Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Sleeping Trauma Averted

I was surprised to learn that one of our most visited posts was about the brief time when Hy had a really hard time sleeping at night. We had another episode of that this year, and for very similar reasons, but we came to a similarly happy outcome by totally different methods. The plus side of our old method of taking away access to all his toys and books at night is that Hyrum's room is guaranteed to be clean every night and has been for six months now.

For the last several months, Hyrum has been going to bed with his giant Mickey doll taking up the other half of his bed. If Mickey isn't there, he asks for him. Then he got a plush Mario for Christmas, who also needed to be in the bed. He slept soundly and woke every morning to talk to Mario (instead of Buzz, whose picture had been his morning companion).

Then a few weeks ago we got him a small, hard plastic Luigi toy with some overly-leftover birthday money. Yeah, 10-11 months leftover. I think I've mentioned how ecstatic he is to have both of them together.

It also meant that the first night he slept VERY poorly. He woke up every couple hours, waking Joy up (who has forgotten to wake me up when that happens so I can take care of him). He was sick already and not doing well to begin with. This made the next day much worse.

Joy and I had a family council. She was all for following up with what we do with books: Luigi can't sleep with him. He fell asleep just fine when it was just Mario. Maybe it's just Luigi, or maybe it's the two of them together, who knows? Luigi has to go. I persuaded her that Hyrum can communicate now and he understands consequences much better than he did last year. Let's see if we can invite him into the counseling process and find a solution we all like. She and I came up with two options for him:

1) Every night he could choose to sleep with either Mario or Luigi. If he didn't sleep that night, he would get neither the next night and be able to choose again each night after that.

2) He could sleep with both of them tonight, but if he didn't sleep well then Luigi would never sleep with him again.

We discussed the problem with him and presented the choices. He chose door number 2, just as Joy predicted. That night we reminded Hyrum of what the choice meant and its consequences. He repeated them to me several times: "If I don't sleep, no more Luigi." That fear alone was probably enough to keep him awake all night. Except it didn't. He slept beautifully and continued to sleep beautifully most nights since (excepting when the cough he's had the last week woke him and Joy up).

So the books and toys still stay out of his room at night, but Luigi can stay.

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