This past week my children have been up past midnight virtually every night. We’ve been out and about during the day and DS has been napping. Even on days where his naps were early and/or short he is still up until around midnight. DD simply will not go to sleep if he is up. I’ve tried doing the bedtime routine with her, sensing she is tired, and we get all the way to reading in bed, turning off the light, and snuggling…and then 15 minutes later she is sitting up saying she can’t sleep. It doesn’t matter if I try to convince her to stay longer; she fidgets and is restless and it drives me insane.
Trying to get her in bed early is resulting in a huge amount of resentment on my part. I feel like I’m sacrificing precious time in a fruitless effort. Additionally, after lying in the dark for a few minutes my body realizes how exhausted it is, and getting up again is an effort.
On Thursday I woke the kids up at 9 am. They’d been up until about 1:30 am and we had to get to our Homelearner’s dropin. I figured here was my chance to see how the “wake them up early” plan would go.
It was a disaster.
DD was having meltdowns over everything (and group social situations are already a challenge for her); she was pushing kids and grabbing things from them. None of them wanted to play with her and I can’t blame them, though it broke my heart for her. DS, normally a happy little fellow, was hitting kids left, right, and center any time he got the least bit frustrated. I spent most of the morning chasing around doing damage control, often dragging the both of them out of the fray together.
After we left DS crashed in the car. That afternoon we went to our friends place for a playdate. DD was actually fine, but full of energy. Her and her friend ran around like lunatics and I was so sure she would crash early that night. She even bounced her way home (we live just a few blocks away). DS, on the other hand, started throwing toys at the boys. He whacked A. on the head with one of those toy vaccuum cleaners that have coloured balls that pop under a plastic dome when you push it. The first time it didn’t hurt too badly, but to my horror he did it again later, right in A.’s face, right when he was kneeling down at eye level to DS. I was horrified. Later he threw a hard, plastic rubber ducky at H., right in the face. Needless to say we left after that. I had to shake DS a bit to stop him from falling asleep on the way home, and thought that at least they would both be down early.
But no, I could not get either one to bed, despite DH taking the other one and giving us space and quiet. By 10 pm I was so exhausted I just couldn’t cope. I told DH that I simply couldn’t handle another day like this one, and so would not be waking them any more. He seems pissed, but at this point he is pretty much uninvolved in the process, so there isn’t much he can say. I
myself feel defeated.
So I’ve decided that it’s time to surrender and just accept that this is my life for the next little while. I know “This, too, shall pass”. And that does help, believe it or not. So last night I actually had an enjoyable evening, watching movies and knitting, while the kids played. It was about 1 am before DS finally showed signs of wanting to go to sleep, and it took only a few minutes to do so. DD was right behind him. Again, she went down quickly and easily. This morning, DS and I woke up at 10:30 and DD didn’t get up until after 11.
So, while this isn’t my choice of hours, at least I have some time in the evenings (though certainly it would be more quiet and less interrupted if they were asleep!) and I’m not dealing with overtired monsters during the day. At some point DS is going to have to drop his naps, and at that point things will likely change. And certainly there are a few days when we have to get up early and the kids will be tired, but I’ll deal with that. For the most part our activities start late, so we’re okay.
Here’s to waving the little white flag.