So what could have possibly happened to derail me from my very motivated attitude in the last post? I'll tell you what happened.
The doorknob. The kids' wakings. The dead man's walk. Room changes. Lack of sleep.
For 6 months or so, Ronin and Nikko shared the nursery and slept fine in each others' company. Then in October, when it got colder in the house, the wood in the floors and in the doorways seemed to shrink. It caused the doorknob hitch to slip easily out of the niche in the doorway. Thus, the door would easily unlatch and creak open, either by the push of a fingertip or by stepping on the wrong floorboard. Once Nikko discovered that he could get out of the room if he woke up in the middle of the night, he'd come running down the hall and into our bed. I started using bungee cords to tie the doorknob to a chair to keep it shut, but Nikko would force his way out.
The kids' wakings.
Suddenly, Nikko started waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes he would wake up Ronin and they'd both be at the bungee-tied door. Once I came in and Nikko was standing by Ronin's bed, crying and whining for my attention. A thought came into my head that Nikko might hurt Ronin in the middle of the night, if I didn't come to the door. I did manage to take apart the door niche in the doorway, pad it with some clay and elevate the plate so that the doorknob latch would stick. The door was fixed. Hooray!
The dead man's walk.
But this didn't stop Nikko from waking up in the middle of the night and crying/whining. I started coming into the room when Nikko woke up and to keep him quiet, I would grab some blankets and a pillow and sleep on the floor between the two beds. If Nikko knew I was there, he wouldn't try to get out and he wouldn't go anywhere. The problem was that this was happening a lot. My back was starting to suffer again. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.
I decided, after much thought and research from friends on other web boards as well as the ABA therapists, that Nikko would have to be in a room alone so that if he needed to cry it out, he could do it alone without disturbing Audrey or Ronin too much. A part of me didn't want to do this because I wished that Nikko and Ronin could share a room the way normal brothers would. I didn't want to ostracize Nikko and let him be alone. But I had no more solutions and had to try something different. I took apart the crib and reassembled it in the nursery, while we all moved Nikko's bed to the 2nd room and Ronin's bed stayed in the nursery. A new arrangement. Did it help? A little. But Ronin was having middle-of-the-night wakings, too. I was now going between rooms, alternating nights. No more sleeping on the floor, but sometimes in their beds. Still am. What else could I do to curb the behaviors?
Lack of sleep.
My last straw, which is currently being tested, was to put everyone to bed at an earlier bedtime. I heard that sleep begets sleep, and that maybe the kids' 8-9 hours would gradually lengthen. Possibly. What did I have to lose? So instead of Audrey down at 8:30ish and the boys by 9:15/20ish, I pushed it back so Audrey is down at 7:40p and the boys at 8:30p. Is it working? I'm only 4 days into it. Sometimes Nikko sleeps straight until 6:30 or 7. That's actually ok. But Ronin is going through a phase where he's waking up every other day at 4-ish, just to be tucked back into bed. Nikko has also woken up at 3a this week, and I stayed in his bed because I was too tired to walk back to mine and to cry him out. No heart for it.
And there you have it. My reasons why I haven't gotten on the treadmill since December. I had no energy to exercise after getting up in the middle of the night for the boys. For the last five months, I have been consumed with the problem of getting these kids to sleep! It's been so frustrating and still is. But with this earlier bedtime schedule, I'm now free after 8:30p. There's time to go run! I have been going to bed by 1, 1:30 latest, but I know that I could get to bed by 12 or 12:30 if I made better use of my time. It's Friday right now, so I am going to start the treadmill on Monday, at the least. I think it's time to try it again.