Seriously, this not wanting to sleep thing is out of control.
I want my sweet sleepy boy back, who we could sit and read a story with and tuck him in and have him fall asleep peacefully.
Instead, evenings have become a war zone, and because we can't get him to sleep, we adults aren't getting any time to wind down or spend together before we have to go crash for the night.
If we take him upstairs and do jammies and a story, he cries...and we're so not into the cry-it-out philosophy, especially since Acorn is non-verbal at this point, and crying is one of the few ways he has of communicating.
Our current working plan is that when it gets to be bed time, we turn down the lights, one of us picks him up, we turn on some soft music....and we wait. I'm not sure what Big Oak really does, other than the daddy version of swaddling, but he usually falls asleep about the same time Acorn does.
When it's my turn....I pull out all the stops. We snuggle, and we limit the thrashing about because it's painful to me. And then the energy work begins.
I use reiki - or at least, I use it as best as I can, since I've never been super comfortable doing it. I use my own methods of energy work too - when Acorn is in this fighting sleep phase, his energy is orange and ragged and sharp points...and what I want him to be is a deep blue, with gentle waves. So, over and over, I lay that deep blue over top of his orange, and he slowly starts to match. Every so often, he startles himself, and the oranges and yellows break through again, but I just go back to modeling my energy and molding his.
It's not uncommon for it to take me an hour to get him to sleep. It's exhausting.
On the plus side, it's also a good reminder about being mindful and present - doing anything else while getting Acorn to sleep basically means he won't sleep. There's a part of me that is glad we have to take that time out of our crazy days to be absolutely 100% present in how we interact with him, but I wish this wasn't it.
We've tried other things - talking about deep breaths, and showing him deep slow breathing, just makes him more upset. He doesn't mouth breath much anyway, so most typical meditation techniques are out.
Day shift nurses seem to just wait for him to be too tired not to sleep to get naps in. Night shift usually gets here after Acorn is asleep on weeknights, but on weekends they get to try to get him to sleep, and they're considerably less successful than we are. I know they don't do energy work on him, so we know that's helping some.
Now if I could just find the magic wand that makes bedtime less stressful....