Bedtime is WHAT time?

So what time is a three almost four year old supposed to go to bed?

It is now 11:04pm gmt +1. 23:04 according to the clock on our oven. Maybe most French are just finishing their after dinner-cheese-then-dessert coffee. But it seems a wee bit late for a little girl to be going to sleep for the night. And I can hear ours tweeting away on her mimi, so she isn’t even asleep yet. Tomorrow morning when I wait till the last minute to wake her up for school (8am) she will be tired and grumpy. Ok, more tired and more grumpy than usual.

The last time she made her best effort to pull an all-nighter like this, I did a google search on bedtime. One child-rearing “genius” said if your child is too young to read a clock, just put her to bed at whatever time you want to be bedtime. Oh, yea, right! I don’t think so. Not in a million years.

The evening after Kaitlyn’s way-too-late night, she was so tired that she skipped dinner and actually asked to go to bed at 7. Then she got up at 7:30, 7:45, 8:00, 8:20, 8:30, 8:45, 8:50, 9:00, 9:09 and I think then again at 9:30 before finally dozing off.

A friend offered to watch Kaitlyn one Friday so we could go to a grown-up party. Kaitlyn goes to school with her little boy, they’re pals, it seemed like a good idea. When we dropped her off, you should have seen the look on the babysitter’s face when she found out that an 8pm bedtime is not and never has been a reality at our house. When we got there at 10:30 to pick Kaitlyn up… guess who was awake.

We’ve tried everything.

Bath before bed. Milk. Books. Stories. Soft music. Quiet tv show.. no tv at all. (google search produced mixed results on whether or not that’s a good or bad thing) And there’s no getting out of one of us lying down with her. You could give her a bath at 5pm, a glass of milk, read her a book, tell her a story and lay down with her… and even if she ran a marathon that day she would not fall asleep.

At school, they nap after lunch. 1:30, they’ve gone to the bathroom, taken off their shoes and gotten into bed. She sleeps. The teachers tell me every day how Kaitlyn sleeps “bien” for two hours. After a few weeks of that routine, she even will lie down alone for her nap here with no real problem and doze right off. There’s something she recognizes as different about going to sleep for the whole night…

If you can get her asleep, she’s out all night. Of course, it’s so late that all you can do is crawl from her bed into your own. And, sure, occasionally she’ll get up and cry out or wander into our room. (Usually, it’s the other way around. She wanders in, I hear her standing there and if neither one of us stirs, she goes back to her room and cries so we’ll get up and get her.)

It’s 11:21. It’s finally quiet upstairs. That could mean that everyone else is snoozing away. Or it could mean that Bill fell asleep and Kaitlyn is sitting up in her bed playing with Polly Pocket.

9 Responses to “Bedtime is WHAT time?”

  1. DAD says:

    Sounds like her mother and uncle at that age.

  2. mandy says:

    yea, and look at how they turned out!

  3. DAD says:

    Indeed….very well! Thus tolerating the noctural approach to stsaying awake should be encouraged. D.A.D.

  4. mandy says:

    i fear it will qualify her only to work weird shifts in the television industry… or, worse yet, to become a self-employed architect!

  5. DAD says:

    Not that uncle….your brother.

  6. mandy says:

    yes, i know, but he’s the person i know with the wierdest hours for no particular reason. it’s not like he works the graveyard shift drawing churches.

  7. DAD says:

    On the semi-teary shift one draws graveyards; on the graveyard shift one draws monumental things labelled with cryptic messages. Not much plot, just body copy.

  8. Barney Boyd, Indianapolis says:

    I absolutely REFUSE to plummet to the six foot depths contained in the body of this grave and cryptic tombe, even though during the church-yard shift it can get oh so low- n-some. Poor innocent KK. What has she been born into. No wonder they had to leave the country!!

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