HELP EMMA'S DREAM'S COME TRUE
It's 9:45pm,My daughter is currently as I write in her room, crying, hopefully herself to sleep, but seriously, I have no idea. My heart hurts, my head hurts, I have been sick for days, and did I mention we have to be at OT at 8am tomorrow morning?
Sleep. It seems easy enough to those of your who haven’t lived it. And a hate to be particular, but those of your with infants and toddlers not sleeping, I am sorry, you have NO idea.. doing it at year 2 is so not the same beast as doing it a 8, or 10, or 25. Just trust me on this one.
You know, it’s like watching someone try to open door with a key that’s not working. You think, here, let me try, I know I can make that door open! Everyone has “the fix” for sleeping issues. Everyone wants to help and thinks they can. Just like the people watching the person trying to open the door. It looks so easy! I’ve opened many doors before, surely I can crack this one. I mean seriously, how hard could it be to get one child to sleep?
Really, Really challenging, let me tell you. And you know what else? No one wants to hear about it after about the first year or two. I remember taking Emma to the doctor at age, oh four or so. Not my regular doctor, one of the million specialists we saw. The guy had the nerve to look at me and tell me that children who chronically don’t sleep have neurological and other damage from it. OH, now that I know THAT, I’ll make her sleep…. Because four years of sleeplessness was FUN, and that’s why I brought it up to you, because I think it’s great and wouldn’t want to stop it. Thanks for the info, now I know. Idiot.
We try to be as compassionate as we can, but some nights, like tonight, I just lose it. It’s not just about sleep for my child. It's about sleep for ME. Here is tonight’s scenario: Too much screen time during the day: I was sick and my Son-rise person didn’t show and and and...
Then she forgot to poop tonight. Yes you heard that right: she forgot. Because pooping isn’t something that happens for Emma because she feels it, It happens because it’s night time, and we have trained her to poop each night, no matter what. So her stomach hurt, despite the oils we rub on, the hot water bottle she uses, and the diet she is on and and and….
She couldn’t tell us it hurt, because she doesn’t feel the pain right away, her body just speeds up and gets crazy. So she did crazy for awhile, and then I got pissed off, and THEN she tells me her stomach hurt, which I virtually ignored. Did I mention I am sick? Then ten minutes later, she declares she forgot to poop. She poops, then goes back to bed crying. By now I am crying too.
And we will wake up tomorrow and go about our day: OT, the Doctor and then home. She’ll be exhausted. SO will I. In a deep heart and sould weary tired way. Good, and you spectators say, she’ll sleep tomorrow night, as sure as the sun will go down. Maybe, but maybe not. See, spectrum kids don’t react like others, and she maybe exhausted, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she will sleep.
It’s almost 11pm now. Just a second ago, Emma asked me how to spell “with”. I told her go to sleep. I wish this story ad a happy ending. I wish I had the answer. But I don’t.
It's 11:10 now, and she is still not asleep. Deep, long sigh.
I love my daughter more than words can say, but sometimes, that’s not enough to help her. I have to be ok with that, I am doing the best I can, and somehow that must be just perfect.
Good night everyone.
Ellen is a counselor, educator and Biomedical and Son-Rise mom extraordinaire. She has many years of experience in public, private, "typical " and special needs educational settings, as well as extensive training as an Option Process® Mentor Counselor through The Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts, sister organization of the Autism Treatment Center of America
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