Amelia looked at me for a minute and then said, "OK, Mama." I looked back into her big blue eyes and hoped I hadn't just traumatized her for life. Then I started to panic about what I would do if she didn't sleep at night. Surely Santa would still have to leave her a present. Maybe on the front porch since he couldn't come in?

Fortunately, I didn't have to figure all that out, because that night Amelia slept for 11 1/2 hours. The next night she slept 11. And she's slept through the night for the last five nights.

Santa may be mean, but mommy's a genius.


Molly said...

I love this story. Have you seen the book The Elf on the Shelf? Apparently the author tells the story -- one she told to her children growing up -- that this elf who sits on their shelf during the Christmas season will go back each night and report back to Santa if the kids have been good, what they want from Santa, etc. It reminded me of this. So if your Santa story fails after awhile, I guess you could try that!

Donya Lester said...

I always knew Mommy was a genius, but I'm truly awed by your moment of inspiration! May it continue to give everyone at your house peace!

cat said...

Oh you are a genius!