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!