Monday, July 13, 2009

Foolish, Foolish Woman

We have had some serious bedtime issues around these parts. Serious, as in, WE DON'T HAVE A BEDTIME. Period. Children just conk out whenever, where ever. Not uncommon for Faith to still be up at 11:00. Shameful. If we do try to enforce actual sleeping in one's own bed, my people find a myriad of excuses to get out of bed. Such excuses include, but are not limited to: I'm thirsty; I'm hot; I need a book to read (I'm a sucker for this one); so-and-so won't get off my bed; can we listen to a book on tape?; I forgot to brush my teeth; I'm scared; I'm not tired; Can I just get a healthy snack?; I need a different blanket; I can't find my pillow; I just need a hug; What are you watching?; What's the plan for tomorrow?; I just need to organize my things; Can you sing to us (flattering!); I need a coughdrop (although they are not sick AT ALL).

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? I've read the books- I know sleep is mega important to children's growth, development, yada, yada, yada.

Last night, at a ridiculously late hour, we were still negotiating sleeping arrangements and conditions. My Mommy-O-Meter reached it's maximum capacity and I said the word I say when I really would like to say another word (which I don't say): "ENOUGH!!!! I have had ENOUGH!"

I needed a new plan,

See, the problem is children sharing rooms. I actually think it is very good for children to share rooms (it's good to feel that way when you have more children than rooms), but it can make bedtime a bit trickier. Mom and Dad have to have a plan or the children will conspire to RUIN your evening. As we have seen.

Here's the new plan: Operation GO TO SLEEP. Faith and Cannon to bed no later than 7:30. Clark, Bethany, and Elinor to bed and lights out at 9:00. What's the magic that makes this plan work when so many others have failed? Enter, THE FLASHLIGHT. Each child gets their very own, labeled (lest there be ownership disputes) $2.00 flashlight. Read to your hearts content until whatever hour you wish, but so help me if I see you cherubic face or hear your angelic voice after 9:00!
Operation GO TO SLEEP was a brilliant success tonight. Now that wasn't so hard, was it? Foolish, foolish woman. I have five children. I should have been on top of this earlier. Foolish, foolish woman. Oh well, this foolish woman has enjoyed three hours of peace and quiet tonight!


Abe Fox said...

Hey.....give yourself a bit of a break......"it is summer, summer, summer-time, time to sit back and unwind" (a little Will Smith, right there.)

Melissa said...

Ha. That's our problem right now: it's summer. I think the girls went to bed at 10 last night, and I managed to turn out the lights at midnight. That's. Got. To. Change. (Later.)

Amy Fox said...

I like this idea! Bedtimes are similar around here. Alexis and Julia go to bed when asked, but we're still working on the other three. I guess I need to teach Annie to read and give her a flashlight!!

Matt and Misty said...

You're amazing. I am interested to see how this plan is going next week. Next thing you know you will be hearing complaints like "My batteries are dead", "I can't find my flashlight", "Stop hitting me with your flashlight" or "But it's not even dark yet"...that is the one that I would always use. Good luck to you! With five kids you are going to need it!