6 Ways a Sleep Regression is Like a Zombie Apocalypse
Sleep regressions. Who invented those? As if parenting wasn't tricky enough, we then have the added joy of finally getting into some sort of routine ('I can get through this day because at 7pm, there will be sleeping children and wine'), for months or even years, only to be ripped out of our comfort zone when suddenly, peaceful pre-sleep chatter is replaced by hysterically screaming the house down.
We've recently been experiencing the 2 year sleep regression and it's been the worst one so far! Whilst sitting in my son's room for hours on end waiting for him to fall asleep, listening to him natter on about naughty bananas and Peppa and the poo-poo (perhaps an episode title the creators should consider?), I had time to think about how this experience is pretty close to how I imagine a zombie apocalypse to be..
For almost a year now, bedtime has been a breeze. I feel as if we could transform into our very own (dysfunctional) Disney movie with ease, swish our beautiful hair, and sing our way through it because at the end of the scene the toddler would be peacefully dreaming and Mr J and I would be watching crap TV full of naughty words (probably best we snap out of the Disney movie at this point).
Then the toddler hit 2 and everything changed. We have since been fighting tooth and nail for our child-free, chocolate-filled evenings back.
There's alot of screaming involved.
My toddler used to eat dinner. As in, just sit there, and eat it. Now? He gives the plate a funny look and even after I've specifically asked him not to throw it on the floor, defiantly looks me directly in the eye and gives it a swift push. Did you think I was on about his screaming? I'm talking about mine..
Though he screams too, of course. Usually after being beautifully placed in his cot and rolling over as if sleep will come quickly; when I've tiptoed out of the room with the stealth of Tom Cruise and the minute I think freedom may have not evaded me, it's as if life itself has come to an end. Yet on my return, the peace is instantly restored and my bargaining toddler is standing up, holding dinosaur and telling ME what to do.
'Downstairs now p'ease. With Mama.'
No one can help you.
People will try, which is nice (sort of), and you'll search 'what is this sleep regression shit?' a bajillion times but even Dr Google can't save you now. Advice from others such as 'maybe you're putting him to bed too early' or 'maybe he shouldn't be napping in the day' is always really
unhelpful, but unfortunately you know your child better than anyone and you're going to have to figure this one out on your own (potentially with not-so-helpful help from partner)..
If someone hasn't bitten your arm off already, you'll want to eat it yourself.
I've finally discovered the only way my toddler will fall asleep at night in his cot is if I sit in his room with him. Easy, right? Except sitting on the floor in a dark room for over an hour avoiding eye contact with the perpetrator can become quite solitary and insanely boring. I have, however, remedied this by inventing games such as 'How high can I count before the toddler says banana-pants again?' (72) and 'How many stains can I see on the ceiling [in the dark]?' (6).
"Initial contact with zombies is extremely dangerous and traumatic, causing shock, panic, disbelief and possibly denial, hampering survivors' ability to deal with hostile encounters" - Wikipedia
The zombie transition.
Who knew losing your evenings could be so exhausting? You've suddenly switched your nightly routine of watching something very swear-y to watching a pig that laughs at everything and only snorts after the occasional sentence (why some and not others!?) and swapped the huge glass of wine for a warm cocoa because 'the minute they drop off, my bed isn't going to know what hit it, except my exhausted, sleep-deprived body..'
It is the end of the world.
OK, slightly dramatic, but after not experiencing a sleep regression for more than a year, it is hard to suddenly have huge issues when your toddler has been doing so great. It's hard not knowing why, and thinking back to what you did before. But as easy as it is to think that our toddlers are grown up, they are still developing babies with alot going on.
And ways the sleep regression ISN'T like a zombie apocalypse..
It won't last forever (tell me it won't, please!) and you'll at least get a few post-bedtime cuddles with your little one before they grow up and experience the zombie apocalypse with their own children (mwahaha!)..
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