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They say that if you really want to get your questions answered ask your child just before bedtime. Nothing is more inviting to them then a way to stall going to sleep. They will even answer beyond ‘fine’ the good old favorite ‘how was school’ question!
I often find myself talking with other mothers and while comparing parenting challenges I rarely have one to add. Not that my son doesn’t give me his share of reasons to turn gray prematurely but most of the time he is very obedient. Among other things he has always had a very structured and happy bedtime routine. In fact he informed me in kindergarten that he was the only child in his class that had a 7 PM bedtime. Of course he never quite begun his slumber that early but once in bed Julian stays there entertaining himself until he falls asleep.
Until this summer…
As days got longer in spring tucking him in while the sun was still up became harder and harder. He never complained but I would often hear him shuffling under the covers as late as ten o’clock. We agreed he can read until he gets sleepy but he would finish not chapters but entire book pushing his bedtime past nine on school nights.
I worried. But since only a few weeks of school were left I let it go. At the end of the day how can I tell my child off for reading J.R.R. Tolkien on his own at the age of seven? Couldn’t help but feel proud.
However summer vacation did nothing to help the cause. As I got busy getting the house ready to rent and packing our belongings for the move Julian’s bedtime routine kept getting more and more relaxed. Until one day, after driving across the States and crossing three time zones we finally reached the point of no return. My son’s bedtime these days is midnight!
I justify it in my head that realistically that means 9PM pacific time. I convince myself that he still gets at least 10 hours of sleep a day or more since he rolls out of bed in time for lunch. I tell myself it’s OK because that’s what summer is all about, indulging.
But let’s be honest. That’s just nuts. I have become a mother of a seven year old teenager.
So I am here to tell you THE STALL is real! It can happen to anyone and I want us to unite, share the experiences, find ways to tackle and defeat it and bring back the bedtime routine our children will thrive on again. Let’s claim back our evenings!
I am excited to tell you I have teamed with Sleep Number to host a Sleep Better Chat on Instagram tomorrow evening at 8PM CST. Join me to share and talk about what works best for us in ensuring our children get a restful, goodnight’s sleep every day. There will be prizes drawn daily with the grand prize Twin Sleep Number® SleepIQ® Kids k2 mattress set given to one of you participating in the chats at the end of the week! Please register HERE to enter the draw and join me on Instagram tomorrow evening.
I was talking to my friend the other day who’s husband is away on a ship about her car troubles and she told me about ‘deployment curse’. I have never heard of the term before but I can tell you first hand it’s 100% true and any military wife will agree. In fact any wife period will agree. If things can go wrong, they will go wrong while your husband is away.
Jason often travels for work and our garage door, which never fails otherwise always stops working as soon as he boards the plane. It is annoying and inconvinient but I can totally fix it. Except I don’t know where he keeps the WD40 and I always end up pouring olive oil in the railings to close the door in the morning so we can leave the house. Honestly I should just buy my own stash of WD40. Or a new house.
But this morning Murphy took the law to a whole new level. I was woken up by a loud and piercing sound of the alarm. I hit the snooze button but the sound was still there. It was like the smoke alarm that annoys you when you burn the toast only hundred times worse. I stumbled downstairs, following the noise and discovered it is coming from our Carbon monoxide detector. The thoughts that went through my head were utterly unreasonable: it must be the battery. But why is it plugged in the wall if it runs on battery? Check the C0 level: 0. Why is it still beeping? Check the stove: nope, gas is not on. Are the dogs farting and setting it off? Do we have gas anywhere else? OK, unplug it and check the instructions. And as I did that the alarm went bananas! I am convinced that we woke up our entire neighborhood plus some households in Canada too. I didn’t even know a small thing like that could make so much noise. Like a baby!
Julian came down running and demanded we evacuate. His exact words were: Mom let’s go, Forest BC says we must leave the house immediately and call 911. I thought Forest said life was like a box of chocolates but Julian was adamant so I decided to trust him and Gump. We grabbed our jackets and went outside and I called 911. I told her our address and that our alarm won’t quit and she told me to leave the house immediately as she has dispatched the fire department already. I gathered the dogs and we waited outside our house for the fire engine to arrive.
Perhaps it was too early or too dark or it’s a uniform thing but I swear Fire Department send me the most handsome firemen. Which would have been fantastic if it wasn’t for my dreadful hair, unbrushed teeth and stripey Christmas pajamas. Not to mention that I disturbed their morning coffee by calling them to rescue a dead battery out of my Carbon Monoxide alarm. They gave me the all clear and although I couldn’t stop apologizing they assured me we did the right thing. We got back inside and even managed to get to school in time. Maybe we should do fire drills every morning, it really was the fastest we ever got ready for school.
I was very proud of Julian, how calm and reasonable he stayed and how he followed the evacuation drill just as he practiced with daddy many times before. It truly makes a difference between life and death if our kids are prepared. Also special thanks to Victoria BC radio station that we listen to in the car; turns out it is the Fortis BC commercial about what to do in case of gas leak that taught my son what to do. Who knew?
When daddy is away TV is on play.
It has become a bit of a ritual for Little J and I. In the evening, before bedtime we snuggle up and watch a documentary. We are not really TV watchers, specially me. So I guess it feels extra special for my son to lounge on the couch tucked under a blanket with me. Because we watched some documentaries on wildlife in Alaska Netflix suggested we might like ‘Out of the wild’ series. We watched the first season where they dropped some folks off in Alaska to fend for themselves and I am pleased to report my six year old had better ideas on how to find food and shelter then most of those adults. Yesterday we finished watching the second. I am not sure how educational it is for my son to watch a show with a bunch of people struggling to survive and hike out of the wilderness of Venezuela but hey, we like it.
As they finally made it to civilization the survivors were greeted by their families and friends. Little J noticed how the tough guys were hugging their moms and he told me I will always be his mommy, no matter how old he is and how long he can survive in the wild. It made my day.
We started talking about children and he announced he will have two.
Me: Why two?
Little J: Cause it’s a fair and share number. Also they will have each other to play with so they won’t bug me like I always bug you.
Me: I like playing with you.
Little J: I know, but I will probably be too busy when I have kids.
Me: I am very busy too. But you can never be too busy you know.
Little J: Also I will not buy them more then 11 toys. I sure don’t want to spend too much time tidying them up.
Me: What are you taking about? You never tidy toys now. I clean up all the LEGOs all the time.
Little J: Exactly. No way I am doing that!
Me: Oh really? What else will you do differently with your kids?
Little J: I will make them play outside in the garden every day. So I can have some peace and quiet.
Me: I see.
Little J: And I will teach them how to survive in the wild. Just in case.
Me: In case of what?
Little J: I want to go on vacation with my wife.
Me: Well that’s what grandmas are for. I can help you with your kids so that you can go on vacation.
Little J: Nah. Cause I will come to see you on my vacation.
My grandkids might be hunting their own food in the forest but my son will be my baby forever. I love my kid.