Monday, September 26

Cry for Help!

I haven't figured this one out yet. Not in a "I-wonder-what-she-will-be-like-when-she-grows-up" way. More like a "from-which-planet-does-this-being-hale" kinda way. The above is how I found her after checking in on Addy working on a "picture" at the kitchen table. The paper was still white. Imagine that! She is one moment the sweetest (I mean ooey gooey rot your teeth sweet) as you can see above, and then next moment a fireball of furry, melting down and freaking out when a fly should buzz within her ten-foot bubble. The fireball moments seem to be winning out lately. 

Here is our latest dilemma with this little enigma, maybe some of you could help me figure her out. Addy is typically a GREAT sleeper. Goes down easily and sleeps straight through the night, twelve full hours, for two and a half years! Last Thursday night, she had a fairly traumatic experience. It was around 2 am. The mister and I heard screaming coming from her room. After some investigation, we discovered she had been frightened by a cat v. bird fight taking place in our dungeon...errr...basement (the kind of basement you can only access from outside. Just a dug-out for the furnace, water heater, etc). Not sure of the whole story with those dastardly animals (although, since only a few feathers were left from tweety, I can assume the kitty won out). Back to the story, Addy was freaked. Big time. 

Five hours later, the mister and I had no sleep, and the little lady was a cranky crankster all the next day (or was that me?). Let's press the repeat button for the next night, just nix the fur-ball fight and the story was the same. The mister and I, with two nights of no sleep, are starting to get desperate. She refuses to sleep in her bed or to have the door closed as usual. Any discipline to keep her in her bed results in madhouse flailing and screaming (obviously she is more afraid of being alone than getting any form of discipline). The more we disciplined the worse it got.  

The following day we took her to three parks, did not let her have a nap, and had her and the sister play chase around the living room for a half hour before bed.  That night went pretty well. Too exhausted to make a peep, she slept great. I started to exhale a little, hoping all our training hadn't been thrown out the window.

Then, last night happened. Again, starting around 3 am, I disciplined, cuddled, prayed, sang, repeat. For two hours. The mister relieved me around 5 and slept in her room with her. She seems to be truly frightened to be in her room by herself. She also gets into habits very quickly. She refuses to sleep with the door shut, but now she springs out of bed at the slightest noise, screaming down the hall that she is scared and needs mommy. HELP! Those of you who know about Lily's night-terrors lasting 3 years, can understand my fear of starting over with another child not sleeping well at night. 

Here are my requests:

1. PRAY! Please pray for wisdom for me and the mister. I am not my best at 3 in the morning, and struggle with patience for this little girl who just doesn't understand what is going on.

2. Any suggestions? We don't want her in our bed. So besides that, anything? I have tried offering a super nice reward for sleeping through the night, but to no avail. At this point, the only thing that calms her is the presence of me or the mister.

3. Pray again. I really need it. I do feel honored that the Lord is growing me already throughout this mini trial. I had a comforting time in the Word this morning, encouraged to love on her as much as I can.

Thanks, friends. Sending lots of love out there to all those who read this far down the page.  


  1. Prayed for you guys last night when I woke up several times and again today before I saw your post. God will give you the strength in this! Have you tried soothing music on CD to cover other scary noises she might hear? You could even record yourself singing/ reading etc. Not a subsititue , but it might help? Misty loved a recording of Grammie singing her favorite song, reading etc. Praying for all of you! Another thought - could she bunk in with Lily for a while sorta sleepover style till the terror memory passes some? Just a thought... Love you guys! Janet

  2. We have talked quite a bit about putting the girls back together. The problem is, that Lily really doesn't want to share a room with the noisy Addy. But we may do that anyway. Thanks so much for your prayers. Love ya!

  3. She sounds a lot like a little fireball who hasn't been sleeping in my house! I'm certainly no expert, but I can share what we've been doing here. Our problem has been two-fold: getting the booger to sleep instead of play (thus the removal of every toy from his room) and keeping him from waking up in the middle of the night not scared.

