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Saturday, June 26, 2010  

Night and Day

M. Edium generally wants to stay where he is, which is a little surprising for someone who was in such a hurry to be born. When he's at home, he doesn't want to leave, and when he's out -- including at school -- he doesn't want to go home. When it's bath time he doesn't want to get in, but when bath time is over he doesn't want to get out. But worst of all is that when he's asleep, he doesn't want to wake up, and when he's awake, he really doesn't want to go to sleep.

Officially his bedtime is 7:30 PM on school nights, but chronologically it's more like somewhere between 9:00 and 10:00. In fact, as I write this, it's after nine and he's still awake. In the top bunk. Above me.

I guess I could blame it on the summer solstice. After all, who could fall asleep before the sun goes down? But then it was also an issue in the depths of winter, when it was dark by the time I picked him up from school. And putting a hood over his head doesn't seem to help either, unless we soak it in chloroform first.

Instead, I blame it on his stubbornness. 7:30 is when the battle typically begins. What do you want for your bedtime snack? Nothing? Okay, don't ask for a bedtime snack later. Let's get you in your jams. Yes, you can go commando. Let's brush your teeth. No, you can't brush them after stories. Go potty. I don't care if you don't feel like it, I'm tired of doing this at 4:20 AM. What do you want to read first? No, that's too long. Two chapters and that's it. Okay, the end. No, you can't have another story. Yes, you will ask for another one and we both know it. Okay, one more and that's it. No, you can't have another one. See, I knew you'd ask. Get back in bed. No more books. If I have to come back in there I'm going to start turning off night lights. What do you mean, you're hungry?

It wouldn't be so bad if the following morning wasn't the same struggle in reverse. Time to go downstairs. Yes, you can take your blanket. Yes, you can snooze on the couch, but five minutes and that's it. Okay, time to get dressed. Okay, you can have breakfast first. Okay, while you're deciding what you want for breakfast we'll get you dressed. No, you can't go commando. Here's your cereal. Is that enough milk? Good. Hurry up and eat it before it gets soggy. What do you mean, you have to pee again?

It used to be funny when other parents would see him haring around at the park or the Johnson Space Center or the funeral home or whatever and comment to us, "Boy, he'll sleep well tonight, huh?" I used to chuckle knowingly. Now I just kick them in the stomach.

Obviously some part of the ritual is broken on both ends. He just now fell asleep, and getting him out of bed tomorrow is going to be like pulling a badger out of its burrow.

I think I have the solution, though, since laying down the law isn't working (although it works a little better for Trash than it does for me). I'll let you know how it works after I put it into effect. Then again, since it involves brute force in the morning and drugs at night, maybe I won't.

posted by M. Giant 6:59 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

So far, in my experience (with a 3 year old) it helps to try the bedtime routine starting at 7 when we want her in bed at 7:30. That way we get all the fighting out of the way before bedtime, she thinks she's won, and we're still in bed when we want her to be. Of course, she cant tell time yet.

Sara

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 27, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

I find it comforting to know that my child is not the only one like that. It's so exhausting!

By Anonymous Stacy Perry, at June 29, 2010 at 7:12 AM  

We have gotten screaming bloody murder as we drop of H_ for preschool. And the teachers tell us it vanishes in minutes. Then he doesn't want to leave at pickup time. Those crazy children.

By Anonymous Jack Vinson, at July 6, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

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