Apr
03
2010

  8:20pm Bedtime

So W didn't fall asleep until after 10pm on Wednesday. We didn't know what was up with that until we saw a tooth the next day. On Thursday, W was settled down and it looked like he was going to go to sleep, so I went ahead and left for Mass at 7pm. But W was STILL UP when I got home, and he didn't get to sleep until around 10:30pm on Thursday night.

Yesterday I went to stations of the cross & confession from noon to 1:30pm. I wanted to return for the Good Friday service but decided it was more important to get W back on a reasonable bedtime schedule. I kept him awake all afternoon (we had let him take afternoon naps since he caught a cold from his cousins over the weekend), then started winding him down beginning at 5pm. I had him asleep by 7:05pm. He woke up 45 minutes later (not surprising, human sleep-cycles are 45 minutes long), but I was able to get him back to sleep within 20 minutes. Not great, but better than 10pm.

With the memory of a 7pm bedtime fresh in my mind, I was hopeful that I'd be able to get W to sleep and still have time to make it to the Easter Vigil Mass since it didn't start until 8:30pm I could leave here at 8pm.

But a 30-minute afternoon nap was enough to quash that plan. I didn't mean to let W nap this afternoon, but he fell asleep halfway through the 3-mile walk I took him on, so what could I do? I tried making the ride especially rough, but he just bounced around with his head lolling to the side, only half-opening his eyes with the larger jolts, so I quickly gave up on that idea. I was able to wake him up as soon as we got home, of course, but he had already slept from 3-3:30pm. I was hopeful that it was early enough and short enough that it wouldn't affect his bedtime. This turned out to be wishful thinking.

I started W's wind-down at 6pm tonight, but didn't get him to sleep until 8:20pm. This was disappointing, since yesterday he fell asleep quickly and easily. Today, he was fighting sleep every moment. The kid is obviously tired, and I wrap him up and hold him in my lap in the rocking chair. He starts to nod off, but then his eyes pop open, and he stares at something. Maybe the ceiling fan, maybe the window, whatever. It's as if someone told him he's got to force himself to stay awake, or something very bad will happen to him. He's so obviously fighting sleep, and I can't figure out why. I've been reading my favorite parenting book, but all I've gleaned from it is that "spirited" type children (which profile W fits) often fight sleep. And they can be very challenging to parent. Great. But I also read that once they are one year old, they've got better memories and understand cause-and-effect, and if they do something twice in a week that's enough to set a pattern. So I'm glad I made the decision to stay and get the baby to sleep instead of going to church, even though these are my favorite services of the whole year. Because with any luck I'll be able to go next year (although that is what I thought when I missed them last year), but I find it really intolerable to live with a child that stays up yelling until 10pm, and if W got into that habit, who knows how long I'd have to suffer through that.

I ran into my neighbor's kids (they are a few years older than T and me) when I was walking W, and they said that their kids were bugging them asking if they'd be able to play with "the baby" again. W's visit over Christmas made a big impression on them, so I'll bring him over there tomorrow afternoon. I'm craftily thinking of timing the visit for just when W tries to nod off for an afternoon nap-- he won't be able to when he's in a new place and kids are playing with him, and he's not likely to be fussy for that, either. So if I can distract him out of an afternoon nap, hopefully I'll get an earlier bedtime out of him. My goal is 7pm.