Monday, August 11, 2008

The Problem with Bed-Time

It is 1 am and the house is finally quiet.

The husband fell asleep hours ago, struggling to stay awake to put my daughter to bed. She's having her eighth birthday tomorrow and a tooth was loose and sore. At 11:30, during her second foray downstairs to complain about it, not at all sympathetic, I told her to work on it and pull it out. On her third venture downstairs, she was triumphant. I listened to the tale of how not the first, or the second, or the third, and not even the fourth but the fifth twist brought it out. We looked at it carefully, discussed how expensive it was (it had been capped, one of her "silver" teeth) and she disappeared.

I noticed during our conversation that my son was still watching a John Wayne movie. I had told him to turn it off a half hour earlier. I reminded him, somewhat severely. He turned it off and wandered into the dining room. He sat down as I read blogs and quietly tattooed himself with pen. He came over to show me what he had done: "I Love You" spelled out on his fingers between the first and second knuckle joints. I gave him a kiss. He gave me one back. I handed him Hank the Cow Dog and said I would be in to tuck him in in a few minutes.

I got to reading something about The Stockholm Syndrome, then Cognitive Dissonance, then to a book recommendation and then to our local library page to see if we had it. Down for maintenance.

I went to tuck in my boy and happily discovered him in bed, with the lights out and groggy. I hugged him and left closing the door quietly behind me as he'd asked.

And then, it occurred to me that in order to follow Bob's rule about "Do not eat 2 hours before bed-time" I would actually have to have a bed-time. And so would the kids.

I have to shift this quiet time, too, from late night to early morning. I haven't been too successful in the past, though. The peace and quiet is so nice when I waken an hour or so before them that, sometimes, I don't get them up--and then I'm sleepy in the night, and they're wide awake--and I eat to stay awake. It's really that simple. I eat at night to stay awake.

Because I like quiet time.


scb said...

I have to confess I would have much less ability than you have to deal with kids who want to be up "past my bedtime". :)

One advantage to school-building type school, rather than home-school, is that one has to be there at a certain time in the morning, therefore one has to be up by a certain time in the morning, therefor one has to go to bed at a certain time at night.

Can you try moving "bedtime" (for both you and the kids) earlier in small increments?

Alana in Canada said...

Nope. Tried that.

You see, since the beginning, the husband has always been in charge of bed-time. And he does not, will not, can not watch the clock. I can't change this except by taking over the bed-time routine myself and I can't. After about 14 hours straight with the kids, I switch "off."

No, the only thing that will work is getting them UP earlier in the morning. I'm not sure if I should take the shock therapy approach and get them up at 8 am for ever starting tomorrow, or if I should do it gradually.

When the kids did attend a brick and mortar school, I had a terrible time getting my son up. For three years he'd have to be dragged at 8:30--and he could not sleep before 11 pm. Thus, he was always groggy and at his worst, every day. I think he's outgrown that a bit (the incessant insomnia). I was angry about it for years...but somehow that didn't help.

drwende said...

There is a ton of information available if you search sleep hygiene children: here.

I have not even the faintest clue about the plausibility or credibility of any of it -- I was raised in a time and place when strict bedtimes were the rule, but I know parenting norms have changed -- but you can probably spot the wackos as easily as I could, anyway,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...