Since we have come home and started adhering to my beloved schedule I will hear the small sounds of Muffin movements over my head considerably past the time when I tucked her in. At first, I thought that she was simply excited about her new stash of toys and I let it go. However, two nights ago I went upstairs to confirm my suspicion and confront her about playing after lights-out and found her standing at her door with her hands resting on the baby gate.
(*note: we continue to use baby gates in the house in order to keep the kitties out of Muffin's room and the guest room*)
Seeing her standing there, I told her to please get her booty back in bed because that's where it's supposed to be. She went back to her bed, sat down and started to cry. I had not addressed her in an angry or mean voice so I couldn't understand why she was crying! I entered her room, sat down beside her and asked her to tell me what was on her mind but she was too overcome by tears. I believe that she was overtired and simply unable to sleep (possibly because I was watching The Tudors downstairs and had the volume too high. *ahem, cough*).
As I stroked her back I told her that there are many ways to try and fall asleep at night. Some people count sheep, some people try to make their mind perfectly blank (never worked for me) and some people like to re-visit a happy place. I also told her that she could make up a happy place to visit in her mind if that would be easier. She mumbled something about magical flying ponies and I agreed that any place with magical flying ponies was bound to be happy. (That is, if you discount the giant loads of horse crap falling from the sky - but maybe that's just me)
I left her to her happy place that evening and last night I decided to give it a try for myself. I usually end the day by going over in my mind the things I didn't get done or things that need to get done the next day and usually neglect to try and find a peaceful road to la-la land. Last night I re-visited one of my favorite places in the world, Seabeck Washington. It's a tiny little area in the Kitsap Peninsula on the Hood Canal with a lovely view of the Olympic Mountains. Know what? I had the best night's sleep in over a month.
So, long story made longer by lengthy descriptions, I recommend the Happy Place as a sleep aid to anyone who needs an alternative to wine or Tylenol PM. Works like a charm.
(*edit - The picture in the header is one that I took from Seabeck when I was pregnant with Muffin. The picture in this post was found via Google Images and I thought it was lovely*)