Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sleep or Lack Thereof

Joining Chris and Carmen into talking about sleep. I never have needed much sleep and I have been blessed with kids who have the same lack of sleep genes. I still remember those times, when I thought you could just put the kids to bed at night and have some time for yourself. Our household is such that that time usually doesn't start before midnight.

We used to have tons of elaborate routines, but that didn't make them sleep either. One of them even used sleeping medication for a few weeks (this was after the Years Long Sleep Wars from Hell) but they didn't work on him. He wasn't able to sleep till he got some kind of anti depressant which enabled him to fall asleep at night, since the problem is that he can't find his off switch so to speak. A few months ago, he decided he didn't want to take this medication anymore, so now he can't sleep again. At least he is old enough to just do quiet things in his room now and go down to have breakfast when the night is over. He regularly totally skips nights, which is not always a good thing.

The others don't need much sleep either, but not as extreme as the 12yo. We do tooth brushing at 9am, we have all the toothbrushes nicely lined up in the kitchen, since there were too many losses when they still were in the upstairs bathrooms. They brush their teeth, they sometimes floss (like when they have been to the dentist recently) and then they disappear upstairs. At least, the older six do.

Of course, there are about 5,000 things which still have to be shared with us or taken care of or complained about. Erik will come down to tell us what he wants for his birthday 10 months from now. Kate will complain about Jane being mean to her. Tara comes down crying because Cees somehow ended up hurting her when they had a ball fight. The list goes on and on. They are supposed to be in their room and do quiet things when they aren't asleep yet. They sometimes stay in their rooms, but we still have a LOT of room for improvement on the quiet activities.

Sylvia is easier. She just will nurse and fall asleep in my arms. Don't try to put her down though, she has a finely tuned detector. So she sleeps either in mine, or in my husband's arms. She sleeps most of the night, sometimes waking up to nurse, but not that often.

Eventually most of them will go to sleep and I get my 2am sanity time. Of course, I enjoy my quiet time so much that I end up staying up too late, and have to pay for it the next day ^^

The little ones still sleep in our bed room, so sometimes they make such a mess that it's hard to get into our own bed when we want to. On the other hand, while they are making a mess, they usually are occupied and we get some quiet time. Tradeoff. They start out on crib mattresses on the floor, but usually join us during the night in our bed. In the morning we tend to have three kids in the bed and I am glad I can sneak out and move around without immediately touching someone.

The summary? Not much sleep in our household, but not that much of an issue actually. It seems to mostly work out for all people involved. But still, sometimes I dream about kids who go to sleep at 8pm. Or who would still take naps after their first birthday. But for now, I just will have to hope that my grandkids will be as good at sleeping as my kids are...

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