Thursday, September 20, 2012

The girl who cried low

I have to confess, bedtime is not one of my favorite times of the day. I love the hours following bedtime, but the frenzied snack time followed by bath time, flossing/brushing teeth, story time, snuggle time... It's all very exhausting. Especially when Fred is out of town and I'm flying solo.

But what I hate is trying to get Elise to fall asleep. There's always one more thing. I finally implemented a saying, "call me if you're low and get up if you've got to go."

And it worked. For awhile. Now I can almost set my watch when Elise is going to say, "I don't feel good!" after I tuck her in. And sometimes she's right. But more often than not, she's fine. Like mid-100s fine. And I'm getting tired of it.

I've patiently explained  the boy who cried wolf story to her a million times. After tonight, make it a million and one.

Obviously, I don't want to ignore her. But I am so tired of bedtime taking an extra hour after I first put her to bed. I actually stay upstairs until she falls asleep so I don't have to repeatedly climb the stairs to answer her calls.

So what to do? The other night I got so frustrated with her I threatened to put the Dexcom back on her. Not one of my finer parenting moments, but I just don't know how to handle this.

I don't want her to feel like she can't tell me if she's feeling low, but she need to learn she can't use it as a way to stall bedtime. 

Does anybody have some tried and true method?  Come on... help a tired, pregnant Mama out.


  1. Hmm....Im not sure what worked for us, but I can tell you we have been here too! We have surely pushed the "crying wolf" story and talked till we were out of words...I guess once they get bored with it they move on to another complaint! I would threaten Dex too (evil laugh)

  2. I check Isaac right before I leave him. If he sobs that he's low, like he does 50% of the time, I tell him I'll come back in 15 minutes to check him, but not a minute sooner. I set a timer and I come back check and then we go from there. Maybe 1 time a month he's lower at the second check than the first (then i adjust the basal and he still doesn't get the sugary treat he's hoping for!) but he still tries. It keeps me from going back and forth for an hour, but it still is annoying at times. I just have to remind myself that I have no idea what he feels like when BG are rising or falling and if a double check makes him feel better than so be it :) It also makes me thankful that we have enough test strips to do so!

  3. Joe.DID.THIS.All.THE.TIME...up until like first grade or second. I cannot remember. I posted on it too...VERY FRUSTRATING. I did the same as you, explaining the Boy-Wolf story etc... The behavior did not really change. I just checked him at night when he felt low...and eventually he grew out of it. Sorry Jo. Wish I were more help. xo

  4. We had this same issue with Emerson and my solution was to ler her stay up later (I know...not a good parenting move but I was less exhausted by not having to run upstairs every 5 minutes). Luckily, she just started kindergarten and now that she isn't napping she is exhausted at bedtime and goes to bed early.

  5. Ugh. Been there done that. Well, still doing that sometimes. :) I, too, do something similar where I tell him I'll come and check him in 15 minutes (which usually satisfies him) AND I stay upstairs until he falls asleep. Which is super annoying, but I hate climbing the stairs over and over too. :) Adam is in a super "scared of everything" phase, and I remember Sydney doing it in 1st grade too. I'm trying to be patient. Especially when he wants me to stand over him while he poops becuase he's afraid of the bathroom. Sigh.

  6. Does she check her own BG ever and know what the numbers mean? I can't remember how old E is. Maybe she could keep her kit next to her bed and if she feels low she can check herself and then call you if indeed it is low.

    For my daughter we always check her right at bedtime, from her bed most of the time so we know what her number is and we check IOB too. Then her kit is up on her shelf by her all night and if she feels low or high she can check (she's 8). Also it's right there on her shelf when I go it at 10:30 and 2:30 so I don't have to remember where it is. I don't remember exactly when she started knowing what her numbers meant, maybe around 1st grade, she could look at a # and know that 67 on the screen was indeed sixty-seven and a low number.

  7. Jo, this is coming from a non-D momma. It's the age. Elise should have been born 2 weeks earlier. Lily acted like this with bedtime all summer. Now she is in kindergarten and extended day, and she is worn out. She BEGS to go to sleep every night, and has passed out before 8 every night the last 2 weeks. Try letting her stay up a little later, she may not be as tired as she should be. Or, just keep threatening her! Good Luck, hang in there momma!

