i think i’m generally an easy going parent, but bed time is bed time. i’m not sure how your kids roll, but after our kids are in bed at 8:30 p.m. with the lights out, one of them inevitably comes out the second we close their door. i’m not talking just one of them, but usually two of them. separately. one after the other. it’s as if their bladders magically became full and they can conjure a pee after they just went when they brushed their teeth. i just don’t get it. hangnails pop out. thirst strikes from nowhere. something hurts–all of a sudden. if there’s any universal childhood phenomenon it is: kids do not like to go to bed.
i have to say gr1 is the least likely to get out of bed. maybe it’s because she’s on the top bunk. maybe it’s because she’s nearly 10. ever since she was a baby she slept really well. as she got older she’d say: i’m going to sleep now, roll over and proceed to sleep. gr1 is the first to fall asleep at a slumber party or sleepover. she’s also prone to sitting up in bed, asleep and start talking gibberish. she’s like her daddy when they fall asleep. i can hear the transition of his breathing to his deep, sleeping-breathing. i’m envious. i witness it nearly every night.
gr3 is generally not an offender. like a good sibling with lots of curiosity he will follow gr2 when she’s out of bed to see what’s going on or to offer up that he has the same ailments as his sister. to bed! i say and that usually does it. when he’s fallen off his bed he gets back into it and goes right to sleep.
gr2 is the repeat offender. my dear girl with terrible allergies in the spring, achy legs and itchy skin in the winter. i tell her to let go and let herself fall asleep. sometimes it’s just so frustrating that i yell at her to go to bed already, but that just upsets her more and then she’ll start crying. i take a breath and calm her down. i apologize. i tell her: you need your rest. it’s getting late. please sleep. i don’t know what gets her to sleep–maybe it’s because it’s so darn late.
it seems gr2 is like me. when i’m lying in bed i can’t stop thinking–my brain takes awhile to shut off. my husband says i’m emptying my brain. i’m making to-do lists in my head and remembering things i forgot to write down. it’s always a big deal if i fall asleep before him because it doesn’t happen often. i have to really concentrate (which isn’t necessarily relaxing) to not think of anything. i close my eyes and look at my eyelids. thinking of nothing. i even say that in my head: i’m thinking of nothing. just looking at nothing, i’m thinking of nothing, i’m looking at nothing…