by Kristen Bagwell
On the days when I am so tired I just want to (literally) crawl into bed, the inevitable happens: either my daughter won't go to sleep for love or money, or my son wakes up 2-3 times in the night.
I want to be kind, gentle, and patient, but that usually lasts for the first 45 seconds, and then I switch to crabby. My daughter is old enough to recognize that in me, and will call me out. "Mommy, are you crabby because I REALLY need a bandaid right now," etc etc.
I know this happens all the time, all over the world, so I ask you: which of these is your child?
After bedtime routine, the Angel lays down peacefully and either goes to sleep or keeps himself quietly occupied until he drifts off. (This is my son, and he is a complete relief when my daughter is acting kooky.)
The Monkey will do anything to avoid physically getting into bed - racing around, hiding, jumping on and off things to distract you from trying to get him into his room and into bed. When bedtime rolls around, the Monkey can generally be found wherever you don't want him: mom's closet, the guest bathroom, jumping on someone's bed other than his own...you know the drill. Chasing, pleading, cajoling, and finally tag-teaming the Monkey is the only way to get him into bed, and is easier if you let him run out some of that energy first.
The Staller will actually go to bed quite willingly, and will be kind and sweet the whole time...until 10 minutes later, when something is forgotten, and 15 minutes later, when she needs something else. (Repeat until you're at 90 minutes, minimum.) I need water, turn on the ceiling fan, turn off the ceiling fan, I didn't brush my hair, Daddy didn't kiss me goodnight, you promised me 2 stories, it's cold and my baby needs her blanket...anything and everything to get you back into the bedroom so she can put off having to lay her little head down and GOTHE*TOSLEEP.
As soon as the evening events turn toward bedtime, the Bawler cranks it up. The reason almost doesn't matter - something will be wrong, and it will be made worse by having to go to bed. Then the Bawler will, well, bawl, until he gets his way or passes out, whichever comes first. No amount of yelling or threats can affect this kid; you just have to close the door and hope for the best.
This one is another that will go to bed quite willingly; she just won't stay there. Ever. Quiet as a mouse, the Sneaker will go through the bedtime charade, and within 10 minutes, she can be found doing something other than sleeping. The Sneaker is so sneaky, you can't even tell she's out of bed until you catch her. Reading books by flashlight, playing with legos or blocks, having stuffed animal wars, you name it - the Sneaker is out of bed and doing it, quietly, quietly, quietly so as not to get busted.
Related to the Sneaker, the Wizard also gets out of bed almost immediately to go do something more fun than sleep. The Wiz must have some magic, though - he is not as stealthy as the Sneaker, so you're sure you heard him get up or moving around. However, when you go to check on him, he'll be in bed, just where you left him. The only evidence that he's been up is whatever he was doing before you arrived, or the beads of sweat on his forehead from the exertion of flying into bed just in time.
Which bedtime kid lives at your house?
This post is intended to be fun and light-hearted, but we know that a good night's sleep can seem impossible sometimes. Did you know that there are local sleep coaches who can teach you and your family how to get a better night's sleep very quickly? If you'd like more information, please email me. ~ Kristen