Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Why Daylight Savings Ain't No Friend of Mine (or - How to Woo a Wayward Toddler Into Bed)

Since the birth of our second child, Noah (our 2.5 year old) has been somewhat tardy about getting into bed. No matter if we stick strictly to routine, he veers quickly out of it. Hardcore.

For the past six weeks, I think we'd be lucky to have had him in bed AND asleep before 9pm. Where he's thinking the longer he stays up, the more fun to be had, I'm the polar opposite, I'd be having a lot more fun if I got to have some sleep. It's a bit of a tug-o-war, and so far his antics and tantrums seem to triumph.
The past two nights we've actually managed to get him to go to sleep before 9:15pm. However, he's fallen asleep on the floor, no doubt pooped from partying on so late.

Now before you say - hey, just delete his day sleep, I will interject. There's no way our little man can go without his day sleep. No way. He relies on that sleep to get through the day. Otherwise he'll become borderline manic - and so will I!
So I have tried slicing his sleep in half. Still no joy. He's still full of beans.

And the fact that it's daylight savings is not helping either.

When I was single, I loved daylight savings. Loved it. Got so excited at the thought of a few additional hours of sunlight. It meant I could go out longer without turning into a pumpkin. Loved leaving work and walking home with daylight streaming onto my face. It kind of made the whole of summer feel like holidays. I love that feeling.

Now I dread daylight savings. Not only is it the fact that our whole routine has to be tweaked over a matter of weeks, it's the trick of sunlight that makes Noah, and now Scout - think that it's ok to be still awake at 9pm (just when the daylight is being drowned in darkness) or in Scout's case, it's ok to be awake at 5:30am because daylight is bleaching the inky sky. It's not ok kids. Go back to sleep.

Give me some ear muffs. Give me a sleep mask. Damn it, give me a cone of silence, but the kids should still be asleep, and so should I. Perhaps if we moved to Iceland where they have around four hours of sunlight a day, they (particularly Noah) might be tricked into sleeping a little longer. I even had to cancel my hot date with America's Next Top Model. I missed it this week because he was still monkeying around.

And so my loving relationship with daylight savings is over.

We've even tried running Noah completely ragged. Park trips. Gardening. Dancing. Anything to expel some energy. Yesterday we spent a good few hours gardening. He thrived on that outdoor activity, but still his night time activities continued.

We'll keep working on it. I've heard from other mums that their babes did the same, and once things calmed down - they did too.

I live in hope.

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