Thursday 16 August 2012

Bed Wars ... Or Rather, Wake-up Wars

Since Nathan returned home from the cottage, he’s been getting up early again.  As is, between 4 am and 5 am.  Even for the military, that’s early.  Before he left, he was waking up closer to 6 am and was fairly good at keeping quiet until the alarm went off.  Now he’s shouting and jumping around right from the beginning.

For the first two mornings, we ignored it.  After all, it always takes some time to adjust back to normal life after being on vacation.  But it was getting progressively louder and we were having a decidedly cranky boy in the evening.  The third morning, I gave him some verbal warnings and he would quiet down for a little while but ten minutes later, we were listening to the adventures of the Octonauts at max volume again.

This morning, I decided it was time to take action.  Alex will be home tomorrow and he does not deal well with being woken up early.  Since I don’t want to deal with fights starting before the sun comes up, Nathan must relearn the lesson of allowing other people to sleep.

I don’t mind him waking up early.  Everyone’s got their own rhythm and I don’t want to force him into something unnatural for him.  But I don’t think quiet is too much to expect, even from a five year old.  Before his vacation, he was waking up and going downstairs quietly to watch TV, also quietly.  That worked perfectly for me.  He might be up early but when the TV is on, he curls up on the couch and just watches, which gives him a little more rest than bouncing around and playing.  Everyone else gets to sleep and we’re all happy.

This morning when he started to shout, I went into his room and sat down on the bed.  He was not pleased to see me and hid under his blankets.  I explained to him that Mommy and Daddy were trying to sleep and he needed to be quiet.  He wasn’t happy and started to shout at me that it wasn’t fair.  I shushed him, perhaps a little more harshly than I meant to, and he dove back under the blankets.  I decided to lay down with him to keep him quiet. 

I could have sat in the rocking chair but frankly, I was so tired I needed to lie down.  I grabbed a spare pillow and put it down at the foot of the bed and curled up.  To my surprise, as soon as I was settled, Nathan came down and curled up against my back.  He tried to talk to me a few times but I reminded him it was still sleeping time.  After about half an hour, I could tell by his breathing that he had fallen asleep.  I thought about trying to extricate myself from little arms and legs and go back to my own bed but I was more than halfway asleep myself.

I’m not sure how much sleep we got.  I was in his room for over two and a half hours but I kept drifting off and waking up.  Nathan bounced around several times but stayed put in the room and was quiet.

I suspect I’m going to have to do this several more times before he gets the message again.  And I’ll have to keep an eye on how much he’s enjoying it.  The last thing I want is to encourage more noise because he wants to have cuddles with Mommy.  But if I can get back our early morning sleeping hours, it’ll be worth it.

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