All it took was an iPod
V is a notorious non-sleeper (you may have read me tweet bitching about it on more than one occasion). As a baby she fought sleep like it was the enemy and never napped, unless she was in my arms. I had hopes that going to day care would tucker her out and, through some miracle, they managed to get her to nap in the afternoons, but she’s got a banker’s heart and somehow always remembered to deduct her daytime napping from her nighttime balance.
School was my next great hope. Afternoon classes meant no nap. A full day of activities and learnin’ and running around like a terror, surely this would tire her out. And I was sort of correct. She’d fall asleep exhausted at 5 if you let her, was often extremely grumpy at 7, but would still manage to keep herself up until 10pm, having tea parties in her bedroom.
If it wasn’t 10pm tea parties it was 2am snuggle calls. We tried to curb it, but I’ll readily admit I love snuggling with her. At least when she wasn’t practicing any or all of the baby sleep positions (“H is for Hell” and “The Roundhouse Kick” being her favorites).
Her latest favorite is to come in to our room at around 5:30 (this is a HUGE improvement – we had to get her a clock and explain that she couldn’t come in before 5:00. She still ignores this if she’s up before 5, but she seems to be ‘sleeping in’ these days) and first ask to snuggle, but then change the request to play with one of our iDevices. Reasonable enough as long as she keeps the volume down, unfortunately that doesn’t happen very often with Tom the Talking Cat.
On Saturday my husband was struck with inspiration, a pure blue bolt of genius. He took one of our old iPods wiped it and loaded it with just her games and books. He then removed it from the wireless, to avoid those evil in app purchases, and presented her with her very own ‘phone’ Saturday night.
She’s allowed to use it wherever she wants in the house and has to let us know when she wants to bring it with her on an outing, and it cannot go to school. She is over the moon. So over the moon in fact that she brought it to bed with her every night since. It’s replaced her old Blackberry for when she plays ‘family’ and needs to make those important work calls or do some ‘twitter-blogging’ but the nice thing about giving her a non-phone, working device is that after we went through our usual bed time routine she was allowed to play with it for 1/2 hour. EVERY night she’s been asleep within 30 minutes, several times it’s been with 5 (she has a lullaby app she’s tuned in to). Fingers crossed!
And in the morning she’s come quietly in to our bed, fired up ‘her phone’ and played a matching game or twenty while we slept like babies. I might be talking a bit of crazy talk here, but given my giddiness this change in her sleep (and waking us-ness) I foresee a day when we might actually be able to sleep in.
Ah crap, I forgot about the dog and his 6am walks, wonder if he’d like an iPod too?