Friday, August 3, 2012

Don't Go Mamma!!

Admission: I'm scared. 
Scared that K has lost trust in us right now.
Scared to leave my little bug at home with a sitter in a few weeks...for 3 nights.
Scared that this weird phase she has just randomly entered will last way too long for us all to handle.

This phase I'm talking about is Sleep Separation Anxiety.... I think I've self-diagnosed her, because according to that link, this has GOT to be what we're dealing with.

photo via James - who loves to check up on her at night when he gets home from work 

As I tried to leave the room, after putting K down for bed at her normal 8pm time last Tuesday evening, something was not right.

She...FLIPPED. Like I've honestly never seen before.

Who was this scared little child?? 
What was this sudden 'anxiety' she was portraying?? 
What was this extreme 'clenching' onto my arms & hands...pleading "I don't want you to go mamma!!"?? 

It took me an hour from start to finish with the bedtime routine - normally, it's 30-min max & super easy... been this way for years! I was completely unsure of where this came from & was very worrisome. 

So I tried asking her calmly:
 - what was the matter.... she couldn't say, just that she wanted me there. 
 - why she didn't want me to leave her room.... she said because she loves me (so cute! but not a reason!!)
 - why she didn't want me to sleep in my own room with the light off.... that apparently helps her know for sure that I'm there, close by.

I made countless attempts to walk out the door. Every time I'd turn to go, she'd get overcome with panic and jump right out of bed after me, tugging on my arm. The tone of her cry was even different, something I hadn't quite heard before. Something was wrong.... but somehow I managed to get outta there, after which seemed like an eternity! As I laid in my bed, I thought maybe it was due to our recent 24-hour mini-getaway to Newport the other night may have stirred up something with Kapri. But she was in great hands with her auntie that she loves & knows very well. So why was this happening?!

We left Sunday at noon, got back Monday at 1. She was fine when we put her to sleep Monday night. James worked Tuesday night and when he got home, I told him what had happened... that's when he told me she did the same thing with him at naptime earlier that day. UGH! Which reminds me, I need to ask her preschool teacher if she had trouble napping there at all.

Now it's Friday... Wed. & Thurs. nights were the same scenario - breaks my heart & almost makes me want to cry! I researched techniques to help with this & tested them all out...being as patient & loving as possible.
Still no help. 

I bought some glow in the dark stars...put em up last night... but they didn't glow much, nor did that help make her excited for bedtime. 

I even got the digital frame I'd bought for James, loaded it with pictures of us 3, then put it on her dresser so she could see it in bed. She loved that. But still cried for me & clung onto my arm with all her strength. I have the frame on a 30-min. timer, but once that shut off, she flipped out, asking for it back on. But we told her to get back in bed or else we'd turn off the hall light (her fear of the dark randomly started a few months ago). 

That did the trick & we didn't hear a peep the rest of the night. Ahhh sweet sleep for us all.

Researching this too much is probably not the greatest idea... because today I panicked. I read one article about this type of anxiety having the potential to turn into a "disorder" - lasting for years, adversely effecting multiple areas of their life, and requiring therapy treatments. WTF!??

James works again tonight... and I'm really dreading bedtime myself again... hoping this won't last forever. I honestly don't know what else to do!  :'-(


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