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Toddler-induced exhaustion


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#1 diary~dad

Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:46 AM

There is nothing more precious to me now than sleep.  Not a morning arrives when I don’t think everything about the impending day will be improved by just ten more minutes of sleep.  

And it makes no difference if I go to bed earlier, my body just needs to know that if it wanted a little extra recharging it could get it.  Of course, with three kids in the house who scream at the mere suggestion of sunlight like a cohort of miniature vampires, this is never possible.

And even though I know that every other parent in the universe feels perpetually tired, this hasn’t stopped me from being conceited and desperate enough to believe that I could live in a house of small children and still be fully rested.  I would like to share with you all the details of my plans to achieve perfect rest.

Plan A was simple: Susie and I would take it in turns to get up if any of our three girls woke in the night and we would then take it in turns to sleep in on the weekend.  Simple.  After about a week subtle cracks appeared in the plan.  This is a transcript of dialogue on night 5:
“I think I hear Rita . . . snore . . . it’s your turn.” Snore, roll over.  
“Not my turn . . . I did last night.” Loud snore type breathing.
“No one woke last night.  I got up the other night.” Tired but indignant tone.
“That’s not the rule.  The rule is we take alternate nights.” Curt 3am tone bordering on shrill.
Cue twenty minute ‘discussion’ on the rules of engagement, leaving everyone less than ‘refreshed’.  

With the rules now firmly in place we returned to Plan A.  Transcript of dialogue on night 8:
“I think I hear Rita . . . snore . . . it’s your turn.” Snore, roll over.  
“She doesn’t like it when I go in, she settles much easier for you” loud snore type breathing.
“They’re not the rules”, tired but indignant tone.
“I’m sick of the rules.” Curt 4am tone bordering on shrill.
Cue twenty minute ‘discussion’ on the rules of engagement leaving everyone less than ‘refreshed’.

What was needed was a new plan, a better plan, a second plan.  Plan B was even more daring than Plan A for its sheer simplicity:  we would ignore the kids when they woke at night.  Simple.  However, as with Plan A, cracks quickly appeared.  This is a transcript of the first night of Plan B:
High pitch crying.
“Rita is awake.” Roll over.  Ignore scream for several seconds.
“She sounds pretty upset.  Perhaps one of us should check on her.” Loud snore type breathing.  Long silence. “I think she’s gone back to sleep.”  Smug snoring sounds.
Ultra high pitch crying.  Sound of a mother and father wrestling with their twin desires for sleep and ensuring their daughter’s welfare.  Mega-Ultra high pitch crying.

By the time I got to Rita’s room I was left in no doubt about what she thought of Plan B. Somewhere in between the Ultra and the Mega Ultra cries Rita had removed her big cuddly pajamas, her wondersuit, her singlet and finally her nappy.  She provided a very articulate and wet illustration of her displeasure with Plan B.  Somewhere in between stuffing Rita’s bedclothes into the washing machine and making up her cot I had a dull aching realisation that chronic tiredness may just be a fact of life for the next fifteen to twenty years and no amount of planning could cure it.  Could this be true???

Have any of you out there hit on a way to cure toddler induced chronic fatigue?  Is there a ‘third way’ – a Plan C that won’t pit spouse against spouse, child against parent?

Edited by diary~dad, 18 October 2010 - 11:25 AM.


#2 F.E.B.E

Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:32 AM

Hmm, I'll be waiting for replies too. DH and I have a rule that he looks after DS and i look after DD through the night but not sure what to do when there are 3 to attend to!

Usually we end up with all 4 of us squeezed into a queen bed.

#3 Minxybug

Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:41 AM

second to the 4 in a queen size bed at least that way we get a  few hours solid sleep.

#4 barrington

Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:46 AM

Ours is very similar to EBeditor.

I look after the youngest (as she is the one that wakes the most overnight) while DH takes care of the older two (who very rarely wake overnight)

I usually end up with DD2 in the spare bed and only wake up when DH leaves for work (the garage door opening wakes up DS)



#5 Sentient Puddle

Posted 18 October 2010 - 08:58 AM

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME as it is now known has finally been recognised as a debilitating illness, that can ruin careers, marriages, takes an enormous toll on families and take years to recover from (if ever) and I am very dissapointed that it is being referred to in such a flippant manner, with the OP showing no understanding of the seriousness of the illness.  Being tired after having small children just does not compare and I would be very pleased if the Blogger would alter the title.  

If I wrote toddler induced MS or toddler induced diabetes then people would be up in arms!

Edited by Tinofpineapple, 18 October 2010 - 08:58 AM.


#6 Rilla

Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:11 AM

As much as I hate ME/CFS being referred to as chronic fatigue (not saying anyone was doing this), I must admit my first thoughts on seeing this article were the same as Tinofpineapple's. I realise it may not have been what the author intended, but anyone who lives with this illness will tell you that many times people are dismissive and flippant and do compare things like being tired with a toddler or having had a late night partying with a severe and debilitating illnesss they just don't understand that has a misleading name.

