Monday, August 8, 2011

Bedtime

I need to rant for just a minute.  It's just a little rant.

I dread bedtime in this house.  Not the time AFTER the kids go to bed, but the time when the kids are supposed to be GOING to bed.  You'd think that after 11 years of parenting we could get this right.  I think it's getting harder as our kids become more and more spread out in age.  We just can't seem to stick them all in their rooms at the same time and get them to sleep.

Kelsey really needs an early bedtime, but she shares a room with Olivia who has a hard time falling asleep.  So to compromise we have told the girls bedtime is at 8:30, but they can lay in bed and read for 30 minutes.  It hardly ever happens that way.  Most nights when the light goes out at 9pm there are a few trips made to the bathroom by both girls (how many times can you really have to go, ladies?!?!) and then there's the subsequent chatter and sometimes bickering after lights out.  Kelsey wants to sleep with Olivia, Olivia lets her and then feels crowded because Kelsey sleeps like a crazy monkey girl and then Olivia has to boot her out of the bed so she can sleep in peace.

And Connor.  Don't even get me started on Connor.  If he naps, he's up till 9:30 or 10:00 fighting sleep, and if he doesn't nap he's unbearable to be around after 5pm.  And he'll often crash early somewhere he shouldn't which results in him NOT going to bed when he should.  So he obviously needs the nap, right?  And whether he has napped or not he REALLY wants me with him, so as a compromise I usually go in and check on him every 5 or 10 minutes until he falls asleep.  He just needs to know I'm there.

Maddox can usually be coaxed to sleep by his father and a bottle.  But sometimes, like tonight, he stays up too late.  Tonight we had company so our bedtime routine was off.  Connor was still awake when Maddox had to go down (also awake), so we just stuck them in the room together and hoped for the best.  I was glad there was no crying, though Maddox did make a good many other noises before falling asleep.  I assured Ben that Connor was involved in those noises, even though we couldn't hear him specifically.

Ben just went to check on the boys before going to bed.  He came out and asked me, "Were there any toys in the crib when you put Maddox down?"

"Nope," I said.  "What did you find?"

"Well, I just went in and pulled out Connor's baseball bat and the wheelbarrow."

I told you so.

P.S. I went in this morning when Maddox woke up to eat at 4am and also found: an extra blanket, part of a car track, a book, and an extra-large stuffed animal that Daddy apparently either missed, or were added in the middle of the night...

4 comments:

Ithelrand said...

I have a hard time falling asleep myself, so when I have a roommate, I listen to audiobooks until I'm tired so there is no light keeping the others awake. I also read somewhere that simply hearing a parent's voice can reassure children and help them settle down, even if it is only a recording. My sister told me about how one mom she knows records herself reading stories and then plays them back to help her kids settle down.

*Jess* said...

How did people do it in the past, I wonder? Because I always thought our bedtime issues would be resolved once we bought a house so the kids didn't have to share a room. I know that's what you are probably thinking, too! But that doesn't always work at all! But it got me thinking that most kids DID have to share a room in past generations.

Carolyn said...

Well, the surefire way to end the trauma is when they all move away, or they become too old for me to worry about it anymore! However, I still have one 11 yr. old left who can't fall asleep either! Sorry, not very helpful.

Olive said...

When we lived in New York & had 6 children under the age of 11, I remember spending HOURS putting children to bed & trying to keep them there. When I read nap-time stories, I am the one who would fall asleep...