You can put a child in bed, but you can’t make him sleep.

And a thirsty horse has more sense than an exhausted toddler.

My kids are spooled up. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, packages seem to arrive every day by post (or by Brown), and then said packages disappear, cookies are baking, decorations are going up, we’re going to parties, the kids are drinking soda and staying up late. My older ones know that the real fun hasn’t even begun yet, and are getting antsier by the minute.

Within the hour, my boys will wake up and Billy will say, “It’s three more days until Christmas!” And Fritz will respond, “Three days and a wake up!” That’s what they do, every morning.

All of my kids seem to be having a bit of difficulty getting to sleep, some are even getting up earlier than normal, and everybody’s moods are a bit more…delicate. The worst one, though, is Peter. He fights his naps, despite demonstrating all morning long that he is in desperate need of one. If he manages to fall asleep, a big IF, he might sleep for an hour instead of his usual 2 or 3. Then he’s miserable all afternoon long, but when bedtime comes, he fights that too. Instead of compensating by sleeping late the following morning, he may wake one or more times at night and get up earlier than normal in the morning.

And then it begins again. Each day has been just a bit worse than the day before.

This morning I felt so bad for the kid. He climbed into my bed at some early hour. But from 4 am until after 5, he tossed and turned like a true insomniac. I finally offered to rock him in the chair in his room. First he tried his own bed and rolled around there. Then he let me rock him as I silently prayed a rosary with the intention of this poor child to get some rest. He seemed to be asleep, and three decades later I tried to put him in bed. He woke up. I brought him downstairs and put on Noggin, hoping he would zone out in front of the TV. He rolled around on the couch and then the floor, trying to get comfortable, trying to go back to sleep. Finally I had him snuggle on my lap until he was snoring soundly. He’s there now, but I doubt he’ll get more than an hour of rest before the din of the day wakes him.

I’ve never given my kids Benedryl, but I think this kid needs some help.

I think this mom needs some help.

7 thoughts on “You can put a child in bed, but you can’t make him sleep.

  1. Poor little guy!! He sure does need to crash.All of you need a PAJAMA DAY! Don’t go anywhere, don’t do anything, just hang out in your jammies and have breakfast for every meal if you want. Stay warm and cozy.

  2. We are having a very similiar week! The worst part of tired people is that the bickering and teasing escalate noticeably.Hang in there!

  3. I highly recommend two products for calming little bodies for sleep…both perfectly safe. Bach’s Rescue Remedy (or the Bach’s Rescue Sleep), and Hyland’s Calms Forte for kids. Of course, the Benadryl might work too, but I would hate to give them the hard stuff when the natural options work so well. HTH!

  4. We have had several pj days this week, it does help. Everyone at our house is getting excited too, lots of bickering, fights, ornaments on the floor… I had to put the Lionel train away after only 3 days because of the little boys. And every night at 2 am someone loses their covers, is thirsty, or is scared. I almost can’t wait for Christmas to come so then they will all go back to normal! Only a few more days, hang in there sleepy mama.

  5. You need a latte…a nice big one with whipped cream and sprinkles, and he may indeed need something to help him sleep. What a night. I like Barb’s advice. It’s so hard on the little ones sometimes. My kiddos have been going to bed late as well, and they never sleep in either. Your little guy and David would be best non-sleeping buds. LOL. Here’s hoping you get a nap in today!

  6. Have no advice…none…so will say a prayer…

  7. How about a nice warm cup of milk before bedtime?? Poor fellow sounds exhausted (and so do you). Hope your son settles down and gets some rest before the big day.

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