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This time, the sleep problem is all mine

Submitted by on Tuesday, 9 December 2008 3 Comments

The nightly knock-downs had ended. The sleep-time smack downs were over.

And now we’re back to bedtime bedlam, due to a combination of wimpiness and stupidity on my part.

Don’t you love it when you make your own misery?

Thanks to an evil Mommy trick when daylight savings time ended — I simply “forgot” to tell them that though it was dark, it actually was an hour earlier — the guys were heading for bed at the appointed time, no international peace-keeping force required. They were waking cheerfully the next morning, and Big Guy was making it out the door for school without grumbling.

I vowed to keep them on schedule when Big Guy went on vacation at Thanksgiving. It took me less than a day to blow it.

“Can we sleep on the blue bed tonight? Tomorrow’s a holiday and there’s no school,” Big Guy asked. Roughly 3.6 seconds of begging later, I gave in to his request for an extra day of sofa-bed slumber party, even though it’s supposed to be a weekend thing.

That was the end of me. It took until the following Monday to get them back into their beds.

Correction: To get them back into Boots’ bedroom, because Big Guy hasn’t slept in his room for a year and a half. They’ve abandoned Boots’ bed as well, sleeping on the floor after complaining that the twin model is too tiny for the both of them. Funny, though, when I check on them before calling it a night, they’re smooshemed against each other anyway. It’s almost as if they’d picked something to gripe about just for the glory of griping.

In less than two weeks, they’ve managed to inch “go to the carpet” time up an hour and add 30 minutes of chatter as well. Plus 15 minutes of pleas for more water and extra blankets that they’ll kick off five minutes later.

Yep. Close to two hours of chaos I wasn’t dealing with this time last month, all because I’m a wimp.

We’ve goofed up Boots’ nap as well. He knew the old drill: Pick up Big Guy, eat lunch, “take a rest.” But with no pickup and lunch a free-floating concept, he’s lost. He’ll nod off on the couch around 5 — I swear he sleeps with his eyes partly open to try to trick me — and I have to wake him up lest he party until 1 a.m.

A certain degree of wimpiness is justified. It is Big Guy’s school vacation after all, and I remember lazy days of later bed times and sleeping in when I was a kid. That all seemed to fit with the longer days of summer. But he’s on vacation in December, and it’s weird.

Plus, in a bit more than a month, he’ll be back to school and my daylight savings time bedtime reset will have been blown.

My only option might be waking them up at 6 the morning before Big Guy goes back to school so they’ll settle at a decent hour that night.

Except that would involve me getting up at 6, too. Anyone have a better strategy?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • ParentingPink said:

    Oh, I love the pic of your son. Too sweet. They look so “angelic” when they sleep, don’t they. No evidence of the rampage that took place right before they zonked out!

    Well, I’m right there with ya on the whole “daylight savings” sleep schedules. My eldest and youngest get back on track fairly quickly, but the middle child (I think there may be a reason people say ‘middle child syndrom’ LOL) is a nightmare – and she claims she has lots of them! I can’t figure out a way to trick her into sleeping longer or going to bed sooner. I’ve tried it all. Maybe I can just wear her down? Good luck, I know.

    I do think it’s so sweet that your boys sleep side by side. My 5 & 3 year old’s try to sleep together but they chat all night. I guess the girl “chatting” thing starts early, minus the boy talk.

    Oh, and unfortunately I can’t put Mr. Lizard and his new dapper outfit up for a giveaway. My daughter would never forgive me. He’s her favorite stuffed animal. I don’t get it…Mr. Lizard kinda scares me, but she swears by him.

  • Melissa White said:

    What are we doing wrong? I too am having self-created night time issues. Mine have nothing to do with daylight savings time. No, mine stem from a vacation we took in August. My sweet little toddler was refusing to fall asleep alone in a strange room. If we were at home, I would have let her cry it out a bit, but since we were in a hotel and/or family’s guest room, I figured they wouldn’t appreciate the screaming. Their comfort has led to dark circles under my eyes. After just 1 week with sleeping with Mommy, she believed she was entitled to always sleep with Mommy. Honestly, I have no problem with her in the bed with Mommy+toddler=OK Mommy+toddler+Daddy NOT OK. Only the toddler sleeps. 1st we tried to let her fall asleep in our bed, then quietly transplant her to her bed. That work until her internal gyroscope started working and the moment we entered her room she woke screaming. At 2AM we would just turn around and put back in the bed. Toddler happy, Mommy & Daddy not so happy.

    This week Daddy and Mommy have gotten tough and refused to let her fall asleep in our bed. It hasn’t been easy. The other night it took 2 hours, but last night it was only 45 minutes of “mommy’s bed,” “rock,” and “read.” I let her sleep late though, which then of course messes with her nap schedule. To compensate that I have been shortening the nap time, so that she is sleepy at night. Crossing my fingers this works, so I don’t have to resort to waking up with her at 6AM. UGH!

    My sister kids sleep together still, they are 5 and 7. Sis has tried even decorating the girl’s into the ultimate princess palace and the boy has a new awesome bunk-bed looking thing, but they both end up falling asleep on the twin mattress that is on the floor in his room.

    Apparently, we are not the only ones having issues, because all the parenting tip emails I have received this week are full of sleep problem tips. Reading them has been helpful, as well as, supportive to my tough-love/sleep approach. Check out babycenter dot com and see if any advice there will work for you.

  • Debra said:

    Funny you should mention babycenter, Melissa. I got an email just this morning with a link to “6 Major Sleep Mistakes Parents Make.” I haven’t read it yet, but I bet you I get a perfect score on this little test.

    And I will goof up a good situation 10 times out of 10 by cutting the guys some extra slack. Sleeping on the sofa bed here, pizza for dinner two nights in a row there and pretty soon I’ve created a miss. I don’t know when it’s going to get through my hard head that they’re just not old enough yet to grasp “special.”

    Elizabeth, nightmares are the worst! We had a brief bout of those with Big Guy, not coincidentally around the time he moved into Boots’ room, apparently for good. That also was when his friend Diana showed up — the chick with pink hair who wore black stiletto boots. She sounded a bit slutty to me, but she was dedicated. She’d stay home all day while the guys were at preschool “breaking the shadows” in Boots’ bedroom. She also did it right before they went to sleep at night. The neatest part: Big Guy came up with this scenario all by himself. Honestly, I don’t think I would have thought of it.