Last night we decided to revert to our old ways.
For over a year, we (and when I say "we" here, I mean Mark, 9 mornings out of 10) got up around 4 AM and gave the boys another dose of liquid Clonidine, to keep them asleep past 5 AM.
About a month ago we decided to experiment with that routine and see if maybe the boys were able to stay in bed on their own, without the 4 AM dose. They are getting bigger and more mature and sleeping so well, and we were not loving having that little task every morning, so we thought we'd just do a trial run and see how it went.
Result - it did not go well. Our days have been beginning between 5 and 5:30 AM, only once in awhile 6:00 AM. And they didn't wake up like other people; that is, groggy, still sleepy, having to laze about for the first half hour they are conscious. Nope. These guys woke up at 5:30 AM, with the energy of someone who'd just had a 24 oz. Mountain Dew. They ran up and down stairs, trying so hard to wake up their sister (who is NOT a morning person). They required video after video after video, none of which actually satisfied them. They climbed up on the piano and knocked things off the bookshelves. They wrestled and bit each other until they were both red-faced, sweaty and slobbery, with bite marks dotting their faces and arms.
Zack in particular had some behavior problems that I believe are directly related to his being too tired. He kept bending his leg up to his face (or bending his face down to his leg) with amazing flexibility, to bite himself in the knee, calf, or foot. He chewed on his own skin like it was gum. If he and AJ were wrestling and I came over and broke it up, Zack would drop to the floor and savagely bite himself. He was just so manic about it. I'd yell "ouch, don't bite my baby's legs!" and he'd laught at that a little, but it didn't stop him. No amount of coveted chewy or comfort toys would satisfy his need to gnaw. Although the butterflys came close!
So, we've gone back. I don't consider it regressing. It's just returning to what worked. Both boys slept until 7 this morning, a good 12 hours for Zack, and both woke up happy, calm, and contented. Very little wrestling and biting. Just a little cuddling.
I am anticipating a much calmer day with much more harmonious, peaceful children.
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