Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mystery Solved!

A week or so ago I blogged about a phase Violet was going through that made her super-clingy at bedtime. She would hold me tightly or reach for me crying, "Mommy, I neeeeeeed you!" and would go on and on with that after I left the room. I fluctuated between trying to be firm with her, calm her down, and tell her to stop crying and just go to holding her for 45 minutes or more, singing to her, stroking her face, trying to lull her to sleep. Nothing seemed to be successful. She went in and out of this for over a week. Some nights I'd tell her firmly to go to sleep, and she'd just do it, other nights we'd go over and over with the screaming sessions.

Then last night, something clicked.

Once in a while, in the past weeks, I'd hear footsteps upstairs, trekking into her bathroom (she has her own personal bathroom in the house). I assumed she was using the potty, and hopping back into bed, as the footsteps never continued for more than a few seconds. ALSO, once or twice, I'd gone into her room in the morning, and found her in her bathroom. Not something I thought unusual, she was just getting up and going potty first thing! Well, last night, I heard the footsteps again, after a long session with her (crying, "Mommy, Mommy, I neeeeed you!") and I had told her this time not to get out of bed since I'd already taken her potty before I left. I crept upstairs and opened her door. She WAS in the bathroom, but NOT going potty. She had dragged her pillow and blankie into the bathroom, turned on the light, and was setting up camp on the floor in there for the night! It dawned on me, then.....she had been doing this for DAYS now.....and it was probably the only thing that had kept her calm on those non-screaming nights!


I asked her what she was doing, and she confirmed to me she was going to sleep (of course, silly mommy). I told her it didn't look very cozy, and why don't we just try the bed again? She broken-heartedly obeyed, and then (poor thing) choked out, "Mommeeee, Mommeeee.....wujjyou fix my bed? It's broken!" I looked up and saw just the bones of her canopy up there, no fabric yet. We still hadn't gotten a cover for it since the last one had acquired some bugs living in it after being in storage for 5 years. She was truly distraught over the barren look of it, and my heart melted. I found an old quilt and jimmy-rigged it over the "rafters" and she giggled for joy! Then I brought her up a nightlight and put it right beside her bed so she could look at it while she dozed off. This made her even more happy! I also left the bathroom light on, and told her she may get up to use the potty, but she must lie back down in her bed when she was finished. She seemed perfectly at ease, though tired, when I finally left at 8:45 pm.

She slept peacefully ALL night long, till 8:30 the next morning! I went to check on her after I got up....still sound asleep in the bed!

I won't even begin to describe how guilty I felt over this .....I've tried to tell myself I'm still just learning, to be a mother. It's just that---she's such a fearless creature in every other respect that it never dawned on me she could be scared of her room, or her bed, or just the darkness. Silly me!

Anyhow. We went out to buy canopy fabric today. :D I'll be posting pictures of it AND the rest of the house pretty soon. Keep watching!


Matt and Laurie Beardsley said...

Oh Sus (and Violet!) I'm so glad you figured out the mystery. I know exactly how you feel! We had repeated...REPEATED incidents of Joey crying at naptime or bedtime, screaming even after disciplines and discussions etc, before we figured out he had a dirty diaper and couldn't sleep but was way too young to say anything. It took me so long to figure out that even if I had just changed him, it didn't matter.....

You're doing great and now Violet will have a beautiful canopy! I can't wait for pictures!!

Jenny said...

Poor baby, and poor mommy! It's so hard to keep up with the seemingly random needs of our kids. I don't think I'll ever really understand why Evie needs and does the things that she does! Even though she communicates so well. We've been back and forth on the nightlight thing for the last probably 2 years. Funny as she got older, she seemed to "need" it more. Maybe as their understanding of the world advances, so do their fears, I don't know. But, the inner workings of my child's brain is a mystery to me when it comes to these kinds of things, too. It's just a "figure it out as it comes" kinda world with toddlers:) And no two are the same! Probably next week she won't want the light anymore;)
Have fun making the canopy! Did you ever figure out what the hives where?

Herb of Grace said...

just say over and over to yourself, like a mantra, "kids are resilient, she won't remember this, kids are resilient, she won't remember this..."

Hosanna said...

Awww, how pitiful...... Wonder why she didn't say so before?
She must be the "strong, silent" type!

Scot and Kristen said...

This is such a sweet story of a little girls helpless predicament and a mommy's loving sensitivity!! Thanks for sharing it! Love, Kristen

Denise said...

Susi, I am glad that the Lord finally revealed this mystery... I know everyone else has said it, but at times we just do not see/understand what our children are experiencing. I've had times where my Elyana was waking multiple times, and it took hours for me to even think "teething" to give her something for the pain. Anyway, do not fret for what happened, know that the Lord has you as her mother and will give you wisdom each and every day... Much love!
(PS Please do post pictures! Your sense of style is amazing.)

Seth and Karen's blog said...


I think every mommy has had several of those "eureka" moments and I'm so happy for you two that it is solved! Don't feel badly, we've all been in situations like that or worse! It is hard to escape the "I'm a Bad Mommy Syndrome" while raising kids. :)