A guest post from a wonderful papa, old friend of mine, and rockstar singer/guitarist of the band Raygun Girls (www.raygungirls.com). He and his wife Pauline have two gorgeous little gals - one with some sleep walking going on!! Geoff is a graphic designer and owner of the company Savage Vibes (www.savagevibes.com).
We all know how wretched it is when the kids decide to mess with our sleep - here's how Geoff tries to capture some think-outside-the-box ideas provided by an unfortunate power outage.
Olivia is 3 years old and will be 4 in about a month. With both Sam (now 7) and Olivia, we haven't really had a “terrible twos” or “terrible threes”. There has just been a lot of growing up... for all of us.
I thought we had a good rhythm. For eating, going to school, potty training, and sleep time.
But, kids growing up are, well, ever changing.
So, in Olivia's unknowing infinite knowledge, she's decided that we have gotten too comfortable in our nighttime routine, and has begun to come out of her room after her light is turned out.
“Daddy, I have a question.”
“I miss Sammy Kins (our cat that we had to put to sleep about 6 months ago).”
“Okay, Olivia. Now go to bed.”
And this then occurs about two more times. It is VERY hard to stay calm, when you are tired and really, really want to just turn off the light and go to sleep at 8:30 at night, because the night before you kept waking up at every sound... oh, yeah, Olivia has also started to walk in her sleep.
A few nights ago, the electricity went out right at about bed time. I was furious inside, because I KNEW this would mean that Olivia wouldn't go to sleep. I calmly walked around the house with the two girls, and got some candles. We all lit a candle in the bathroom, one in my room, and one in their room, while I told Olivia, “It's still bedtime, right Olivia? So, instead of the night light, I'm putting this candle here, but you still have to stay in bed and go to sleep. Okay?”
“Okay daddy.” And she did. She stayed in her room, didn't cry, didn't whine, didn't get up, and just about fell asleep immediately. There was also no sleep walking that night.
Next day, with the electricity back on, we had the same problems of coming out of her room. That night I was in a deep sleep and felt something on my leg. At first, I thought it was the cat, but then I heard an almost whisper. I shot up, looked to my left, and, in the darkness, could see that there was someone else in bed. In a split second, my asleep brain went from - “CRAP! There's a stranger in my bed! Is it the Boogeyman?” to, “CRAP! Olivia's in my bed for some strange reason!”
I sat at the edge of the bed and felt her blanket on the floor. She had slept walked (?) in to our room, climbed up on my bed, and lied down in between me and my wife. I picked her up, took her to the bathroom first, and then to bed.
The morning comes, and I start to thinking – candles. Could it be that watching the candle as she was going to sleep calmed her brain down so much that she actually slept?
So, last night I put a candle in her room. She came out two times with questions. Her sister didn't help though (they share a room). Sam came out a couple of times as well. But there was no sleep walking last night.
Tonight we'll try the candle again.