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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. 

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Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on May 8, 2017 at 9:35am

Thanks, DJ!

Sally, At least your old dog has an excuse :) What a good girl to hold it until she gets outside. 

Stacy, I know what you mean. By 8:00 pm, I want those kids and dogs asleep. LOL Fudge is my cuddle girl and I do like cuddling with her until we both get too hot. 

Comment by DJ & Chance on April 30, 2017 at 1:08am

LOL, I so hate waking up in the middle of the night but somehow adorable kids and dogs work their magic and allow us to live through the sleep deprivations.  Great blog, Laurie.

Comment by Sally M on April 23, 2017 at 7:28pm
If it's any consolation, we don't sleep the whole night either. Our beagle/basset is 15 1/2 years old and her old bladder just isn't what it used to be. But bless her heart, though, she lets us know she wants out and holds it until she gets to the backyard.
Comment by Stacy on April 22, 2017 at 7:59am

I totally empathize with you on the not sleeping thing. I can't sleep without the dogs, but I can't sleep with them either. Since Ava came to live with us there is just nowhere in the bed for me. I make it work, but if someone was actually keeping track of how many times I get woken up during the night... well I probably don't want to know the number! I was babysitting once, a long time ago. And the baby was not happy. At all. And when he finally stopped crying and went to sleep I ended up waking him up trying to make sure he wasn't dead. I didn't make the mistake of babysiting that kiddo a second time! My nephews aren't good sleepers either. We have family game night and we haven't played a game for the last 3 years because they can't ever get the babies to bed! But I wouldn't trade those little ones for anything in the world. 

Comment by Laurie, Fudge, and Vern on April 20, 2017 at 5:00am

Bonnie, I just got back again from Archer's. I got lots of snuggle. He is worth the lost sleep. Glad your three like to cuddle too and thanks for saying I win :)

Ginny, LOL...my granddogs do the licking thing. Drives me crazy. Thankfully, Vern does not walk on top of us. I am glad Lyric is back in your good graces....almost :) LOL

Nancy, My youngest was a terrible sleeper. I feel your pain. However, I had "rest period" for them for a long time. I needed a break midday. I seem to have far more patience with my grandson. 15 minute increments is like a tease. You think you are going to get a break and then the nap is over :)

Wendy, I have told your lunch story to several people and we all laughed. I LOVE IT!!!! My husband had better keep on my good side :) 

BG, Maybe Gavin is the good twin :) Vern does sleep in late, but only after you take him out in the morning. Fudge would sleep all day. 

Deanna, LOL...you are a super grandma. One wears me down...I can't imagine three. I am, however, the aunt everyone wants to sleep with and I have spent many nights waiting and hoping I don't fall asleep before I escape back to a more comfortable place to sleep :) We are both blessed and you are so lucky to have your grandchildren so close. 

Linda, Who knows about the 4:30 am...I keep strange hours due to Vern. LOL I never play with him in the middle of the night. I do stand at the door and yell, "Hurry up, Vern!!!"I probably wake a few neighbors. 

F, High praise indeed. Glad everyone is feeling better and the night time shenanigans have stopped :) My dog sitter said the dogs never wake her up, so it must be me :)

Karen, I read your comment as you completely agree with me about everything!! LOL

Comment by Bonnie and Kona on April 11, 2017 at 9:57am

Great blog, Laurie. You win no matter what because you are the grandparent. Case closed. I do love to snuggle with my grandchildren day or night. I am afraid the nap times are over for good for us, but bedtime holds the delight of 3 begging to cuddle. It doesn't happen often enough now that we have moved. When they came to visit last summer we put the parents in our master bedroom and we slept with the kiddos in the guest room.

Delightful! Vern has needs. It is what it is (but it isn't sleeping).  

Yes, Deanna, sleeping with multiple grandchildren at once is not sleeping but waiting to slip out to try to rest on the couch. 

Comment by Ginny Nightingale on April 10, 2017 at 5:34am

So funny!! And YOU WIN! Because your grandson will grow out of this but Vern will not! My kids were alll good sleepers and two of my doodles are too--but Lyric, the third doodle was banned from our bedroom for quite a while until she got a bit better at sleeping all night--she would walk across the bed at 4 am, then lie down after waking us up and do some hygiene--such as licking various unmentionable parts for a long time--when we finally let her sleep in the room with us, she stopped the 4 am walk over,  but now the licking starts at about 5 am...I have learned to sleep through it--almost!

Comment by Nancy, Ned, Clancy, and Charlie on April 8, 2017 at 10:48am

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.   PERFECT REVENGE!!!!!

As to nap time, my daughter quit napping at 12 months, and her infant style of napping was 15 minute increments! She did sleep at night though - 7 pm to 7 am.  Then my youngest not only didn't nap, but didn't sleep at night unless he was on a mat by our bed.  At age 4 we moved and I was able to get him to sleep in his own bed IF we caught his fifteen minute 'window' of sleepy time AND if  I sat on my bed which was in view of his bed in his room.  And I wasn't even a doting grandma!  I have much LESS patience nowadays.

Comment by Wendy and Myla on April 7, 2017 at 5:53pm

Love the blog, but your lunch story resonated!  I used to put hard boiled eggs in DH's lunches but one night we had a huge argument and I was so pissed off that I put a raw egg in his lunch instead of a hard-boiled egg!  It's still one of our funniest stories to tell :)

Comment by BG and Gavin on April 7, 2017 at 1:24pm
Oh boy this is one big way where Gavern differ. In fact the last time Gav stayed with the sitter she said "well he sure isn't an early riser." Her and her hubby were taking bets on who would sleep in longer, Gavin or their two teenagers.

 

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