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Real Toddler-Mom Story: Is Anyone Sleeping Around Here?

We are about a week into what appears to be a very difficult season of sleep. With zero explanation, like most things child-related, my toddler has gone from a pretty good sleeper to a night owl from hell. If that kid puts as much effort into his life goals as he does fighting sleep, we’ve really got a real winner here. I’m talking Nobel Prizes, Olympic medals, or maybe an evil genius. I’m honestly not sure which way it’s going to go yet.

You see, Roland has never been a great sleeper. He was a cat napper as a baby. He finally settled into a nap schedule that was consistent around a year old but didn’t start sleeping through the night until after he turned 2. We’ve had maybe a glorious, life-changing 3 months of sleeping through the night more often than not, then this hit us.

Bedtime went as normal, in all of its extravagances with extra snuggles and a few sips of water, and then all hell broke loose. Screaming, crying, tantrums…this kid was off the chain. He wanted to rock, he wanted to snuggle, he only wanted dada (because dada is a softy). Until finally, when the clock struck 11:15p we buckled. He broke us, and guess who ended up in our bed? And then no one sleeps. Especially not mama. I have a 35 pound, 100-degree pillow-stealing, drunken octopus tossing and turning next to me and a 12-pound cat between my legs (not kidding).

Fast forward to today, and I’m tired. Really tired. We’ve had this on and off for almost a week, with the last two nights being the ugliest yet.

I was supposed to get together with a friend today. But there is no fun to be had here. I’m exhausted and tomorrow is Monday so I have to have some shred of my shit left together to get to work in the morning and be productive. And as I was texting my dear friend about all of this, this was her response:

“Roland, the king of FOMO!”

Those simple words. It was the reminder I needed and the laugh I needed. My son has always had FOMO – Fear of Missing Out, I also had to Google this the first time I heard it. That’s just my Roland. He is exuberant about life and he doesn’t want to miss a thing, especially hang time with mama and dada. He has always resisted sleep. Those pictures of toddlers you see sleeping anywhere, not my son. This kid lives every single moment to the fullest and honestly, I hope he never loses that.

And before I get all c’est la vie on you, I realize this is probably separation anxiety or a brain bubble or Leap or whatever your favorite parenting book or blog will tell you. I don’t want to start bad habits of him having to go to bed with us at 11p. Let’s be real, I basically live my entire adult life in those few hours between his bedtime and mine, so I need that kid to go to sleep in his own bed for my sanity.

But what I’m getting at is that by reframing this situation from thinking that Roland is out to get me to maybe he just really needs me, perhaps we can all get a little more sleep tonight.


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