I'd also appreciate a change in title if that's possible.

EFS

Edited by purpletulipgirl, 18 October 2010 - 10:24 AM.


#7 Guest_~Shtiya~_*

Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:22 AM

..

Edited by ~Shtiya~, 20 October 2010 - 09:00 PM.


#8 Manicmum

Posted 18 October 2010 - 10:42 AM

3 under 2.5 here. I swear by a coffee machine and copious amounts of lollies and chocolate (not for them though)! Seriously though, I have let the toddlers drop their day sleep and will put them in my bed for half an hour if it helps them settle. To avoid them taking their nappies off when they were younger we used gaffa tape.

Also I try to maintain energy through staying active, sitting down in the morning is a disaster.



#9 Dirtsa

Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:13 AM

so nice to know we're not alone ! ds1 was  terrible sleeper, in that he would sleep for 2 -4 hours at a time, but when he woke up, he was determined not to go back to sleep without some fireworks. He started sleeping through regularly just before DS2 was born. quickly, DS2 developed a 7 hour sleep through the evening, a wake for a feed in the early hours, then back down for a couple more hours. it was livable, we were getting some decent sleep. we called DS2 our Little Sleep Angel. We were feeling a little bit smug. then it all went to hell in a hand basket at 4 months and we haven't recovered since! DS2 isn't into the dramatics in the middle of the night, but he just wakes up so often. Sometimes i'll get sleep in 15 minute lots... ahh can't wait for him to sleep through again...  ssleep.gif

#10 F.E.B.E

Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:32 AM

Title has been changed, that was my title not Josephs, although from his article. I did read it as chronic tiredness rather than CFS but if people are uncomfortable with it I'm fine to see it altered.

#11 Natttmumm

Posted 18 October 2010 - 11:48 AM

Sound like our place. We fluctuate between Plan A and B. Depends how lound and long they cry then we argue who's turn it is. DH seems to forget so I win hehehe

#12 Sentient Puddle

Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:21 PM

Thankyou EBeditor - much appreciated!

Edited by Tinofpineapple, 18 October 2010 - 12:22 PM.


#13 Rilla

Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:29 PM

Just adding my thanks, EBeditor.

#14 Inthepast

Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:37 PM

I know this blog was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek but I found it rather distasteful that it made light of the fact that both parents  could not agree to even adhere to a simple and beneficial ( to both) concept that ensured the comfort, and so it seems cleanliness of a crying child.

If one of you had just behaved like an adult instead of pretending to be asleep  the child would have been comforted in less time than you both childishly took to argue over it.

Nothing wrong with the children in this house other than the parents behaving like children themselves


#15 ikeaqueen

Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:45 PM

Tend to agree with Daisy Goat.

DH gets up to DS1, DS2 and DS3... I deal with DS4. Luckly, DS1 and DS2 rarely wake up.

It won't be like this forever.  We found with the first two from about 3.5yo they were sleeping through pretty regularly.

Bet once they hit the teen years we'll be struggling to wake them up laughing2.gif

#16 Angel1977

Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (Daisy Goat @ 18/10/2010, 03:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I know this blog was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek but I found it rather distasteful that it made light of the fact that both parents  could not agree to even adhere to a simple and beneficial ( to both) concept that ensured the comfort, and so it seems cleanliness of a crying child.

If one of you had just behaved like an adult instead of pretending to be asleep  the child would have been comforted in less time than you both childishly took to argue over it.

Nothing wrong with the children in this house other than the parents behaving like children themselves


Seriously??

I completely related to this amusing story of middle of night irrational arguments. Its nice to read something light hearted and funny. Perhaps life shouldn't be taken SO seriously..


#17 belsy

Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:55 PM

Angel 1977

Completely agree, this is a light hearted take on the middle of the night 'discussions'. I too completely understand where OP was coming from and had a smile on my face when reading this.  Loved the bit about a nude child showing their displeasure  biggrin.gif

Seriously perfect parent brigade, lighten up  bbaby.gif .

My Plan C - pretend to be asleep at all costs!

#18 Inthepast

Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:59 PM

QUOTE
Perhaps life shouldn't be taken SO seriously..
So true- i shouldn't take a crying child in the middle of the night that has stripped and wet itself as something so serious. Next time I will pretend to be asleep and maybe they will learn to change themselves rolleyes.gif

I actually found the fact that two adults who made an agreement with each other  (that gave BOTH of them the ability to relax) were then so selfish as to not do "their bit"  most pathetic.

I think this bloke should be ashamed of himself as should his wife ( well based on the poor context in the writing I am not sure who was the snorer that refused to get up )

Edited by Daisy Goat, 18 October 2010 - 03:01 PM.


