Yes, we're battling colds, but the battles with sleep around here seem to go on without end.
It is a rare night that we don't get up at least twice with the boys. Usually, it's the same boy.
Yes, the boys are almost 16 months old.
No, I don't want to hear about how your two-year-old has slept 11 hours a night since he was three weeks old. Or how you taught your babies to sleep using Ferber, Pantley, Sears or anyone else's methods. I have all the books. I've read all the books.
And you know what?
For some kids, it doesn't make any difference.
How do I know this?
I have my own little experiment going on right now. I have three boys who all have the same diet, sleeping conditions and routine.
Two of them sleep all night about 95 percent of the time.
One sleeps all night about once a month.
Amelia was not a sleeper. Alex is not a sleeper.
I am no longer a sleeper, and neither is Jeff. We haven't had a full night's sleep since 2006.
Both Amelia and Alex had reflux and other issues that led to their sleep troubles, but I also think part of it is personality. The reflux is long gone for both of them, and still neither one sleeps great.
Amelia finally learned to sleep all night about the time she turned three. Now if we could just help her learn how to fall asleep, we'd be in business. The girl will often lie in her bed for two hours or more before she falls asleep. She's tired. She'll even tell us that, but she can't fall asleep. I'm not sure which of us finds that more upsetting and frustrating.
And now we've entered the phase of fighting going to bed at all. UGH. I don't blame her. I wouldn't want to go lay there in the dark for two hours either.
We've tried it all for our kids. Earlier bedtime. Later bedtime. Calm routine to settle them. Major playtime to wear them out. Loveys and pacis. Noise machines. Lullabies. Night lights. Room darkening shades. Lying down with Amelia. Even flannel sheets to help keep them warm.
Two sleep no matter what. And two don't.
So if you're out there feeling incompetent as a parent because your baby or toddler doesn't sleep, join the club.
And for all those "helpful" souls who can't wait to tell us how your kids started sleeping through the night while they were still in utero, and how your great parenting helped them: Stuff it.
Not only do we not want to hear it, we are tired and we could snap at any minute. You are taking a serious risk waving your well-rested, superior attitude at me, no matter how much caffeine I've had.
Besides, you should be thanking me. Because the Law of Averages dictates that your 11-hour-straight-through-the-night sleeper be averaged out. And I and my 7-interrupted-hours-if-you're-lucky child are doing just that.
You are welcome.
Feel free to use your energy to send gifts.