Before I get into my little vent about bedtime, I had to show off a few pictures that I took of the four younger kids at the park the other day. I didn’t get exactly what I wanted (Noodle was the only one that was really cooperative–she has got to be most photogenic child) but I think they’re still pretty good-lookin’ kids. My favorite is this first picture of Noodle, which happened by accident. The pictures were turning out dark, so I turned on the flash. I love the way her eyes stand out when everything else in the photo is washed out. Cool!
So on to bedtime….You’d think that after almost 11 years of being a parent I’d have it all figured out, right? There was a time in our lives when our kids went to bed pretty easily and at a decent hour. Not anymore! What has happened??
Right now, my 2 year old is down in the basement playing alongside the computer because I have determined that his presence upstairs at night does nothing but prevent everyone else from getting any sleep. I figured that I didn’t have much to lose by letting him play for a while while the other kids settled down. I put a book-on-tape in the boom box in the hall by the bedrooms for the older kids to listen to (something new I’m trying). I thought everything was going well until the whole crew came downstairs to tell me the tape had stopped. Argh!
These kids are so precious to me but for some reason, I cannot stand them past 8:30 (ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh, but I really, really look forward to some peace and quiet at night!). I just don’t get why bedtime is so difficult, and how we seem to have failed in this basic part of parenting.
I think everything fell apart when Apple was born. I just don’t know if our 3-bedroom townhome can handle all of these kids. Three kids under 7 in one bedroom is a disaster waiting to happen….And yet other people have done it. There just always seems to be someone keeping someone else awake.
Here are a few of the things we’ve tried to alleviate our bedtime woes: we’ve tried staggering bedtimes, putting the younger kids to sleep first (the little guys just stay awake in bed til the older ones come to bed); we’ve separated the kids by putting some in our bed or on a couch; we’ve made one big bed on the floor so that they could all sleep together; we’ve tried to calm them down with stories; we’ve tried to wear them out with games or work; we’ve layed down with them in their rooms (they can stay awake a lot longer than we can!); we’ve let them listen to books on tape or soothing music; we’ve yelled; we’ve cried….
By the way….despite their appearance in the basement a little while ago, it actually sounds like they might be asleep. One trip downstairs is not too bad for us….
So now you all know how I’ve failed as a mother (LOL! If that were the worst of it, I’d be happy!)…but as I get to the end of my vent, I’ve got to say that I am grateful that I uploaded these pictures of the kids before I started typing, because as I was complaining I was staring at their cute faces and was reminded of how much I cherish them….even if they can be difficult once in a while. These kids mean the world to me. My time is not my own. It’s theirs. Even after 8:30.
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