Written By:  Tiffany Verzal @ Stand with Faith

It’s been a few months since I wrote about our little BIG sleep issue. I got a lot of great ideas from people, and encouraging messages from friends. I also had some good chats with other moms with kids the same age as Alexis, and they still struggle with sleeping too. I don’t feel so bad. Along with the positive feedback, I also got disapproving looks and opinions about the way that we parent. That always makes me snicker a bit…I soooooo wish they could come and live with us for a day.

So here’s the rundown on sleep. The big box of gifts wrapped in Cinderella wrapping paper worked for two days. Then she just didn’t care anymore. She woke up so many times during the night that Brandon was getting less sleep than before. Eventually, after several days of being back and forth in the middle of the night, he just slept in her bed. Then she eventually ended up sleeping with us again.

I tried to coax her with gifts, but it was a no go. So I gave up, and just started unwrapping things as I needed them! On the one nice day we had in April, I unwrapped the shorts and t-shirt we bought her. Then we hadn’t done dishes in a few days, so I unwrapped the cool new cup we had bought her. She needed a headband to match an outfit, so I pulled that out of the gift box too. Maybe she realized that the gifts we had got her were half gifts for her/ half things we would have got her anyway! Maybe I am just a bad gift giver?

Eventually I just sat down with her in bed one night and had a little heart-to-heart. I explained to her that no one in our family is sleeping well, and we need sleep to stay healthy. We talked about how sleeping is helping her brain develop and can help her brain continue to heal from her injury. And I asked her to be respectful of how Daddy feels too and that his back really hurts when she sleeps in bed with us every night.

Since then (most nights) she has tried really hard to sleep in her bed. Yes, she’s ended up in bed with us a few times. Yes, Brandon has been back and forth with her. Yes, I did try ONE night to get up and sleep with her, but she says I am too hot (lucky for me). But we have had about 4 nights over the last couple of months that she has slept peacefully in her bed. She has even fallen asleep by herself a few times too. I think that is progress.

However, the little trickster is getting things figured out. Last night she woke up at 3 a.m. and said she needed a drink of water. Brandon got one for her, and then he walked out of her room. She sat up and said, “Oh, I forgot I had a bad dream too.” Cue tears….and then cue daddy snuggling up to her for the rest of the night. What a sucker!


Tiffany Verzal

Tiffany Verzal was raised in rural Nebraska, and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Brandon and daughter Alexis (9) and Abby (2). In 2008, Alexis (then 14-months-old) was the victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her daycare provider in Texas. Alexis suffered severe brain damage and has spent over 2000 hours in rehabilitation since her injury. Tiffany continues to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Brandon and Tiffany serve as members on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Brandon is currently the Chairman of the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board.