Well, we've gotten through days four and five with better success on my part than before. I've come to the realization that success is the fact that I'm trying and not necessarily that I've been 100% successful in achieving all the goals spot on. Can I get an "amen?"
Hugging - used as a discipline today. They were all being incorrigible, particularly while I was on the phone so I told them in a stern voice that they would be making it up to me and I would let them know how. Well, after I thought about it, what I really needed was a hug. So they were all asked to hug me. A lot.
10 minutes of touching time has been putting hair up in scrunchies (the girls both currently have short cuts) and back rubbing. While shopping, I've made Sissy hold my hand, my arm, something that was attached to ME. And doing what THEY wanted, swimming. In the wonky, lopsided backyard pool in water that froze our *bleeps* off.
And what has been the result?
Well, the rest of you have alluded to it and Sissy has been quite pleased to follow suit. She is a sprightly, blooming RADish at the moment, sent to bed early because she was blooming so loudly, obnoxiously and annoyingly. I just LOVE those kids of RADish blossoms, don't you?
But that brings me to the cruxt of my post:
to sleep perchance to dream.
Sissy, has insisted she is waking and not sleeping and blah, blah, blah. We've tried meds, we've tried self-soothing techniques, we've tried white noise and natural sounds music, we've tried reading, relaxation, we've even tried shortening her sleeping time to see if perhaps she was getting too MUCH sleep and waking early.
Guess what? She still complains that she can't sleep, is waking, isn't clear about WHEN she wakes or how LONG she stays awake, goes blank when you drill her on whether or not she uses the self-soothing techniques the IFI team has been teaching, etc. And all this discussion IN FRONT of the therapist today. Right. You know where this is headed.
So therapist suggests I GET UP WITH SISSY EVERY TIME SHE WAKES so i can help coach her through it, using her self-soothing techniques.
I say, "um, I need to be FUNCTIONAL the next day. i can't wake up every time she claims she's waking up. That won't work." (I was also thinking, right, and condition her to wake ME up? no way Jose.)
Therapist says, "I understand your concerns, mom, but I don't think Sissy can learn all this on her own."
She paused and said, "well, let me think some more, I'll get back to you."
So I said, "I COULD put a baby monitor in there in the event Sissy REALLY needs me."
Sissy started squirming and fidgeting in her seat, face all scrunched up in anger.
BINGO! We have a winner! Because we all know that if the RADish is not happy, we've found the best solution.
Therapist left the house and I called IRL friend with a blooming RADish. She's doing the challenge too and had some tales to tell anyway. She agrees with me. Getting up with a RADish in the middle of the night, EVERY TIME she claims she wakes up? Uh. No. Putting in the baby monitor? Gold. She also suggested I give Sissy her meds earlier in the evening. Said Sissy when she was told there would no be a monitor in her room, "I don't want that!"
"And why not?"
"Because it has the word 'baby' in it!"
"Not because then we'll know what's happening at night?"
Right Sissy, go ahead and play dumb. Good thing Mom and Dad aren't.
Aspie Boy is a chronic insomniac. Wakes many times a night despite the meds BUT, AB is NOT a radish. He knows to go back to sleep or lie in his bed, resting. Since he was six months old, AB has never slept longer than 6 hours at a time, which is also when he quit taking naps. Every now and then AB will crash midday and we'll all stand amazed at his bedside and say, "wow! He must not be feeling well!"
Sissy has also had trouble sleeping. But the kick in the pants is that she lays in bed fretting, frowning, worrying and charging her brain with every anxious thought about death, dying, horrors, mutilation, blood and gore that she can imagine. Not night terrors anymore, more like anxiety daydreaming terrors. She simply can't turn off her brain. And neither can she be given permission to read quietly or play quietly until she goes back to sleep like AB does. *snort* imagine a RAD doing such a thing. NOT.
While at RTC, Sissy complained to me all the time about her insomnia. I'd tell her to tell the staff and she would always conveniently forget. Here's why. At RTC, there were video cameras in every room, locked doors with alarms, 24/7 staff wide-awake, sitting 10 feet from the closed doors, armed with chemical and physical restraints. Sissy had no choice. If she woke up, she HAD to lie in bed and go back to sleep or face the music. Not so at home.
Want to know what I think? Bet you can already guess. Sissy's sleeping just fine through the night. Maybe she occasionally wakes and frets and panics but mostly, not. I think she just likes having something to make me worry about. Guess what? I'm suddenly not worried anymore. And equipped with a baby monitor, I'll have proof. I know what you're thinking. Sissy will try to wake me on purpose through the baby monitor. I've already thought of that. I'm going to consequence the *bleep* out of that and I'll tell her straight up BEFORE she gets the chance.
Of course, I know mental health issues come with the caveat of sleep issues and I'm fully prepared to concede that we've maxxed out the medical options to treat it. I'm not, however, going to let it become fertilizer for a blooming RADish. When I talk to the therapist again next time, I'm going to tell her our current plan of dosing meds at supper instead of bedtime and adding a baby monitor. Sure wouldn't want them to think I was non-compliant with their ideas of how I should parent my RADish. Seriously? Get up every night at 3 am to help a 10 year old go back to sleep? Even as infants I didn't do a whole lot of touching and cuddling because I wanted the children to learn to self-soothe. I'm certainly not about to start doing that for a preteen
So, what have the rest of you done about the foibles of the sleepless?