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Friday, October 10, 2008

This is what it's come to

I don't know if our parenting is flawed. Maybe we have passed on some sort of genetic deficiency. My kids, especially my youngest two, can not sleep in. On school days this is a blessing. Friends tell me how they have to blast their children out of bed. Not me. Often as not, my kids wander down and wake me up.

As long as we stick to a rigid schedule this is just fine. They go to bed at 7:30 and sleep until 7:00-ish. Completely reasonable. The problem comes when they don't go to bed at 7:30. If they go to bed at 9:00 they get up 7:00-ish. 11:00? Awake at 7:00-ish. 1:00 (a.m.!) maybe 8:30. This would be okay if they would take a nap. But somehow a nap is viewed as a punishment in our house. I'm willing to concede that this might be a direct result of our parenting, but let's just jump past that for the sake of argument.

So we're tracked out (we're on a year round school calendar so we have a 3 week break). We are not abiding by our normally rigid schedule. The result? Poor behavior. Are they swinging from the chandeliers? No. Are they running amuck? Definitely not. Do they have a short fuse, and does a regular conversation deteriorate into either tears, a bad attitude, or defiant behavior? You betcha. (I did my best Sarah Palin as I typed that :)

My husband has a hypothesis. He thinks that, if we make it as dark as a cave, they will sleep past 7:00-ish. This week Pat had a meeting in Charlotte, and I had the kids all week -- solo. With no school. And no schedule to observe. I wanted them to stay up, enjoy their time off, and just be kids. My punishment for this benevolence is wicked, cranky, sassy, 6-year-olds. I am not tolerant of the wicked, cranky or sassy. Things have deteriorated. Pat is still traveling. In a fit of desperation, this is what I resorted to:

Tin foil. I actually covered one of my twins' windows in tin foil to block the light. I would have done Abby's window in tinfoil as well, but her window faces the street. I don't want to explain our idiosyncracies to the HOA.

A hypothesis is an educated guess. You know the facts now. Did the tinfoil solution work? Of course not! I was desperate enough to hope that a stupid, $2.00 roll of foil was the answer to my prayers.

I knew it wouldn't work. My twins were up until 9:30 p.m. They were fun, and I loved that they were up late. But at 7:09 a.m. Emily rolled in. Abby followed at 7:23. I acknowledged that my husband's hypothesis was, in a word, crap. And so it is that I get wicked, cranky, sassy kids for yet another day. Without Pat.


Anonymous said...

What a shame! It seemed like you might have found a solution :(

Julie said...

You should try the black out currents? The tin foil is pretty.