Bedtime continues to be hell. Last night was bad, tonight was worse still. Every night just makes me feel more and more like I'm no kind of mother if I can't figure out how to help my child get to sleep. Tonight I tried the "ghost spray" (some Glade air freshener I bought today) on a friend's suggestion - J wanted nothing to do with it (even though he seemed excited about the idea of spraying the ghosts away earlier in the day), and didn't even want to go into his room tonight. I tried asking him what he didn't like about his room, what happened to make him not like his room, everything I could think of. He just kept getting more and more worked up, howling that he wanted to sleep in my bed, wanted to go in my room, until he was nearly hysterical. Finally he came into my room with me, and he's so tired that he passed out on the floor of my room, still screaming. He's asleep there now - I just covered him up with blankets. I can't pick him up off the floor when he's sound asleep, and if I wake him up trying, who knows how long it will be before I get him back to sleep. But now he'll hardly go in his room at bedtime (he doesn't seem to have a problem with it the rest of the day), and he sees ghosts all around the house (my room, bathroom, kitchen, outside) and outside the house (we went to Little Gym today and he said there was a ghost on the truck next to ours in the parking lot).
I have NO idea how to proceed next, but I know something has got to give. I've made the room brighter, made the room darker, laid down with him (we used to do that and he'd go on to sleep in his bed), sat next to the bed and held his hand, had a warm bath before bedtime. I'm running out of ideas. I can't keep sleeping with him in my bed - I'm not rested, and the longer I go and the more tired I get, the shorter my temper gets (not good for me or him). He's not resting well, because he's tired during the day (but won't nap), and that's not good for him. And I can't let him sleep in the floor every night - I'm not sure he'd do it intentionally if I made a little pallet for him and asked him if he wanted to sleep there instead of actually *in* my bed, and I don't want him to just scream himself to sleep every night. And it just hurts me to see him so worked up, almost scared to go to sleep.
I know children are supposed to be more sensitive to paranormal phenomena than adults, and all of the going on about ghosts makes me wonder if this is more than just a phase and he just can't articulate what he sees, and it just happens to show up most in the form of not wanting to sleep in his own bed. I'm baffled, and very, very tired.
It seems to keep getting worse, and I have no idea what to do. I feel helpless and frustrated, and the fact that I'm tired and getting more tired by the day makes it worse. Bedtime shouldn't be this kind of a fight, and I don't know how to make it any better. It seems to me that this goes beyond just being afraid of missing something, just your run-of-the-mill fighting sleep, and it seems to me that it's more than him wanting to sleep with mama. I don't know what it is - bad dreams, paranormal phenomena, something I haven't even thought of - but there's some reason for this, and some reason it keeps getting worse. I just hope I can figure out what it is and address it before J and I both burst into flames.
And if this is all I seem to write about, it's consuming my life. I'm tired, yet nighttime doesn't necessarily mean rest. (Yes, I know, I should have/could have gone to bed when J passed out at 8:15 tonight, but I have things to do that didn't get done during the day because mama was J's favorite plaything. The dishes and the laundry won't do themselves.) The thought that, "Oh, crap, bedtime is coming up" lurks in the back of my mind all day. I'm not sure who dreads it more, me or J. And it SUCKS.