Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I dream of sleep...

Before I begin, I should say that this was never intended as a stand alone post but as I was merrily typing away in Tara Cain's comment box after reading about her own little madams sleep issues, I realised that I had in fact produced an essay on my own plight! So to spare all of her readers the agony of a page long comment - I thought that I would inflict it on you all instead... because you are supposed to be interested in what I have to say... right? (this is where you leave a comment to say...."I love reading about your life / loves / disasters / traumas etc.." do add or delete there as necessary.

Right... for you to fully understand what it is I am going on about I suggest that you read Tara's post here, but don't forget to come back!
Now I have the same problem as Tara but in reverse! FunnyGirl (now 6) has some weird kind of sleep 'issue' that the doctor said she would grow out of when she started full time school. She hasn't.... and not only has it continued but she now holds the enviable title of "Most reliable child to fall asleep during assembly".
At one point we were talking six assemblies in a row.It got so bad that they have to put her on the end of a row to catch her as she naps. And if that wasn't bad enough, she even fell asleep during their big Easter assembly..... in church!

She goes to bed early (always by 7pm, or earlier) but when she wakes it generally has a 5 in front of it. Yes FunnyGirl is not so funny - she is a true morning person. I on the other hand, am a night owl.

We have tried keeping her up later in the evening but there is no stopping her. When she wants to sleep - she sleeps. In fact you can be having a conversation with her, turn away for a minute and then she is sparko! One of ModelGirl and TotallySonny's favourite family tales is of the time that she fell asleep whilst having lunch at a pizza restaurant. I was wedged between the girls and turned to one side to help ModelGirl cut something on her plate, when I turned back a moment later there she was head first in her hot pizza, out like a light!
Six years of early mornings really do take their toll. We've tried all kinds of things - but nothing's worked. We gave her a Gro-Clock and a strict set of instructions on acceptable parental waking times. 
She thought this amusing and we realised for the first time that it wasn't her fault that she wakes early - as before Gro-Clock she hadn't been aware of what time it was. It was simply the time that her internal clock said GO FORTH AND WAKE THE WORLD in big bold capital letters with bells and whistles attached.

Then we decided on a damage limitation policy. We let her have a TV in her room. Yes I know TV is evil but so am I after five years of having to get up when I should quite frankly just be going to bed. Her TV only has DVD playing capabilities and she, being a child of the modern age could teach any adult how it all works with ease.
Only that didn't really work either because she liked to turn it up loud enough to not only wake us - but also everyone in the house next door (we are detached).
Next we tried an assigned box of toys but she was falling asleep before she got to choose which box she wanted and I always got it wrong.....
She recently turned six and is now in her second year at primary school. She's a bright, active child - who despite what our GP assured me has not grown out of falling asleep anywhere and everywhere or waking at are-you-kidding-me O'Clock.

I would love to know your thoughts on this. 
Do you think that it's better to get your kids off to bed early, and for them to wake early - but giving you an evening to yourself? or
To let them stay up later (giving you little or no, me / us time), so that you don't have to get up so early in the mornings?
I know that there isn't an answer for us, other than accepting that those random pre-dawn one to one, single child conversations can actually be all you need to get you through the day.
Thanks to Tara Cain for being the inspiration for this post... don't you know that pink hair is in?


  1. Blimey Sian, that is so bizarre. All I was thinking while reading this was 'isn't she utterly gorgeous when she sleeps'.
    So funny that you have all these pictures of her sleeping too!
    I guess they're all wired differently. Our children go to bed by 7.30 because we like to spend an evening together and I'm not that bothered about waking early.
    I agonised for ages because my son (her older brother) needs at least 11 hours a night and I just assumed all children did.
    Like I said, they're all wired differently!
    Great post and great to hear the other side of the coin! x

  2. If your daughter's sleep habits and Tara's daughter's sleep habits met in the middle somewhere it would be perfect!

    Tara still isn't getting the pink hair and she STILL isn't a doll so she won't be joining us on our photo shoot. Anyway, I'm digressing.

    Gorgeous photos even if her eyes are shut!!

  3. Sian-
    We've recently changed Little Miss' sleeping times to try to get her to have a wee lie-in in the mornings. We now aim to have her in bed for 8:30pm and now instead of 5-5:30am, it's more like 6-6:30 and even, rarely, 7am! I don't mind her staying up a bit later as Hubby doesn't get home until 7pm most nights so I like her to have time with her Daddy (and it gives me a tiny break!) Unfortunately, I think she'll always be an early riser but at least it's not ridiculous o'clock for now. I don't know WHAT we'll do when we move her out of her crib one day! A gate is going on her door for sure! ;)

  4. My two youngest girls (2 and 10months) can be in bed for 5pm sometimes!! I know thats early but i can guarentee that within minutes they are both snoring and they don't get up until 6am. My 3year old also goes to bed at 5/5:30pm and she sleeps until 6am too. 4year old is in bed by 6pm but she stays awake and plays until she falls asleep.

    I do always feel it is too early for bedtime but i have always remembered that they cannot tell the time and they go to bed when they feel tired. Who am i to tell them it is too early when they are rubbing their little eyes and getting grumpy? I do love the evenings to myself and i have no problems getting up early because i know i will get the time back at the end of the day.

    Your little one sounds just like my 4year old, she gets to the point where she will just drop off and its bedtime regardless of the time xxx

  5. My LOs used to go to bed around 7-7.30pm but slowly but surely I moved it later so they wake up later. Now they go to bed at 9pm and sleep til at least 9am, which is perfect for me because I never go to bed before midnight-1am anyway.
    Plus they still nap at least a couple of hours after their lunch, so I get a break then as well. Definitely late evenings, late mornings preferable.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx


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