#19 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:21 PM

I don't know why the man bothers writing a blog. Between not being allowed to exaggerate for dramatic effect, and the push to change the title (which now, sadly, no longer gives the impression of the ongoing, unrelenting weariness virtually all parents of young children share) he might as well just write "parenting is hard work and other parents get snarky when you mention it".

I'm sure I'll get my throat unceremoniously ripped out for this point of view, but I'm sick of people trademarking words and phrases from the English language and making them off limits in every day conversation. (I'm mostly peeved about Sun Microsystems trying to trademark the word "Sun" here btw), but I believe I should be able to utter the word "sun" without being slapped with a lawsuit and I should be able to say I'm chronically fatigued and have people understand that I'm tired all the time because I have 2 kids under 3 and that by no means takes away from any illness they may suffer which has as its primary indicator extreme debilitating tiredness.

For what it's worth, I identify with what he's written in this blog post. DH and I have that conversation occasionally, and it's never to the detriment of comforting our children. If they truly were screaming in an alarming manner, we'd both be fighting to get through the door first, as I'm sure the OP would. If they're just having a little whinge though, you bet there's discussion about whose turn it is! It's usually mine, I've found. original.gif

ETA: in the case of nappy removal, I usually find my daughter considers it something of a covert operation, and we don't find out about it until she's used her poo as sunscreen and is loudly proclaiming that it's time to go to the beach.

Edited by heffalumpsnwoozles, 18 October 2010 - 03:28 PM.


#20 diary~dad

Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:25 PM

I can add - with hand on heart - that no children were harmed in the writing of this blog.

#21 Sentient Puddle

Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:36 PM

QUOTE
Between not being allowed to exaggerate for dramatic effect, and the push to change the title (which now, sadly, no longer gives the impression of the ongoing, unrelenting weariness virtually all parents of young children share)
Perhaps Hefalumpswoolzle if you were living with a debilitating illness that many people including health professionals still didn't take seriously because everyone is "chronically fatigued" at times then you would understand why people asked quite nicely the title be changed.  ME/CFS is much more than the tiredness induced from getting up multiple times a night to tend to children.  It is more like not being able to function for days or even months at a time and even going to the letterbox exhausts you, where every muscle in your body aches and you can't keep your eyes open or concentrate on anything for any length of time.  Imagine holding down a job or caring for a child if you don't have the energy to even get out of bed??????  If you then think it people being precious then more fool you and I really hope you or a loved one never develop the illness or you may be in for a rude shock.

Language shapes how we think, feel and respond to the world and we need to be careful how we use it - particularly on a public forum that is open and accessible to thousands of people.

Edited by Tinofpineapple, 18 October 2010 - 03:47 PM.


#22 twistedmama

Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:30 PM

Oh dear ddoh.gif

I thought it was very amusing.  The only reason that doesn't happen here is because DF does what he's told tongue.gif

#23 luckytroll101

Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:33 PM

Poor Joseph!  FWIW, I think your blog is the most amusing on the site and really like it.  Also, can totally relate to this one, the 20 min 'discussions' in the middle of the night especially!

Sadly, you seem to attract the real crazies in the comments...seriously people, maybe spend some time offline learning how to chill out would help?!

#24 Rilla

Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (luckytroll101 @ 18/10/2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Poor Joseph! FWIW, I think your blog is the most amusing on the site and really like it. Also, can totally relate to this one, the 20 min 'discussions' in the middle of the night especially!

Sadly, you seem to attract the real crazies in the comments...seriously people, maybe spend some time offline learning how to chill out would help?!

Not sure if you were referring to me but I'm pretty chilled!

I can't say it any better than Tinofpineapple did -
QUOTE
Language shapes how we think, feel and respond to the world and we need to be careful how we use it - particularly on a public forum that is open and accessible to thousands of people.


I also thought the piece was amusing and had no problems with the piece itself - just pointed out that the title could possibly be changed which EBeditor was happy to do. If she hadn't been, my life would have gone on just fine!

Edited by purpletulipgirl, 18 October 2010 - 04:54 PM.


#25 Guest_~Shtiya~_*

Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:19 PM

QUOTE (heffalumpsnwoozles @ 18/10/2010, 04:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm sure I'll get my throat unceremoniously ripped out for this point of view, but I'm sick of people trademarking words and phrases from the English language and making them off limits in every day conversation. (I'm mostly peeved about Sun Microsystems trying to trademark the word "Sun" here btw), but I believe I should be able to utter the word "sun" without being slapped with a lawsuit and I should be able to say I'm chronically fatigued and have people understand that I'm tired all the time because I have 2 kids under 3 and that by no means takes away from any illness they may suffer which has as its primary indicator extreme debilitating tiredness.


There is no tiredness in ME/CFS it is debilitating exhaustion, they are not the same thing. And the fact is that due to bad/stupid doctors, the ill informed media and an ignorant general public, people now think that chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same thing. So of course we would want the title changed.

Edited by ~Shtiya~, 18 October 2010 - 07:33 PM.





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