Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We Are Not Our Children's Friends. And Thoughts on Bedtime.

One thing that has always been an issue at our house is bedtime. Too often I have acted like my kids' friend - giving into their demands about a later bedtime, more snuggle time, "I'm afraid of the dark," "I can't fall asleep without Mommy in my bed," and so on.

I recently had reason to learn a little more about both kids' sleep patterns and the repercussions when kids don't get enough sleep, and that did it. No More Mrs. Nice Guy. I am no longer your friend, Roses. I am your MOMMY, and you're going to sleep.

Of course, real life gets in the way, and I had to send Rose #3 to bed to wait for me to read her story while I helped Rose #2 stay on task to finish her phenology assignment. (You can be forgiven if you've never heard of phenology. No, not PHRENOLOGY (the study of bumps on one's head to predict one's conduct and temperament) but PHENOLOGY (the study of how plants and animals react to seasonal changes). Even Wikipedia says that phenology is not to be confused with phrenology.) PHENOLOGY, people. Right after dinner, Rose #2 dutifully went outside - yes, in the dark, in the snow - to take photos of the bunny tracks leading to the very large evergreen in our backyard, under which the bunnies have a big old nest. Warren. Think Watership Down sans the unpleasant parts. Going out in the snow and dark to find bunny tracks is what you have to do when you have to write an entry in your phenology journal.

  • An aside: I never read Watership Down. Perhaps I should. Anyone? If it was that or the latest Emily Giffin novel, which would you read?

  • Another aside: Emily Giffin is living my dream. She used to be a lawyer, now she is a glamorous novelist and her first book is being turned into a movie which will be out next summer. Anyone want to go?

Back to my "I'm not my kids' friends, I'm their MOTHER" theme. I suspected that Rose #3 would fall asleep waiting with her Dora book, and I confirmed my suspicion with photographic evidence, above. Then I tucked her in, turned on her fan (for background noise - am I the only one who does this?), turned off her lights, and closed the door. Phew. One down.

The other Roses are more difficult to settle. I have taken to setting a stopwatch - I do still cuddle in their beds with them - so that it's no more than 5 minutes. OK, 6. Actually, 7. But that's IT. Rose #2 can be prickly - her first grade teacher remarked that she certainly is a middle child - but she went to sleep willingly enough after I gave her the heating pad to cuddle with. Rose #1 and I talked about her strategy for falling back asleep in the middle of the night - deep breathing exercises with a stuffed animal on her stomach (to rock it to sleep and also rock herself to sleep).

Ah. Everyone down.

I won't tell you about how they all ended up in my bed, again, at 2:00 a.m.

1 comment:

Lisa Webster said...

We used a fan in Addison's room for background noise. Now we have a humidifier that makes noise in there. Seems to sleep better that way. Hey! Whatever works!