Monday, August 15, 2011

Melatonin: A Cautionary Tale

A little over a year ago, our pediatrician introduced us to what we like to call "Amazing Grace." Its technical name is melatonin. The Beast's body does not produce enough melatonin on its own; thus before the discovery of melatonin, we had a little boy that was awake every night well past one or two in the morning. The first night we gave the Beast a small dose of melatonin was the most wonderful night as a parent I had ever experienced, after I got over the shock of him going to sleep so quickly. Since then, he has taken it every night, and we have had much better nights because of it. Every once in a while, the melatonin seems to have an opposite effect, in which the Beast becomes extremely wired and barely sleeps at all.

Yesterday was as usual a crazy day for us - Sundays always are! It is always a terrible chore to get the boys to nap on a Sunday afternoon, and we are rarely successful. However, on this particular day, the Beast had run off to do his business in the bathroom, and I could hear suspicious noises coming from his place of business. You know, the kind of noises that immediately make you jump up from your chair and bang on the bathroom door, demanding to know what on God's green earth was going on in there. When the Beast finally emerged, I could tell he was trying to hide the fact that he had just put something in his mouth. "What is that? Spit it out right now!" my not-so-calm self shouted. The Nerd managed to pry his mouth open and discovered that somehow the Beast had gotten hold of his bottle of melatonin and had eaten an entire pill. I was relieved - I knew it wouldn't hurt him, and we both thought perhaps this would be the thing to persuade the boys to nap. We gave a tiny bit to the Spud as well, and within minutes, both boys were snoozing away. Gloriousness! This meant a very tired and pregnant momma could get a nap in too!

Then bedtime arrived. After the usual routines of teeth brushing, bathroom going, and pajama clothing, it became very clear that the boys were NOT going to sleep. They became hysterical and giggly and very very LOUD. Every time the Nerd went in for a "visit" to help them remember what the meaning of bedtime was, they just giggled louder and rolled around on the floor. It was very LATE before the boys finally fell into a restless sleep.

Cue Monday. I woke up with the exhaustion that comes from birthday celebrations, over-excited kids, and children's church (now that's another story). The boys were already awake and in the same giddy mood with which they had gone to bed. They dumped all the clothes out of their dresser drawers. They ripped up valuable papers. They made the living room look like a hurricane had hit it in a matter of seconds. They hit their sister and screamed silly things at the top of their lungs. They threw their breakfast on the floor while laughing hysterically. They did all these things ALL DAY. I literally was just seconds away from listing them on Craigslist when the Nerd walked in the door. Dinner was a disaster as we anxiously counted down the minutes until the boys mercifully went to bed and FELL ASLEEP.

The bottle of melatonin is now on a shelf so high I have to use a stepladder to get it. Moral of the story? Never never never melatonize your children for a nap. Unless, of course, you thrive on having DEMONS terrorizing your home the next day. . .


  1. haha.

    "i was just seconds away from listing them on craigslist."

    seriously laughed out loud when i read that!

    thanks for the super sweet comment on my blog today.

    i'm glad you liked the headbands.

    -ang {you can find my blog here}

  2. So funny!! You look GREAT, by the way! Love seeing your weekly baby bump. :)


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