Monday, June 23, 2008

we are officially THAT family

You know the one. The one who's kids, in the middle of the summer, go to bed while it's still perfectly light out. Not only perfectly light out, but with what seems like hours of daylight to still play by. The ones who drag their kids inside by six thirty in the evening for bath and bed. We are officially the bummer early bedtime family.

I've always been big on good bedtimes for my kids. My kids, from day one, have completely 100 percent validated the theory of sleep begets sleep. The later they stay up the worse sleep they get, the earlier they wake in the morning, etc, etc. They've always had a regular bedtime of 7/7:30. Always. I know with my 15 years of experience with babies and young kids, that good sleep habits can make or break a good kid. I'm proud of the fact that my kids have always been good sleepers, and healthy, happy, well-rested kids.

However, besides knowing that, I've become totally lax thus far this summer.
It all started with our evening swimming lessons... which started at 7pm, meaning we were never even home before 8pm, putting the kids in bed much later than normal and them not drifting off to sleep till close to 9 o'clock. Then ever since lessons were over we've just had a lot of evenings of visiting with the neighbors, having friends over and the like. Normally, even in our "socialness" the kids maintain somewhat decent (regular) bedtimes, with Ryan or I simply taking a quick break from the visiting to get them squared away in bed. Lately however I've been letting it slide more and more. 8 o'clock... no big deal. 8:30... no big deal. Even 9 o'clock some nights. We had three families over for dinner throughout this past week (who's kids do not have an early bedtime at all) and I let the kids stay up until our visitors left. We were outside playing with the neighbor kids until almost 9pm the other night. Even when we're home and doing nothing, I've been more relaxed with their bedtimes, thinking oh it's summer... let 'em have a little fun! Yeah, well we're way past the fun point here folks. My kids cannot handle it. They are falling apart and bedtimes, when we finally do get around to it, are complete chaos now. I'm going to have to go back to some hard core bedtime "training" with Sawyer again as he's popping out of bed every other minute wanting another hug or kiss or water or potty or just to whine about staying up. He is so over tired that he doesn't know how to keep himself in bed and to get settled down anymore. And they're both waking at ungodly hours in the morning again too. Ugh.
Two nights ago we went to Circus Flora and Savannah fell asleep on my lap for the whole last hour of the show. Now let me just say this is absolutely unheard of. This child has not fallen asleep in public, in the middle of an outing, since she was honestly about 4 weeks old. And here she was at age 5, at 8pm, in the middle of a circus! with loud music! and a boisterous narrator! and clapping and cheering going on around her every 5 minutes! .... sound asleep in my lap.
I tell ya, that's when I knew I had to buckle down with our bedtimes again.

And once again, case in point: after a few late nights in a row and the great Circus Flora Pass-out, I knew last night that a nice relaxing early bedtime was a priority for both these kiddos. Both were ready and in bed by 7pm. And do you know what time Sawyer finally fell asleep? At 9:50. After about 347 trips out of bed and up and down the stairs. Eee Gad! (and then not to mention he was up and at 'em at 6 this morning!!)
So we're going to be relearning some bedtime routines around here. And we're not deviating from the regular 7 o'clock bedtimes but for very rare exceptions anymore. My kids apparently can't handle a lax summer bedtime schedule. Which is fine by me... more me time, more mommy and daddy time, more grown up time when we have friends over....
Now only if I could make a rule that every child in our house or in our neighborhood would be in bed by 8pm! It'd make life a lot easier for us!!
So yes, we are THAT family who makes their kids go to bed early... even in the summer!! Believe me-- it'll be much better for all involved....

10 comments:

kimca01 said...

HA! Oh yeah, we are that family too. Morgan is the same, can't handle it. That kid is so full of beans all day long that he needs his early bedtime. Although lately he's still getting up early - 5:40AM on the weekend nearly killed me. And of course today, when he has to get up, he sleeps until 7. Argh! My mom made some curtains with blackout fabric for both the kids as it's too bright right now.

Hey - you never answered my email begging for how to put Callie to bed tips, get on it! LOL

Amy said...

We were always like that - still are in the winter. Having said that, this seems to be the magic (or not so magic) year where their bodies just don't wind down. I guess its just the age or the fact that baseball had us out all spring and thus them up late. I'll tell you when they were young, I would pull the shades down and just pretend it was dark. Why did they have to learn to tell time anyway? he he he

heresthediehl said...

We're THAT family too, and proud of it. I need time in the evening to unwind w/o kids.

It doesn't bother me that it might take them awhile to fall asleep, as long as they stay in bed...

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I'm pretty much there with you. I'll make exceptions, but not very often.

jessica said...

Boy, I'm with you, but I'm finding it very hard to do lately. Ethan has baseball until 7:30, which means we get home late, and Grace is coming off the play. The big kids just seem to keep us active so much later in the days.

And even if we aren't off and doing things, and we get the wee little one off to bed early, there are still these two big kids wandering around the house. It seems too extreme to tell them it's bed time at 8 p.m. anymore.

That makes it very hard for evening down time or mom and dad time or anything. I miss it.

Dan said...

We're THAT family too. Tonight Maddy (who's 6 1/2) was wondering why she was getting tucked into bed while the 2 year old neighbor girl was out playing in the driveway!! :)

Amanda

Julie C. said...

Heather, you're so smart to stick to those early bedtimes! It's harder when they're older. At one time I had 2 that were young enough for an 8:00 bedtime but I also had a teenager. He was old enough to stay up 'till 10 but that's when I went to bed and I had to have some alone time. So, he was required to go to his room at 9:00 and then turn his light off at 10:00. I called it "Out of my face time". That may sound harsh but my kids are used to me telling it like it is. lol

Heather S. said...

We are that family, too and we are proud of it. We don't have many young kids in our neighborhood, so that is not an issue for us. Norah has never noticed that other stay up until dark. Our girls have been sleeping from about 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 or 8 a.m. - clearly they need it.

lina said...

It would be great to have another 1/2 who was on the same page, let alone in the same book with me on bedtimes for the kids. I am a big believer in keeping them on the same schedule, but it doesn't happen :(
Great for you guys!

Kari Dunaway Hayman said...

Heather-
i hope you'll remember me...you just became my friend on facebook so i think that's a good sign! Anyway, i linked to your blog from facebook and am having a blast reading your blogs! Then i realized you had one of those trackers that traced who was reading your blog...so i thought i would clue you in that i'm giving you international coverage by signing in from Japan! ;) You're such a talented writer...and i've really been out of touch so it's crazy to think that your kids are as old as they are! Glad all is well with your family. Please tell Ryan i said hello!

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