M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Sunday, September 30, 2007  

Bad Snooze

There's something kind of adorable about a toddler coming down the hall to his parents' room at five o'clock on a Saturday morning, climbing up into bed between them, snuggling for a minute, and then saying, "I'm going back to my bed," and then leaving, not to return for nearly four hours.

It's still pretty cute if he asks one of his parents to escort him on the return trip. And then, when he's tucked back in his own bed, it's even cute if he says something like, "Read me a story," although it's the kind of cute that may make your blood run cold.

I declined to read him a story, because it was five a.m. and I really wanted both of us to get back to sleep as soon as possible. Especially me. This turned out to be a vain hope.

Trash claims that we all slept for a while between five and six, but to me, the three-hour period from five to eight -- precious REM time, in my personal sleep cycle at least -- was an unbroken hellscape alternating between malarially brief fever dreams and M. Small repeatedly presenting himself at the side of our bed announcing, "It's wake-up time!" At least I assume it was M. Small that whole time. It was still too dark to know for sure for a lot of it.

We begged -- begged him to go back to bed or at least entertain himself for a while so we could get a bit of shut-eye. His idea of complying was to go into his playroom, retrieve the largest, noisiest, heaviest toy in there, drop it on the floor directly outside our hallway, and drag it around as loudly as possible for a couple of minutes. And then he came back into our room, peered out our window, and noticed a patch of sky low in the east that was slate-grey instead of coal-black. "It's daylight!" he proclaimed. "Get up! Wake up, daddy! Wake up, mommy!"

You know, when I was that age and I woke up that early, I kept myself occupied with the test patterns on TV.

He said he was hungry at one point, so I went and got him a bowl of cereal and a cup of milk. Then I parked him in front of his portable DVD player. Even that wasn't ideal, because not only did he insist on watching only the shortest movies he owns, he also insists on putting the disk in the machine himself, with the goal of getting as many fingerprints as he can on the data side so as to make sure the movie freezes as quickly as possible so one of us had to get up and press some buttons, wait for it to work, get tired of waiting, take the disk out, wipe it with some spit and a t-shirt tail, stick it back in (getting fresh fingerprints on it in the process) and wait the two to three minutes while it loaded and started playing again. Repeat until dead.

That's not an exaggeration. I literally thought at one point, I bet I could get some sleep if I killed myself.

I don't mean to say that I was the only one up with him during this period, while Trash slept blissfully. Far from it. She got up to tend to his predawn needs as many if not more times than I did, but I had no idea what happened on those occasions because I was trying to get some power-snoozing in by stuffing my head between the mattress and the box spring.

Trash might have suspected me of having put him to bed early the previous night, since she had been out with her sister. But she'd called me, and heard him babbling alertly over the phone. This was after nine p.m. Which means he slept less than eight hours. I don't like sleeping for less than ten.

I think that's why we kept hoping he would admit defeat, or at least accept a draw. But he won. He won well before eight o'clock. He always wins sooner or later.

Next week I'm reading him the damn story. It couldn't be worse than this was.

posted by M. Giant 7:51 PM 5 comments


Oh, how we feel your pain in our house!! The only major difference is that our darling daughter will loudly and repeatedly insist "Mommy, Daddy, you are not KINKAJOUS - you do NOT sleep in the DAY!" Damn that Diego and his edutainmental show for teaching our kid that kinkajous are nocturnal! I shouldn't know what a kinkajou looks like, much less that the critter sleeps during the day, when, alas, I cannot...

My sister tells me they have my nephew (slightly younger than my kiddo and M. Small) trained to go immediately downstairs upon waking, fetch himself a bowl of cereal (with milk that they measure out into a cup for ease of pouring), head directly into his playroom and turn on the TV. Apparently this has enabled Sis and BIL to sleep in until 8:30 on some weekend mornings. 8:30......

By Blogger Heather, at September 30, 2007 at 8:05 PM  

I too am a slave to the happy morning child. at least you tag team the am routine, for some reason my son REFUSES to wake his daddy up. I will bribe him when he gets older.

Do you get the “look” from people when your son is up after 8:00? Lord knows I do, and not that it is any of their business, but when you have a child that will not sleep longer than 9 hours EVER, do the math. Some of us don’t want to be awake at 5:00am ever.

By Blogger me, at October 1, 2007 at 6:33 AM  

Here's the cure for early-rising kids in one word: kindergarten. Just wait until it's you trying to drag him out of bed at 6:45 AM! All of a sudden Mr. "Get up, Mom!" is Mr. "Just five more minutes, Mom!" And there was no transition to this whatsoever. Day before kindergarten: up at 5:30. Day after kindergarten: dead to the world at 7AM.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 1, 2007 at 8:13 AM  

Oh god. We were thinking of having kids soon.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 2, 2007 at 6:26 PM  

"Do you get the “look” from people when your son is up after 8:00? Lord knows I do..."

Man, really? After 8pm?? I always thought my sister was weird putting her kid to bed before 8pm.

I only give people that look when it's 11pm and they have the obviously very awake kid at the grocery store. With both parents there. Why didn't one of them just stay at home and put the kid to bed? It requires both to buy food? Hello, I shop at night to *avoid* kids careening around the store. I don't dislike kids- it's just that I already hate shopping, so I prefer to not have to add in an obstacle course to the already irritating task.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 3, 2007 at 7:57 AM  

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