Tuesday, December 8, 2009


My kids have been having bedtime issues. Issues in that they're simply not going to bed without a prerequisite 40 trips to the bathroom, 2 dozens glasses of water (kinda goes hand in hand with the field trips to the bathroom), 15 stories, 2000 kisses, 58,000 times to get out of bed and tell or ask me something all-important like, "I want waffles for breakfast", or "How can Santa get to all the houses in the world in one night?", or "Is a T-Rex bigger than our house?", or "Why are babies small?"

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. "Benedryl for everyone!" I shouted. "Get in bed, everyone!" I shouted.

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.


Sandy in Illinois said...

Do you think the routine will work for senior citizens too?

Rivster said...

The two year old started balking at his bedtime routine. We are sticking firm. We don't want him to start a coup with the other kids!!!

LuAnne Lizotte said...

my kids are all grown but I remember the days that my 3 did the same thing. I did exactly what you are threatning and it worked for one night. they had to go to bed a half hour early. I don't know if they had brain damage or what but they frequently "forgot"things!!!

Nadia said...


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Ugh, feel the pain! I'm at fault with bedtime -- when hubby is traveling, I turn into a half-assed babysitter and am not good with the bedtime routine. Then we all pay the price in the a.m. getting ready for school. I think you're right. They're all jazzed up with Christmas coming, excited about snow, winter break and all that crap. Joy to the world. blah blah blah! ; )

Unknown said...

I call it the "Christmas Crazies". When I was teaching, I had kids bouncing off all the walls the entire month of December. And now I'm finding it with my own son. It's not just you, don't worry. That doesn't help you at all, but at least you know you're not alone! :)

Hally said...

Love that you posted this as we are in a sleep mutiny at our house courtesy of the croup for the 1 1/2 yr old and Santa 'Cite-ment' for the almost 4yr old.
I just keep singing 'I Will Survive' in my head...or the voices in my head are talking again, or something. :)
Happy Christmas!

Unknown said...

Just had to laugh and laugh at this post........ I remember going thru the bedtime things when my 2 were little. Now, my son calls me to ask how I got control as he justs yells and yells at his 3.
I told him..... you just send them off to bed and then totally ignore them....yelling makes things worse.
Good luck.... and just keep praying for an early spring...hehehe

Abby said...

My middle schoolers have been absolutely psychotic since the week of Thanksgiving! Hormones do NOT mix well with the holiday excitements!!! A lot of kiddos will be going home unhappy tomorrow with progress reports to be signed, so I can keep my fingers crossed that they'll come back to actually learn something? (HAHAHA, kidding!)

On another note, I wanted to say that I made gingerbread cookies on my fantastic snowday today from the recipe you provided on here last year. They are just as delicious as they were the first time I tried it! Thanks again for sharing!!! =)

Amber C. said...

you mean my 5yo isnt the only one who has to get yelled at 5000 times a night to get back in bed and go to sleep? i swear i have battled her every night for the last 2 weeks to keep her in bed and get her to sleep.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I love to read everything you write - this hit home in particular though. thank you a thousand times for making me laugh! I'm all for the tryptanite (spelling?) oh whatever, you know what i'm talking about! and that's why I love reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at this post! I'm so happy to hear I'm not the only mom fighting my kids at bedtime right now. I think it is all the excitement of looking forward to Christmas, etc. I'm cutting back on sweets (it's that time of year when they tend to get more for some reason, where does it all come from?), start settling them down even before dinner and then no more rowdy play after (yeh, right, a dream, but I gotta try, right?), and hopefully they're asleep sometime before me.

Candi said...

I like the tryptophan-laden meal idea but I have a question-- will your troop of turkeys eat turkey? What else has tryptophan? Inquiring minds want to know these things! ;)

Michelle said...

Good luck with the sleep! That has to be frustrating. Since we already go to bed early (like ummm 6?), I can't move the bedtime up or they won't get dinner... but if they get out of bed more than 2 times, they start losing privileges... of course Mister Man has basically lost all his privileges because of school misbehavior lately (it's the November/December willies, right?) I feel for ya! Good luck getting your guys back into the right routine :)

When life gives you lemons... said...

When my husband deployed I started giving my kids small doses of Melatonin (sp?) it is natural and their ped. said it was very ok to give to them. Not that I believe in medicating them, but I also don't want to become an alcoholic!

Belinda said...

This makes me glad I only have one monster. She's never really had issues with bedtime. *touch wood* Mind you though her room is in a section of the house which can be pretty much made dark just by closing a few doors (but not her bedroom door)
Makes the area stimulation free, and a small radio kept to an extremely low volume tends to block out any noise from the rest of the house.
Brisbane Australia

ummmhello said...

Benadryl for everyone! You may be onto something.... ;)
Actually, I made the same mistake with the lavender lotion. Now my 11 yo wants lavender lotion, lavender room spray and lavender LAUNDRY SOAP. *sigh*

Kama said...

The thing they don't tell you about Lavender when they are selling it as a relaxation aid is that it is related to Ragweed and most everyone who is allergic to Ragweed is also allergic to Lavender...and lots of people are allergic to Ragweed.

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