Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bedtime? What Bedtime?

So a friend posted her daily routines with her two little girls. It all sounded very peaceful and civilized and like number three should be able to pick up the rhythm and get with the program when he arrives. I think it is great to get on some rough schedule, especially when a new one is coming to shake everything up. Then I reflected back on my attempts to do anything in a timely fashion when we had younger kids. Kids who did not like to sleep. Ever.

I am afraid it comes from my side. We've always been night owls and that was ok for my dad's job which  started at 11:00am . But not so handy when your husband gets up at 5:00am. Midnight is just not an acceptable bed time.

Our kids never nap past the age of 2, and I'd envy the mom with  a 3yr old that take a 2 hr nap and then goes to bed at 8:30. What? Even without naps bedtime was never smooth- unless they were sick and really needed the sleep. A lot of our evenings with Audrey , we'd get in the car and go for a ride. Usually to Dick's to get cheeseburgers and shakes. Not the best evening snack but we'd ride and talk and eventually she'd fall asleep. We still used it when Cyril hit the  'I don't need sleep anymore' stage. Two kids with one ride. We decided to give up the snack part and tell them we were going to 'Destination X' a really cool place they were going to love. They'd be excited getting into their car seats and Shane would hop on the free way- the less stops the better for sleeping kids.

The next morning they'd ask about our trip and I'd tell them they fell asleep, so we decided to just come home. But we could go another night. And they'd get excited.  Writing about it  now it seems kind of mean. But sleep-deprived parents are desperate and as I didn't get naps, and was probably expecting Kateri by then, anything that offered respite was welcome. Given the price of gas now it would be a really expensive bedtime routine.

Our new one is not so crazy, or maybe it is . And with us getting over various illnesses its been a little more hectic. For example, here was last night's routine.

10:00- Shane announces bedtime  is approaching and tells the kids to get a snack if they need one. Some of them head to the kitchen to feed themselves. I am already in bed because that is where I am spending my days right now.

 10:10  - Shane announces it is bed time and tells the kids to brush their teeth. Kateri asks if she can finish the load of laundry she put on- he says yes. Audrey starts getting ready and doesn't ask for anything but is probably planning on finishing up The Return of the King- or whichever book she is re-reading.

10:20 Cyril and Cyprian petition to sleep in our room, where they slept last night. Seeing it is the most expedient thing at the moment we say yes and Shane tells them to make 'nests' on our floor by  his side of the bed so I won't trip going to the bathroom. Which is very thoughtful.

10:30- Cyprian says he's hungry. Shane says he'll have to wait for breakfast. We hear Kateri working in the laundry room.

10:32- Cyprian says he's scared. Shane asks of what. Cyprian says he doesn't know. So Shane proclaims an expulsion for all things scary to Pippin and bans them from our room. Cyprian says he knows he is just saying that to make him not scared but it didn't work. Shane asks what would make him not scared. Pippin doesn't know. Shane says to let him know when he figures it out.

10:40- Cyprian says one thing is, is that when he sleeps in between two people, he doesn't get scared. Shane asks him what he is asking for. Pippin is reluctant to say. By this point Cyril, Shane, and I are all laughing, but Shane still waits for Pippin to ask.

10:45- Finally Cyprian asks to sleep in our bed. We say yes, but Shane stipulates that if Pippin needs to snuggle he has to snuggle Shane, not me, which is very sweet of him. Cyprian has not lost the baby habit of liking to pet arms- especially cold ones-even in his sleep. Pippin agrees and crawl into bed. I feel the bed shaking and ask Shane if he is laughing or was it the washing machine on spin cycle- it literally shakes the whole house. It was Shane laughing. I hear Kateri still doing something but know she'll put herself to bed when she is done, so I don't get up.

1:00am- everyone else is asleep. Pregnancy insomnia has set in and now I am getting hungry. Either that or I need to vomit. I decide to try for the former so I get up to get a glass of half-and-half and put the clothes in the dryer. Get back in bed and eventually fall asleep.

5:00am- Shane's alarm goes off. A couple times. He fumbles around his nightstand looking for the offending object. In the process he knocks over a water glass. Cyril pipes up,

"What is that?"

Shane answers him, "Its nothing, Cyril. Go back to sleep."

"But what is it?" Cyril insists.

"I said its nothing. Just go back to sleep."

"Then why is my head wet?" Cyril asks.

6:00am I kiss him good bye, get another glass of half-and-half and come back to bed, where an hour or so later I am able to finally fall back asleep.

I know we have a lot to work on before new baby arrives. I am hoping once this first part passes I'll feel able to figure out a good routine and we can all get on it. Right now I feel in survival mode. Make it to the next meal, make it to the bed, make it to the toilet etc. But hopefully I'm getting there.

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