And let's not forget the lavender lotion rubbed on their backs because someone had the brilliant idea to tell them that lavender was magical and would make them fall asleep right away. This would be the same lavender lotion that Lexi had an allergic reaction to. She broke out in a rash all over her back. After showering the lotion off and taking some Benedryl she stopped itching and passed out asleep.
Of course, the next day, I didn't think to give Lexi a dose of Benedryl before school. She got itchy. She went to the nurse. The nurse thought she had some contagiousness that needed to be contained immediately. I had to pick her up. I had to keep her home today too (or pay to take her to the germ-infested doctor's office to get a note that states she's allergic to the stupid lavender lotion.) Now, don't get me wrong, the nurse was doing her job. She doesn't know what the deal is and has to make sure all the students are protected, but from my perspective, it's frustrating. Lexi, on the other hand, was happy to have the day off so she could play in the 80 feet of snow we got.
OK, back to bedtime. Here's the thing. I know all about bedtime. I'm not new to this bedtime thing. I've been doing it for 15 years. I know how to get kids calmed down and ready for sleep. I've written articles for Goodnites on the subject, for crying out loud. So, what is it? Is it just the time of year? Kids don't get to run off enough energy during the day because of the cold weather outside? They're all crazy-excited about Christmas? They start counting sheep, but the sheep whisper, "Let's get out of bed and plaaaaay!"? Actually, scratch that last one. If imaginary sheep are talking to your kids, maybe it's time to cut back on the hallucinogens in their bedtime snack.
I threatened the kids that if they keep goofing off at night instead of going to sleep, I'm going to make them go to bed a half hour earlier every night until they learn to settle down and go to sleep right away. At this rate, they're going to be going to bed at lunchtime.
If this is happening to you too, know this is a phase that will pass. It's happened before and it'll happen again. In the meantime, keep your cool at bedtime. Continue to stick to your routines, bath, snack, storytime, soothing music, or calm tv shows, whatever the usual schedule is at your house. Eventually, they'll get back to their regular routines. And in the meantime, maybe feed them large tryptophan-laden meals for dinner.