As I’ve said before, my boys have sleep issues. And, of course, they get worse in the summer. Like, say, now. On the upside, Ben is no longer wandering into Alex’s room and scratching up his face. Instead, Ben wanders into the upstairs bathroom and tries to flush miscellaneous items down the toilet. Since the toilet up there has been blocked for the past two weeks—probably another milk cap—and nobody has had time to pull up the toilet and fix it, Ben satisfies his urge by stuffing clean washcloths down as far as he can get them. We discourage this. We try to prevent it. And, so, instead of putting him to bed and hoping for the best, I’ve been sitting outside his room, doing what little work I can from that location, and stewing in my own idleness—oh, and telling him to go back to bed every few minutes until he finally falls asleep.
Overall, it’s a bad system. It doesn’t actually help the boys get a good night sleep and it does horrible things to my stress levels. Me + idle = badness.
In the past, we’ve tried melatonin (to be ingested) and we’ve tried lavender oil (like perfume). Both worked, for a time, but the effects wear off and I’m not comfortable just upping the dosage. So, I haven’t used either in quite a while. But now, with the summer (and their sleeplessness) revving up, I’m going to try again, starting with the melatonin.
Last night, Alex took his melatonin very well, and he went to sleep very nicely. Ben, on the other hand, fought with everything he had. He wouldn’t drink down the crushed pill in Dr. Pepper, which he used to do. So, I tried to give him the pill by mouth. About ¼ of the pill dissolved in his mouth. The rest ended up smeared on his face, on me, and on the surrounding bedding. Then, he made himself throw up, on purpose, as a protest. Tonight was a bit better. Alex was a bit more reluctant, but cooperative with just a tiny bit of coaching. Ben struggled, but he didn’t throw up, and he ended the whole battle by giving me kisses—after I let him go. Then, Ben fell asleep within half an hour, but Alex is still up, still bouncing. So, you win some, you lose some, and as long as I win with one of the boys each night, I’m good to go!
The thing of it is, when the boys take their melatonin (assuming the effectiveness hasn’t been reduced due to frequency of use), the boys sleep better and have better days. Once the boys gets used to taking the melatonin, they’re happier and more functional and they like that—go figure. It’s just a matter of getting them used to it again, and helping Ben remember that sleep is actually good for him.