  8. Thinking of you! We have yet to have this issue but I am sure it is coming at some point. So, I will be listening carefully to what others are saying they have done that worked. xoxo

  9. I agree... I think it's a phase. Other kids have tummy aches or need a drink of water, our d-kids have the convenient excuse of "feeling low" that they know will get an immediate reaction. My daughter did it at school for a while in 1st grade... would claim she felt low, make an extra trip to the clinic, and be in range or even high every time. It lasted a few weeks and then she got tired of it.

    I'd stick with checking her BG right before you leave her room at night to assure yourself (and her) that she's fine, and hopefully this will play out in a couple of weeks. Good luck!

  10. Do you think it is a stall tactic or do you think she has some anxiety about being low in the night? Ava definitely has some anxiety about this. I find it helpful to remind her that I will be checking her BG before I go to bed in a little while.

    Also, we only do a bedtime snack if she is lowish before bed. Are you bolusing to cover part of the snack? She may be anxious or even feeling that bedtime insulin moving her around. Maybe you can adjust her basals so she doesn't require a snack. We haven't done a reg bedtime snack for a few years with few probs.

  11. Christina Crionas-SpenceOctober 7, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Dear Joanne, hello, what an amazing website/blog you have. I came here from Fred's FB page. My husband James and I have gotten to know Fred and Elise through the Fathers/Daughters camping trips. They were together again this year, James, Megan (15), Alexandra (7) and Fred with Elise, side by side tents. I am so at awe with the amazing work and dedication you both have to your children, the patience, perseverance, your effort to measure, watch, listen and care for Elise's T1D while always making sure Mattias is growing strong and happy.

    I admire great parents like you and Fred, and wish you all of God's blessings as you walk in His path.

    All this introduction, so that you don't get a blog from a strange person you've never talked to before. :-)

    I know how you feel about bedtime being exhausting. Can I say that most children, with or without a reason, are doing the same thing every night? They want to be with you, not close eyes (boring), have a few more minutes of fun. The "cry wolf" stories are amazing, creative and funny all around the world! My niece poured her cup of water on her mattress at 4 years old, saying she pee'd her bed, so that she could stay up some more!! It was the water, empty glass by the bed, 2 minutes after lights out. Creative, huh? Cry wolfe stories and bedtime delays are all exhausting for millions of parents. And you have one more reason to be exhausted. But you stay amazing, every day, all day.

    We have a T2D at home, and you are an ispiration to taking good care now so there are no consequences later. How great that is, how inspiring!

    Some things that have worked for us is a routine with rewards. A 15 minute warning that bedtime is in 15 minutes, a 10 and a 5 minute warning after that. And then, the climb up the stairs, brush teeth, etc. Then we pile together in the bed and read a story. Now she can read to me, but before school I read to her, and she picked the story. The faster we got to bed, the longer the bedtime story and 1:1 time together. The deal was that we earned that the day before. If she stayed in bed after lights out and all was good, then the next day there was extra bonus time together at night. You don't want to discourage Elise from saying "I am felling bad" when she is truly feeling bad. But this plan gives her a reason to be truthful and something to look forward to for her good behavior the night before.
    Does that make sense?

    And now for the really good news! We saw a big change in our daughter at seven years. Less stalling, more responsible for getting ready for bed on her own, more looking forward to the 1:1 time, no monsters, no reasons or ideas for stalling. She'll go upstairs first, put on jammies, brush teeth, get ready. Then she'll let me know she's ready and I'll go up to spend 1:1 time with her. And the more tired she is, the sooner she'll fall asleep, sometimes before I even get a chance to climb the stairs. But there is always "Girls night"...every Friday night, in my bed. We watch reruns of "I dream of Jeanie" or something like that, talk, read and sleep holding hands. Puts me to bed sooner, and then my husband takes her to her bed when he comes to bed.

    Sorry for the long blog, perhaps these will help.

    Joanne, hang in there, bedtime will get better in the next year or two. You are amazing in our eyes and through your parenting, a great example of God's love to his children.

    Christina Crionas-Spence


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