Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sweet Dora, Sweet Dreams?

Ok, I know you all know how "challenging" Charlotte is. She knows her mind, and her mind cannot be changed once it's made up. One day, I know I am truly going to appreciate that she isn't easily swayed by other's opinions. And, one day, it will probably serve her very well as CEO of some Fortune 500 company. However, while we are in the midst of potty-training and trying to get her to sleep through the night in her own bed, I am not as impressed with this trait of my darling baby girl's.

Sleep has been an issue for Charlotte for as long as I can remember. (Though, my memory isn't the greatest considering I rarely ever get a full night's sleep.) She started crawling out of her crib when she was not even 18-months-old, so we had to change the crib into a toddler bed a full year and  half before we had done it with Molly.

(And, to be fair, Molly never did crawl out of her crib. It just got to be a little ridiculous to have a 3-year-old in a crib. Well, I say never, but I do swear there was one time she did and came to visit me in the middle of the night, but Cory swears it never happened, and I was just dreaming it. That issue is still up for debate.)

But, once we changed Charlotte's crib into a toddler bed (it was one of those fancy schmancy convertible cribs), she never slept in the bed. Maybe never is too strong of a word, but it was incredibly rare, and for the last 6 months, never is completely accurate. She slept anywhere but her own bed. And, most nights, she slept on the floor. Yes, the floor. Do not ask me why that would possibly be more comfortable. I was at a loss.

Charlotte slept everywhere. Except her own bed.

She slept ...

on the floor beside her bed.

on top of my bed.

on her sister's bed while sister was at school.

in the car.

in the car some more.

in the car even more.

on the chaise in our bedroom.

on the floor beside my bed.
So, you notice, no pictures of her sleeping in her bed. Because she didn't do it. This has been going on now for over a year and a half. Also, the paci issue? Another example of her stubbornness. She just up and decided one day that she was done sleeping with it. She never slept with it again. This is the child I'm dealing with.

About a month and a half ago, Charlotte got sick, and the sleeping issues just exploded. Suddenly, instead of just crawling into our room at some point during the night, she started trying to crawl into our bed. And, instead of letting us sleep, she would cry and scream when she woke up.

We couldn't take it any more, so we decided to bring out the big guns: Dora. We had an old twin daybed in the basement, and we promised her she could get a true big girl bed WITH Dora sheets. (As luck and fate would have it, when we went to get said Dora sheets at Target, they were on clearance and were the last set there. $25 for an entire new bedding set? Done.) I didn't really want to mess up her adorable pink and white dandelion room with bright Dora sheets, but decided my sleep and sanity were worth it. So, we jumped in.

Charlotte as pleased as punch with her new Dora Rocks bed.
So, the first night was a smashing success. She was thrilled to go to bed in her new Dora Rocks bed, and she slept the entire night in bed. We thought, "Wow, we're awesome."

Then, along came the second night. Not so awesome. She got out and tried to crawl in bed with us. Cory had to put her back and calm the crying before she finished the night in bed. The next morning she told me, "Mommy, I slept the whole night in my Dora bed." Um, not so fast little Pinocchio.

The third night, she stayed in bed, but screamed, "DADDY!" over and over and over until Cory finally went in. At which point, she jumped up and ended up giving him a busted lip. Not an awesome night.

The fourth night was more of the same crying but without the fat lip.

The fifth night, we finally saw an entire night in the bed. This time, when she woke up and said, "Mommy, I slept all night in my Dora Rocks bed," there was no nose-growing.

On Friday morning, after that fifth night, Molly was off school for the third day in a row, and I was desperate for something to do. I texted an SOS message to my friend Tara, and she suggested that we meet up at a new story hour that she'd heard about it.

We showed up for this story hour and the book they read was all about this little baby owl who did not want to go to sleep in his own nest. Um, hilarious timing, no? Then, it turns out they had a second book. And, the author, Marcia G. Riley, is from Lawrence. Her book, The Pillow Fairyis all about a boy who has trouble sleeping all through the night in his bed. Seriously. It's like the universe is just throwing rocks at my head. The Fairy will leave little things like stickers under your pillow if you sleep all night in your own bed. The story is really cute and quite apropos for our situation.

Story hour with the Dhakals. They had stories, a craft and snack. Awesome story hour.
We bought the book because, well, how can you not after the timing of that? I tried to get Charlotte to pose with the author, but ... well, she's Charlotte, and she didn't want to.

But, Molly took a picture with her because she thought it was cool that she met an author!
Last night, the girls spent the night at Cory's parents' house. Apparently, Charlotte did not sleep through the night there. And, tonight, they are spending the night at my parents' house. Who knows what will happen there?

And, who knows what will happen when she gets home, and we're back in the regular routine? All I know is that I really, really, really loved getting a full, uninterrupted night's sleep.

So, maybe if the pillow fairy and Dora team up in the Lafferty household, we might just eke out a few more nights like this ...

ahhhh ... pure bliss.

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