Thursday, July 17, 2008

goodnight, moon

my son has a sleeping disorder.

the disorder is that he is a seven year old who stays up too late!! i used to laugh it off when he was a baby, a toddler. my standard reasoning (at that time) was that my super social and highly inquisitive boy did not want to miss out on anything. that seemed like a much cuter line of reasoning when he was eighteen months old.

and now, he is seven, and he still fights sleep. when my friends casually mention that their children are asleep by eight, i wonder if they notice my eyes glazing over as i try to imagine how blissful that would be!

the other night, he asked me how i used to get him to fall asleep when he was a baby. i told him that i sang to him. i was prepared to sing to him that night. oh, could it be that easy?! then he asked me how matty used to get him to fall asleep, and i told him that daddy would rub the bridge of his nose.

he said he thought the nose rubbing would work.

and so, i rubbed his nose. and his back. and i covered him with his blanket. and i re-covered him. and he said, "i think the nose rubbing is working."

and 45 minutes later... sleep.

i'm sorry, people, but that was 45 minutes that i could have been blogging!

i've come to the point where i find myself stating "this is MY time" after 9 pm. and repeating this over. and over. this IS my time. this is the time of day i NEED to decompress, to feed my own soul. i figure i'm losing about 920 hours of ME time over the course of a year. that's over 6300 hours of ME time over the course of his little life, people!!

i just know you all want to help me with this. because, just think how much fun it would be if i had 6300 more hours to blog!!


patsy said...

Oh- I can so relate! this is one of the hardest part of parenting for me with trent. He has such a hard time too.
All I can say is- you're not alone.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a funny post, Lelly. Yes, more blogging time for you would be a benefit for us, your loyal readers. I imagine you will get lots of advice, so I'll sit back on this one. But I will hope you find a solution for your sanity's sake, soon.

Kelly A. said...

My older is sleep disordered. In fact, when he was a baby we were referred to a sleep clinic at the children's hospital, I went to my first meeting and realized it was a place for kids who had been abused, we were in the wrong place, I never went back. My pediatrician also got us a conference call with Dr Ferber (isn't he the famous sleep book author? Some famous sleep book author), at the end of the call he just said "Well, some kids don't fit the mold."

Now adays, oldest still doesn't sleep. So we don't call it bedtime, we call it quiet time. Everybody goes their room at 9 p.m. and no coming out! 9 p.m. is adult time. I don't care how long your light is on, how late you stay up, how untired you are. It all happens in your room. Nobody leaves their room after 9 p.m.

We had a problem at first with him coming out every few seconds to tell me something, something so important it couldn't wait until morning. Now he has a notebook he can write all those thoughts in and can share them in the morning. The notebook stays empty all the time. Nothing is spectacular enough it has to be told after 9 p.m. Nobody leaves their room after 9 p.m. It's the law!!

It works great for us. Takes the pressure off the kid to fall asleep when he just can't, so he is more relaxed, and eventually falls asleep. Plus, I get my adult time.

My husband is a back scratcher, nose bridge rubber, etc. I always get mad at him for giving the kids backrubs because once they get one, they expect one every night! Blech, after 9 p.m. I don't have it in me to nurture.

Lene said...

If it makes you feel any better - you are not alone.
I have 2 non-sleepers (well really 3 if you count my 3yr old, but she has her own set of issues). I guess it doesn't help that my 2 boys share a room. It takes them FOREVER to fall asleep. They have to go to bed at 9p and I can go in their room a couple of hours later and they will still be wide awake. They are also awake bright and early in the morning. I have caught my 8 yr old up at 5a doing homework.
It was so bad at one point that I took my 10 yr old to the Dr. and he said there are some people that are just very efficient sleepers and don't need alot of sleep. It is usually very bright kids that don't need as much sleep - so maybe it is a good thing?!?!?

Rachael said...

AMEN!!!! 8pm-10pm is MY time...well, Steve's and my time. It drives me NUTS when my kids keep getting out of bed. I am extremely strict with an 8pm bed time. I always have been since they were babies. I am too selfish and need that time!
Good luck on getting him to sleep on his own at a decent time! Does he like to read?

Sarah said...

My 8 year does not seem to need a lot of sleep. There is absolutely no way she would ever fall asleep at 8 pm. Occasionally she will wake up for the day at 4 am, and not be able to fall back asleep. Now when she does that, I no longer make her stay in bed, I let her get up and play in her room. I wish you luck, I know how frustrating it can be.

Alisha said...

How ironic . . . I just finished braiding my 10-year-olds hair . . . at 9:05 pm she crept in and asked me to braid her hair. She couldn't care less about her hair. It was a ploy to stay up and I know it! But since I DO care about her scraggeley hair, I gave in to her tricks and braided her hair. I also pointed out to her that she was cutting into MY time. You are soooo not alone on this one, Lelly.

I'm on the same page as the others who have already said "shut the door and let them do what they will."

Also, books and nightlights seem to work well at our house. Although . . . I do worry that our kids are ruining their eyes by reading with such dim lighting . . .

Janiece said...

I am feeling a bit jealous right now...
Now that my kids are now grown up...but I must use to really make me mad when they would not go to sleep.
Makes me think I have a problem with the grass is greener on the other side :-)

Becky said...

A consistent routine works wonders with 3 of my 4 kids (they are all asleep by 7:30 including my oldest) but my almost 5-year-old is another story. I would be happy if she would stay in her room and have "quiet time" but we can't even get her to do that. Granted, the latest she has been up is 9:30 but it seems like forever when we start the process at 7:00...she hates to be alone at night and the baby sleeping in her room doesn't count (according to her). Aarrgghh! Best of luck, Lelly!

Chris said...

I am not a nice mom after 8pm. That is kind of my breaking point. It is REALLY hard in the summer. My kids do not do 8pm in summer, some nights it has been as late as 10. We are working at moving them back to at least nine. I so need my time too. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I agree girl! You time is needed!

We have 1 hour of reading time every night. It helps them decompress from the busy day.

Zach is only 4, so I read him 1 book, Daddy reads him 1, and then he gets to "read" 2 to himself. He has an endtable light that he can turn off and on himself, and he feels very big like his bros and sis.

Marie said...

You must be so tired. I hope things get better soon, but I am afraid I have no real advice to give. I wish I could be more usful!

Jill said...

I would not be keen on this at all! I would suggest buying him a headlight and telling him he can look at or read books in bed until he falls asleep, but that he must stay in bed! That's what my kids do and they're always able to fall asleep. Good luck with this!

sweetfunkyvintage said...

I feel your pain, sister. My 7 year old is not a sleeper, either. Infact, neither of my children are. You know how babies sleep in the car, well, not mine...not as babies and not now at 17 and 7. I sleep in the car (when I am not driving) but they do not. We have had to employ a similar method to Kelly A. You can turn the light on and read, no playing, but you cannot come out except to go potty or in the case of blood or fire. It works. At least it gets you some time to yourself which you have earned at that point! Good luck!

Amy said...

I definitely AMEN the me-time need. After long days I always need to unwind solo. As for advice, I agree with Jill in enforcing the stay in your room after 8PM (or whatever time). Perhaps he'll learn the joys of "alone time" himself!

Good luck!