Thanks for the support, Everyone. And thank you for not questioning me about why I'm trying to "force" my child to sleep when he's clearly not tired, etc, etc . . . I have gotten that response one too many times here at MDC! And after 21 months of trial and error (oh, so many errors!), I KNOW my son and I KNOW when he's tired and I KNOW when he's fighting sleep. Thank you for trusting me on this.
Yes, some days I would like to give the AP philosophy a swift kick in the proverbial pants. I do believe that we have created this little problem in our child -- and I do believe it's quite common among the AP set, as exemplified by your experiences (and the sheer volume of sleep-related threads on these hallowed boards!).
But in retrospect, I don't regret anything we've done along the way, bc it was all done out of love and empathy and gentleness. There is no point in ds's life that I can look to and say that we should have been tougher or more distant or less THERE for him.
That said, I do hope that I will be so much less anxious with future children, such that I might interpret their cues slightly differently and possibly find a way to help them sleep easier. (Like, I bet I'll tolerate a little more "fussing," while with ds I couldn't take one PEEP out of him without picking him up!) We shall see.
Regarding your replies . . .
Denny, I am so sorry for your bruises! You poor thing! It sounds like you are deep in the throes of toddler HELL. My wish for you is that it ends quickly and that maybe you won't have much memory of it. Kind of like some forgotten trauma.
Mamabutterfly, I'm on to you. You've been doing secret emoticon tutorials with Curly Locks, haven't you?!?! Even CL was impressed with your display . . . ("and the student shall teach the teacher")
Thanks for the love, Mama!
Curly, You are definitely on to something with asking about the wake-up times and naps. My little punkin is a night-owl and he comes by it naturally. His preference would be to sleep until 9:30 am, nap from 3-6, and then be up until 11 or 12. And who can blame him?! That sounds perfect to me, too! But the problem is (as someone later pointed out) that WE NEED SOME FRICKIN' TIME TO OURSELVES!!!
I mean, I give him everything I've got ALL DAY LONG, but I have got to have some R&R at the end of the day. Ok, ok, preaching to the choir, I know.
SO I'm working on waking him up early every day, getting him down for an earlier nap, and not letting him sleep more than 2 hours, but all it takes is one late-ish night (dinner w/the g'parents, dh working late, etc) and he *immediately* jumps back to his natural bio-clock.
(And don't worry, you'll always be the emoticon queen to me!!!)
Iguanavere, I laughed SO HARD at your post. Wanna know what I did after I posted this last night? Went downstairs and had TWO GLASSES OF WINE!
AND I ate potato chips! It was so fabulous. Yessirree Bob, there is nothing like eating and drinking your problems away!
And you're right about mom and dad's needs being important, and my "tyrant radar" is up . . . I'm watching him carefully for signs that he truly does expect us to jump when he says jump (and those signs are there, let me tell ya!) . . . but I also can see that we are not quite there yet with the bedtime. I feel responsible for getting him to this unable-to-put-himself-to-sleep place, so I feel like I need to stick it out until I've taught him some better skills.
But yes, where is this part in the AP manual?!?!?
Pumpkinseed, Thanks for chiming in! Misery does love company in this case, I'm afraid!
Asherah, I am SO sorry. I think you may have it worse than me, Sister. At least my child is sleeping at night (well, for longer stretches, anyway, and only for now, I'm sure!) Really and truly, I could not do this if I had to get up and go to a job in the morning. You are one tough cookie. And your ds is one LUCKY boy that you have toughed this out for him! Hang in there, Hon! I'll PM you if Sleep Fairy visits my house and bestows the magic answer upon me.
Speaking of which, has anyone else considered Baby Valium in a fit of desperation?!?!
It's so funny that we use only homeopathic rememdies, but there have been moments when I would have mainlined valium into one or both of us if I'd been able to!
Darshani, Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I smiled when I read them bc we have done so many of them. Altho for us, co-sleeping works quite well. It's just the beginning of the night that is making me BONKERS! I like the idea of having the chid turn out the light -- I think we'll start that tonight! And I jokingly said to dh last night that I need a walkman! I'll have to think about that one . . . I'm afraid it would just be one more thing for ds to perseverate on. ("M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones. M. see Mommy's headphones.") AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
All this being said, I feel the need for a caveat, in case the AP police are watching: All of the above is said with MANY grains of salt and MUCH intended humor . . . I am head over heels in love with my child, LOVED rocking and nursing him to sleep for the first 16 months or so (and frankly, would do it until he was TWELVE if it worked!!!), and would NEVER hurt him or myself, with prescription drugs, or cliffs, or hammers to the head.
And I will admit that today, like yesterday, he fell asleep in the sling at naptime -- snuggled under my neck, stroking my boob (hey, it's his Lovie!), and all before the 2nd Bonnie Raitt song on the CD ended. SO it's not all awful at my house. Only after 8 PM.
You guys are awesome. Thanks!