Jo has been a lot to handle recently. It seems to come in waves, and this one has been a complete tidal wave! She has started to cry about everything again, and has become very defiant and difficult. Jimmy and I are at the end of our ropes with how to deal with her and how to help her be the happy little girl that we know she wants to be again.
Ever since she was tiny, Jo has suffered from growing pains at night. Usually she gets them after a day of a lot of running or walking. Yesterday was a rainy day, and we were all going stir crazy (and it was only 10:30AM!) so I decided that rain or no rain, I was taking the kids out of the house for a while. So, I bundled Jesse up in blankets and a hat, and put the rubber rain boots on Jo and Gabe and plopped them all in the stroller (Gabriel in one side and Jo and Jesse sharing the seat on the other) and off we went to the park at the end of the street.
Once there, I encouraged the kids to splash and run and make a mess in the puddles, which they did without too much prodding from me. At first, of course, they splashed and then looked at me, thinking that they would be told to stay out of the puddles, but since they had on their rubbers, and we were only here to go home they soon caught on that they could splash away!
Then, when they were sufficiently cold and wet, I bundled them back home and decided to bathe them both to warm them up and clean them off at the same time. But Gabriel has begun to scream during the entire bath time, and besides, they are too old to bathe together, so I put them both in their swim suits and made it into a fun game, instead of a boring bathtime. Soon, they were both in the water, warmed up and scrubbed down.
So, yesterday was an active day for Jo, and at about midnight, she woke up crying that her legs hurt her. Jimmy got up and rubbed them for her and she eventually went back to sleep, but she did miss some good sleep time.
Since I figured that she would be tired from lack of sleep last night, today, after she came home from school at 1, I told her to get go up and rest for a while in her bed. She went without a fuss at all, and when she woke up, she was happy, jolly and in good spirits. We ate dinner, went to the park, and she was back home and in bed again by 8:30, with no tears or defiance.
In addition to that, On Sunday night, she went to bed at about 6:30 and slept through the whole night.
Does that mean, then, that perhaps her bad attitude comes from lack of sleep? But she usually sleeps from 7:30 PM to 7 AM, with no nap in the middle. Usually, if she naps during the day, she wakes up cranky and has a really hard time going to sleep at night, and it starts a vicious cycle of her staying up too late crying about not being tired and then needing being over tired the following day. But she also, if she is sent to her room for bad behavior, will inevitably crash and sleep for at least an hour.
So, do we let her sleep during the day and move her bedtime back (Please, no! I need my quiet time after they are all in bed!!!)? But she's almost 5 years old? Is this normal for a 5 year old to need/want so much sleep?