My kids hate sleep. They fight going to sleep with every fiber of their being. My mom says it’s because they “don’t want to miss anything,” and that I was the same way. I am certainly not that way now, though. I think sleep is amazing and I would do it all day every day if I could. But not my kids, man. Don’t even suggest it within their earshot or you’ll be rewarded with one of them screeching, “I’M NOT TIRED!”
Annabel gave up regular naps at eighteen months, and I’ve been determined to not let that happen with James. I put him down at the same times every day, but lately the little stinker is like, “Oh hey, now’s the time I get to play around in this soft cage thing.” He just plays around. I’ve taken all the toys out, he doesn’t care. He’s got his hands to twist and his feet to chew on, and this week he discovered his crib mattress is bouncy. So he pulls to a stand and bounces in his crib for an hour while I stand on the other side of the door and shake my head.
Annie has quiet time for a couple of hours every day. This will eventually segue into “homework time” but she doesn’t need to know that now. My rules for quiet time are simple: pick a room, stay in it, be quiet. I think that’s one rule too many because it’s nearly impossible for her to follow all three rules at the same time. Do! Not! Ever! Suggest! that quiet time take place on her bed because “BEDS ARE FOR SLEEPING AND I DON’T NEEEEEEED TO SLEEP.” The funny thing about that is I don’t even want her to take a nap, because daytime sleep = worst bedtime ever.
James and Annie would both easily be night owls like me if I’d let them. I’m actually pretty sure Annie could come close to pulling an all-nighter in the right circumstances. Annie begs every night to “stay up with Mama,” (she knows Mike goes to sleep shortly after she does), but no dice. I always tell her that I’m not doing anything fun after she’s asleep: I’m working. “I can help you, Mom!” Last night I said, “How about I go to sleep, and you stay up and write these blurbs on Fuel Efficiency.” She readily agreed, but then realized she couldn’t spell or type. Dealbreaker.
The good news is that once my kids are finally asleep, they stay asleep. When Annie dropped all naps, she gave me thirteen to fourteen hour overnight stretches. GLORIOUS. I don’t want to jinx James but he’s been giving me some amazing stretches lately (*cough eight hours cough*), only waking because he wants a new diaper. The bad news is that these kids of mine hate waking up. HATE. IT. I physically have to drag Annabel out of bed for preschool (and this is after, at minimum, twelve hours of sleep). James is the same way. Also, without fail, James sleeps late on the mornings we have to get up early, and wakes early on the mornings we have nowhere to be. Basically Annie and James conspire to make sure we’re late to every morning appointment, or right on time to watch every minute of The Today Show.
I’m counting the days until that “teenager sleep” starts.