Study: Twenty-six infants age four to six months were asked to engage in sleep avoidance in order to observe the effects upon their primary caregivers. Subjects were coached to resist various lulling techniques (rocking, nursing, singing, bouncing) and suppress cues to drowsiness (yawning, cuddling, drooping eyelids). A control group of infants were instructed to nap regularly and sleep 6-8 hours during caregiver's nightly sleep cycle. Result: Significant increases in drooling, staring off into space, and momentary lapses of rationality were seen in the sleep-deprived caregivers as compared to those in the control group. Conclusion: this is a low cost, nonsurgical procedure for suppressing the prefrontal cortex functioning of otherwise normal adults.
All right, I made that up. Sammy has decided that sleep is not for the weary. I do remember vaguely that Violet went through a somewhat similar phase. I just don't know what to do with him or how I survived it last time. I've tried letting him stay awake; after the lapse of 5-6 hours (which at his age should have him conking out mid-babble) he just gets overtired, hysterical, and has an even harder time finally falling asleep. I've even experimented with "put him down awake" philosophy. Sammy can cry off and on for an hour, while I do periodic checks or comforts, and then when I finally give up it's either time for his next feeding or he just sees the light, sniffles, and starts smiling at me. It is a special form of hell to hear your child cry, particularly when it guarantees no happy ending.
Come to think of it, I do remember what I did last time: I just spent inordinate amounts of time lulling Vi to sleep and then crashed for a nap myself. Presently, not at option. In fact, the fifth time I climb the stairs to try to resettle Sammy for his "nap", said toddler starts to wonder if there's a party upstairs. Fact is, I'm wearing out my socks, losing time I could spend with my other munchkin, and getting nowhere.