I’ve complained about my sleep problems here a few times now. They are great and plentiful, and range from “tossed and turned all night for a week and a half” to “my dreams were so vivid I woke up more exhausted then when I went to bed”. Since I seem to have so much trouble with sleep, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m neither a night person nor a morning person. I generally like to be snoring well before midnight, and I’m cranky as a bear if I wake up before 8 am. I am one of those people for whom the “8 hours a night” adage is 100% true. If I don’t get my 8 hours I am not a happy camper.
Now, because I have a toddler, those 8 hours can be hard to come by, but for the most part I usually manage to get to sleep early enough so that when she wakes up to go potty or ask for a glass of milk it doesn’t disturb me too badly. And since my daughter isn’t exactly a morning person herself, usually our mornings mesh pretty well.
But every now and then my daughter senses something, and she takes advantage.
Last night I was awake until at least 1 am. For some reason I was wide awake, so it took a while for me to pass out…and precisely four hours later, at 5 am, there came a “bang, bang, bang” on my daughter’s door. She didn’t need to go potty, and she didn’t want a drink. She wanted to get up and go downstairs to play. I managed to convince her that she couldn’t get up yet because it was still dark, and back into bed she went. I returned to my own bed to try to get some more sleep, but instead I tossed and turned…until 6 am, when my daughter began pounding on the door again to inform me that the sun was now up and thus it was time to get up. I could scarcely argue with her, since I’d just explained to her that dark means bedtime.
Okay, so perhaps this isn’t exactly a fact about kids, but I’d be willing to bet that most parents out there would agree with me. Kids just seem to have this power, this sixth sense if you will, that tells them when the best opportunity to screw over their parents is. And so the first night in ages that I couldn’t fall asleep at a decent time also became the first night in ages that my daughter decided to get up at the crack of dawn.
Your kids will do this. They will do this on a regular basis. You will wonder how in the world they can know the exact right time to mess with you. You’ll wonder if they’re doing it on purpose, trying to see how far they can push you, to see if they can make you crack. It’s ingrained in them. It’s part of who they are. Get used to it, because it’s a bumpy ride filled with lots of jaw-clenching annoyance and fatigue.
Which, of course, makes the ride no less awesome and adorable.