Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
My two-year-old grandson has just decided that he doesn’t want to go to bed. I have watched him on and off since birth and the fact that he took a beautiful nap and went to bed without fussing always sealed the deal for me when they asked me to watch him. It meant Grandma could get a break in the afternoon and watch some television at night. Well, one week before I was to show up to watch him again, they informed me that he doesn’t want to take a nap and has been climbing out of his crib and coming downstairs. And somehow it was all my fault because the last time I watched him, back in January, we would snuggle together every night and watch Tayo the Little Bus. Apparently, as he descends the stairs after climbing out of the crib he has been saying, “snuggle up time.” First of all, in my defense, I babysit for free and watching Tayo the Little Bus is no picnic. Every night that I was there I tried to persuade him to watch another show, but he would look me right in the eye and say, “Tayo,” and no amount of groaning on my part could persuade him differently. A show about a bunch of buses that live in a bus depot was not exactly my cup of tea, but I sacrificed because I love my grandson and I knew one or two shows would put anyone to sleep.
I live with the equivalent of a two year old that fights sleep and his name is Vern. Vern is our toddler, only he is now seven. I don’t know if Vern has ever slept the entire night through and he is always the first one up if we try and take a nap. At this point, I think if he ever slept all night, I would still wake up in the middle of the night to check that he was still alive and breathing. I even save packing John’s lunch for the middle of the night when Vern wakes me up. I hate that job so much and hope one day in my sleep deprived state I will “accidentally” pack an expired pack of yogurt, a rotten hard boiled egg, or a peanut butter and meat sandwich, and cause John to decide buying his lunch out would be a better option. So far, that has not happened, but one can hope.
Well, I made the mistake of complaining to my daughter about Vern when she complained about her son and was instantly told that our situations are nowhere near similar. To me, lost sleep is lost sleep whether it is caused by a toddler or an oversized dog, but my daughter took great offense that I even tried to insinuate that I had it as bad as she did. She has this weird competitive streak that she gets from her father and seemed to need to win this “who gets the most sleep” battle. As far as I am concerned, having a dog smack you around in the middle of the night with his polar bear sized paw is far worse than having to snuggle up with my grandson. I think next time I go I will “gift” my grandson with an oversized boxing glove and tell him to use it to wake mama up right before “snuggle up time” and see if she can at least admit I have a point.
Vern recently had to have a molar removed and came home from the vet groggy and sleepy and the anesthesia along with the pain medicines made him sleep all night. I still woke up at 5:30 am because I was sure he hadn’t survived the night. I felt the same way I did when I woke in the middle of the night to make sure my babies were still breathing when they started sleeping through the night. Panic, like I forgot to do something extremely important, followed by massive relief when I felt their little chest move up and down. So, yep, there I was at 5:30 am, the person who prays nightly for their dog to sleep all night, waking Vern up to make sure he was still alive. In my defense, I couldn't feel him breathing, he seemed cold and I forgot he is part polar bear, and he didn't respond when I finally called his name. I almost called out to John, but knew me screaming, "VERN IS STILL SLEEPING!" was probably not going to get the reaction I wanted. It was only after I turned the light on and saw one eye twitch that I realized he was safe and made a mental note to ask my vet about the long term effects of anesthesia and pain meds if I want to continue to use them on Vern to get a good night’s sleep. Something tells me she will say no, but it is worth a shot.
I recently returned from babysitting and was able to get Archer to bed earlier than his parents, but naps were definitely a hit or miss. I gave it my best shot and came equipped with plenty up my sleeve, but no amount of trickery or cajoling could make that kid sleep if he didn’t want to take a nap. It is the same when Vern decides it is time to get up. He doesn’t giggle or pop his pacifier at me, but he stares and pokes me with his nose or paw to let me know he is staying up. In the end, I decided that lost sleep was lost sleep no matter who or what caused it. I know Vern is always the first one up if we take a nap. He is always the first one up in the morning, although after going out, he will go back to bed. That is the only thing that differs from a toddler, although I still think the “awakened by a large paw swat” makes me the winner in the battle with my daughter for who has it worse. Not that anyone is keeping score, but if they were, I would win.