Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sleep Perchance to Dream
The first post I wrote on this blog was about my boys’ endearing habit of waking prior to the crack of dawn, as though it was their personal responsiblity to get the chorus started.
I can make light of the situation but, in all seriousness, it has been the most torturous experience of motherhood for me and one that I have never been able to adapt to or handle well.
The main perpertrator of this crime is Captain Underpants, who has been programmed to wake at an unGodly hour since he arrived home from hospital at 4 weeks old. He considers it his duty to have the whole household ready to tackle the day typically at an hour with a 5 as the first digit. And he takes his duty very seriously and rarely lets the side down by taking the day off.
Johnny Drama, meanwhile, was a textbook baby who woke daily at 7am come rain or shine...until the boys started sharing a room 17 months ago. Within a matter of days, he was also up before a single sparrow was even considering a fart. Nightmare.
During the past 17 months I have tried every trick in the book to get them to sleep a little later. Nothing worked. The constant threat has been, “If you can’t follow the rules of the house and stay in bed quietly until 6am at the very earliest, then I will put you both in separate bedrooms”. The threat never worked obviously, but it always provoked lots of tears and protests along the lines of, “please no mummy - we promise to try harder - we promise to be good - we want to stay in the same room.....PPPLLLLEEAASSSE!” And despite my ex’s advice to the contrary, I always conceeded.
Until last weekend.
Their behaviour was no different than any other weekend, but all of a sudden I had Had Enough. There were no negotiations and no last minute reprieves. Within an hour of getting up I had moved Johnny Drama’s bed into the small bedroom, which had up until that moment been designated as the playroom. I switched around toys, bedside tables, lamps and books, then went downstairs for a much needed coffee and we got on with our day.
I was expecting, at the very least, a formal protest but, much to my surprise, there wasn't one. The sole reason I had been putting off this separation was my ongoing angst at the backlash it would surely provoke. The potential renewal of several sleepless nights while they adjusted to sleeping on their own once more.
But guess what? It NEVER happened. After procrastinating this move for months, because I had anticipated it being the cause of yet more emotional scarring, both boys adapted instantly and within 48 hours were begging to remain in their own rooms.
One of the upsides of putting them to bed in separate rooms is that I now get to spend at least 15 minutes one-on-one time with them at the end of the day, while we read stories, snuggle and chat. I had forgotten how precious this time was. The boys are relishing this exclusive attention and are going to sleep, well, like a dream actually.
What’s more, from day one Johnny Drama started waking up between 6.30-7am again and even Captain Underpants appears to be sleeping longer. I say ‘appears’ because Captain Underpants has stealth-like qualities and could be up earlier. But the beauty of it is, if he is, then I don’t hear him. And neither does his brother. Truly a win-win situation for all concerned. Who knew it was going to be this easy?
Even when I was in the midst of moving the rooms around I had no confidence that it would alter anything. In fact, I would have placed bets I was about to create a plethora of new night waking habits which would have me reinstating the shared bedroom in no time at all.
Which goes to prove that I had wasted a fairly significant amount of my time worrying unnecessarily about their potential reaction to change which, ultimately, proved to be entirely unfounded.
Hmmm. There could be a lesson for me here. If only I could see what it is...
Right now, I am too busy enjoying my 'lie-ins'. Oh the bliss of not being woken up until an hour with a 6 as the first digit. Heaven. My goodness, I just had a thought...if this carries on I may even need to buy an alarm clock. Happy Days!!