My Convertible Life

Monday, January 13, 2014

In Which My Daughter Tries to Kill Me By Refusing to Sleep Through the Night

In case you thought perhaps Pippi's bedtime was all moonlight and unicorns, with little back-scratching fairies who carried her off to sleep, here's your reality check.

Pippi was generally a better sleeper than her brother was as a baby -- although truthfully that’s a pretty low bar. But where Junius tried to kill us quickly through insanely intense sleep deprivation during his first year, his sister has taken the slow-torture approach and is trying to bring about my demise in a more methodical, diabolical fashion.

She continues -- even at age five-and-three-quarters -- to wake up during the night (sometimes more than once) and require attention. Sometimes she calls from her bed, with a sing-song "Moooooooooooooo-mmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy." Then there’s a 15-second pause, followed by the same pitch of Moooooooooooooo-mmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy," (almost never "Daaaaaaaaa-ddyyyyyyyy") which continues steadily until I go into her room. Other times she appears at the edge of the bed, as if by magic, her round face and hot breath an inch from mine -- which still scares the crap out of me when I realize she’s there. Frequently she wakes up around 5:00, which gives her plenty of time to go back to sleep while robbing me of my last 30 minutes before I have to get up for boot camp.

I am basically rude and not at all sympathetic to her when this happens. But I walk her back to her bed, tuck her in and tell her I love her -- because I just. want. to go. back. to sleep.

It seemed we had finally bribed parented our way out of this deadly pattern a couple of months ago. But she has resumed her nocturnal neediness over the past week. Why? I have no idea.

Well, actually, I have a few…

27 Reasons That May or May Not Explain Why My Daughter Wakes Up During the Night
  1. She is lonely.
  2. She needs to pee.
  3. She needs to pee and wants to use my bathroom instead of hers.
  4. She needed to pee and just wanted to tell me that she already went. All by herself.
  5. She peed and now she wants someone to tuck her in.
  6. She wants someone to lie down with her.
  7. She wants someone to lie down with her who is a human and not one of her “friends” that is a stuffed animal.
  8. Her bed is too crowded.
  9. She just wants some company.
  10. She wants to know if it’s time to get up.
  11. She wants to know how much longer until morning.
  12. Her legs itch.
  13. He back itches.
  14. She can’t find Shirley (the Sheep, pictured above).
  15. She wants to know if she has school tomorrow.
  16. Or the next day?
  17. She just remembered a funny story about what happened at school yesterday and needs to tell me about it right now.
  18. She had a bad dream.
  19. She had a silly dream. And needs to tell me about it right now.
  20. She wonders how many days it is until her birthday and how many friends she can invite to her party and can it please be a sleep-over?
  21. Her room is too dark.
  22. Her nightlight is too bright.
  23. There were these really awesome Hello Kitty socks in the dollar bin at Target and she wants to know if we could go buy them in the morning.
  24. Her closet doors are open.
  25. She thought her brother was up.
  26. She wants to know if she can play Minecraft on Daddy’s iPad.
  27. She needs a tissue. And she may or may not have a nosebleed.
If you've got any favorite reasons from your own house, feel free to add them below in the comments. If you've got those kids who magically slept through the night as a six-week-old baby and never looked back, then you should just keep that to yourself.


  1. It's now 5:24 a.m. My wake-up calls came at 12:47 and 4:36 this morning. The culprit? The 6-y-o, who is simply not creative enough to come up with an excuse. So I have no further submissions to your list. Xoxo, your FL grad school friend.

    1. Oh Nadia -- that's terrible! Can we just connect our two kids so that they talk to each other instead of coming to get us?

  2. No good excuses on our end, either. Every morning prior to 5:00 a.m., one or both kids are looking for me. If I am not in bed, they walk all around the house calling out loudly until "mommy!" is discovered. If the other is still asleep when this happens, then the other wakes up. I am not going to miss this when they're grown.

    1. And why is it that they're never looking for Daddy?! So sorry...

  3. Wow. I feel so blessed. I've had to WAKE the 6-year-old at our house two days in a row for school.


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