    You're doing a great job, Lyd! I will admit it's nice to hear when friends go through similar struggles...something about just knowing you're not alone. Keep up the good work and let me know if you find something that works!
    When we read the Bible we have been focusing on how God takes care of us all the time. Lately it has been Noah and the storm with the Disciples. We also reinforce that God is everywhere so even when mommy and daddy can't be in the room with you, know that God is here. I think their little imaginations have an easier time understanding "God is everywhere" than ours do. Of course we pray about these things before bed too. Lately Cam has just been waking up, coming downstairs to our room with his blanket and waking me up to tell me he is scared. I remind him that God is in his room with him and we are close by. Then I send him to the bathroom (so I have less laundry the next day) and he usually goes back to bed on his own. We've been at this for about 2 months now. I don't think he is really scared anymore, but in his half-sleepy state has the habit of coming into our room. I'd really like to break that habit too.
    We will pray for you and Addy too. Who knows, maybe just knowing that another kid out there is struggling with the same thing will help them!

  4. Ok, so the first three sentences of the second paragraph were actually written as a separate paragraph at the end. Not really sure why they got moved up...doesn't really fit there! Sorry.

  5. We had the exact same problem with Laura. I know how exhausting it is and will pray for you all! We did end up putting her in Eddie's room (what a sweet 7 year old boy to let her do that) for a few years because she would get up during the night and wake EVERYONE up because she was scared/lonely. She is 21 and sleeps on the couch because she is still scared/lonely. Sorry if this is discouraging!!! I'm still looking for answers too:)

  6. So sad!! I'm so sorry you guys are going through this. :( We are free Tuesday and Wednesday morning if you want to hang out or drop the girls off for a bit.

    I had a couple thoughts as I read through your post and the comments. How about using one of those white noise machines or a fan or something in her room? That way she won't hear every little noise all night long. It might take a bit to get used to sleeping with the noise, but since she's not sleeping anyway, it's no big loss, right? Also, you could try having a dim light on in her room. Like, maybe a dim lamp on a bedside table along with a picture of something she loves (like you guys) or a lovey of some kind.

    Who knows if either will help, so I'll be sure to do the one thing that will help, and I'll be praying for all 4 of you.

    Bekah M.

  7. Those are some great ideas guys! Thanks! We tried the light on the bedside table, with no affect and the fan, which she screamed about as well. So much defiance! Bah! But the idea of a picture of mommy and daddy in there might help, I will do that for tonight.

    Thanks for all the encouragement! It is good to hear I am not the only mom going thorugh this and that other moms have gone before...which is the case for most parenting thing, right? Love you all!

  8. All great ideas from everyone. I too play a CD in Jireh's room. Its on repeat and plays all night long. Also I have a string of Christmas lights in his room and gives just the right amount of light. Our place gets so dark. And when Jireh wakes up in the middle of the night. I give him a drink of water and then he can snuggle in our bed for a little bit and then back to bed. Seems to work well and then I remind myself of the "joy" in caring for my baby in the middle of the night. they all grow up so fast and soon won't need us in the middle of the night. Just enjoy it even when your tired. Its short lived.

  9. I almost hesitate to mention this because it sounds kind of dumb(and my boy isnt old enough yet for us to experience these problems)but I remember my mom using a spray bottle with water and maybe something that smelled good added to it and called it Dream Spray.My sister had some kind of night terrors or something and right before she went to bed we sprayed the dream spray around her room and let her know that no bad dreams could come in.It seemed to work for her :)

  10. We had similar issues with our oldest. I was firm that he would NOT crawl into our bed and start that downward spiral, so we ended up putting a blanket on the floor and when he woke up scared, he was allowed to come into our room silently and lay down on the blanket by our bed.

    I know this is tough and that you want to be firm and consistent, but sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to get them to sleep and make it possible for you to sleep too. Don't be afraid of just cuddling her in your bed for a few moments and then placing her on the floor next to you.

  11. when i was scared at night, i would sleep in a laundry basket with a pillow under me and blankets in my moms room or the hallway. :)