Between having bad sleepers (Molly in particular) to begin with, an unfamiliar house, and a time change the last few nights have been rather long!
Night 1: You’d think that having had a total of about 8 hours sleep (Ben) and maybe 5 (Molly) between the flight and the car ride, they would have fallen asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow the first night but no such luck. After many hours of crying (Molly), playing (Ben), playing (Molly), switching the light on and off (Ben), snuggling together (both), they finally crashed at about midnight (Ben) and 2:00 AM Germany time (Molly). And then, thank goodness, slept through until 11:00 the next morning. Hopefully tonight will go a bit better! (That of course, was written a few days ago in a vain fit of wishful thinking…now on to reality!)
Night 2: We did our best to get back to our usual schedule and put Ben and Molly to bed at about 7:00 PM local time, and it worked! They both fell right to sleep! And then woke up again. And again. And again. Molly was up around 8:30 PM and cried…and cried…and cried…until about 11:00…then, having played that tactic out, she suddenly turned chatty: “Daddy! I didn’t brush my teethses! Daddy? I didn’t brush my teethses! Mommy! I never brushed my teethses!” No reaction. “Daddy! I have a poop! [not actually true] Daddy? There’s a poop in my diaper! Mommy? I have a poop!” Still nothing. And so on. Until 1:00. Ben slept beautifully for about 2 hours at a time, but every 2 hours he woke me up to ask if it was 6:00 yet (“NO!!”). He also finally crashed out around 1:00 and slept the rest of the night until Ian woke them both up at 9:00 AM to try to avoid a repeat. (He very kindly left me to sleep in until noon which was absolutely luxurious.)
Night 3: We got the daytime schedule back to normal with Molly having her afternoon nap and Ben having quiet time, then dinner at their usual time followed by bath and bed…and SUCCESS! Both kids fell asleep right away and slept right through until… ….9:00 PM when Molly awoke screaming. Another long night followed. Thank goodness Ben sleeps like a rock and Molly’s hours of screaming and crying did not pierce his veil of slumber. We tried putting her in a room by herself and Supernanny-ing her back to bed silently (“NOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO!! NOOOO!”), ignoring her (she pulled a Goldilocks and tried out every other bed in the house), and then watched How I Met Your Mother on the iPad and waited her out until she again crashed out at 2:00 AM.
Night 4: No nap for Molly today. She hit a wall at 5:30 and practically begged for bed, then fell right asleep. She woke up at 7:00 sobbing her heart out and we ignored her until we heard a furious shout of, “I WANT TO GO OUT GATE!!” (there is a gate at the top of the stairs) followed by the sound of the gate opening two small pairs of feet padding their way down. Molly was still furious at our treatment and Ben was disoriented and thought it was morning and cried bitterly on learning that it wasn’t. When I brought them back up the evidence informed me that Molly had climbed into bed with him, bringing her noonies, teddies, and duvet with her, and snuggled with him until he woke up. The new deal is that they are now in the room together and she can stay there as long as she lets him sleep (no crying or yelling). I’m not holding out much hope for it working since I’ve had to go in 4 times so far to remind her.
If it was only a matter of waiting her out until she falls asleep every night, we could trade off doing that and make it through this holiday relatively unscathed but unfortunately as of tomorrow other family members start arriving and we’re really hoping to be able to let them sleep undisturbed…