When my son was born 21 years ago, it soon became clear that this little baby had his days and nights mixed up. He was a night owl. I tried to no avail to change his schedule. I read books to teach myself how to train him to sleep at night so that we could have some kiddy free time and, possibly, a life during the day. No matter what tactics I used, it was an impossible parenting task.
His bedtime used to be torture for the entire family. We'd start preparing him around 8 PM and by 9, we'd put him in his room and shut the door. He would cry and cry until I finally got him up to do whatever it was he felt he couldn't miss. In desperation, I bought a book titled, "Help Your Child to Sleep at Night." I took the author's recommendations seriously:
- Start dropping hints that bedtime was approaching.
- Develop a bedtime routine like a warm bath followed by a calming book to read.
- If the
little bratsweet little thing cries when you lay him in bed, pull up a chair and sit next to him until he falls asleep, but don't interact with him-just be there. Each night, move your chair further and further away from the bed until finally, it's outside the door, and so are you.
- Once asleep, ignore your inner voice to let the sleeping dog lie, and awaken the crabby little babe earlier and earlier each day. This will give you a tired little thing by bedtime.
- Have a little faith that with practice, your sweet little bundle of joy will learn to sleep at night so that you can get a little shuteye yourself.
- Under no circumstances should you sprinkle melatonin on his ice cream at night. He'll learn to go to sleep on his own in a drug free manner. Eventually.
Needless to say, none of the above helped, but I did find if I sprinkled the melatonin in my own dish of ice cream, I slept well.
To this day, my son doesn't begin to function until noon, and stays up way into the wee hours on a nightly basis. He isn't alone though-I'm right there with him. He is hardwired to be this way, and he got it from me. I got it from my dad and it's the main reason I feel my best when I'm working a night shift. I stay up late and sleep in a little later than most. It's nearly impossible to fight nature, isn't it?
I'm reminiscing about sleep disturbances today because the painters woke me up. Again. It was at the butt-crack of dawn which would not have been bad if I hadn't stayed up watching movies until 3 AM with my son. They're so meticulous and slow that one would think they're painting the Sistene Chapel and not a 1,400 square foot bungalo. Every single weekday evening, I think to myself that they must be close to done only to be awakened at 8 AM by the loud mouth from hell.
I officially hate Ronnie and find myself wishing for him to be struck by vocal cord paralysis that will last the length of his job across the street. Once again, I've emailed the dolts and today, I left them a voicemail that perhaps they could experiment using their indoor voices that early in the morning. Maybe I could take them a snack sprinkled with melatonin...