Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cruel and Unusual Rewards

Those of you who talk to me on a daily basis or who read this blog with any regularity have heard me lament my children's sleeping habits. But let me recap them for any newcomers.
  1. My (sweet, loving, precious) children seem to get by on very little sleep. Adam who just turned 1 goes to bed at 7, wakes at 5:45 and takes at most 1 hour of naps the whole day and is pretty much the happiest baby ever.
  2. They arise early. . . very early. (6:30 am is sleeping in)
  3. No matter what time we put them to bed, they arise early. So we try for early. The goal is always to be in bed and reading by 7:30, with lights out by 8:00, but often we don't get the lights out until 8:30.
  4. Only Adam and Catherine are sleeping through the night. Julianne wakes up and comes down into our room at least once a night (sometimes twice) and Madelyn does too. (Madelyn is sneakier -- she usually manages to get in our bed without Trent or I even noticing. Julianne just stands silently next to me until I open my eyes-- it's always a little startling to see her face inches from mine in the total darkness.)
  5. I have tried everything I can think of to help them sleep through the night. Bribery (50 cents each day (Catherine is now independently wealthy). Ice cream for breakfast. Threats. You name it. Nothing I can think of seems to motivate them to want to sleep through the night. Yesterday at the park, I was just discussing this with my friend Kara who is dealing with the same issues with one of her children and I said, "When I find something that motivates my kids, I will definately let you know." (Little did I know that I was about to discover a radically new method!)

Another thing I have mentioned on the blog recently is my return to early morning jogging. I have been jogging with Amy at 5:15 am. I have told her on repeated occasions that perhaps the thing I like best about jogging is that it is the ONLY thing I really do without my kids. In the past few weeks Julianne has started asking to go jogging with me. I immediately turn her down. She asks again. I refuse. She asks again. I refuse. . . and on and on. Finally last night, she asked again and I said, "Julianne, you can't even sleep through the night. I am not about to let you run with me in the morning unless you can get a good nights sleep. (I am figuring 7 years of bad sleeping is not about to be overturned in 1 night for the opportunity to go jogging at 5 am). I additionally added the caveat, "and 1 night is not enough. You will need to sleep through the night 3 nights in a row, before we can even consider this." She objected (as usual) and began her negotiations and 30 minutes later we had decided that if she could sleep through the night 2 nights in a row, she could try jogging in the morning with me ONLY if she could get up and get ready all on her own. She agreed and went to bed.

Imagine my surprise when at 5:30 this morning (Amy and I were running at 5:45 due to her husband's later schedule this morning) Catherine walked into my room fully dressed in "running clothes" with her hair in a ponytail all ready to go. She had heard all the negotiating last night and obviously felt that running was the "desirable" thing to do. Could I tell her NO??? Of course not, and so she and I headed out to meet Amy. Let's just say Amy found it to be quite entertaining. We started going and Catherine lasted a little over a mile before she confessed that her legs hurt and she was getting a bit sweaty. We walked her back home. She did not want to go in. She started crying as she walked in the house and Amy and I went on to finish the remaining 2 miles. When I got home, Catherine was still a little teary but with a newfound determination to run further the next day and then the next until she could last the whole time. Julianne was a little teary because she had not gotten to go jogging, but with a newfound determination to sleep through tonight (her 2nd day in a row) so she can go jogging with me, Amy, and Catherine.

Can you believe it????????????????????????????

I am still truly dumbfounded and stunned. This -- running at 5 in the morning -- is what makes my kids want to sleep through the night?? And I had not thought of it before?????? What planet are my children from?????

Just since I know you are all curious, last night, Madelyn still woke up and got in our bed and so there was no icecream for breakfast. . . but on the way home from riding our bikes to school Madelyn informed me that she was going to stay on her bed for the next 2 nights so that she can go running with me too!

AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sometimes you just gotta scream. I have created a Monster! Actually 3 of them!!!!!!


Carrie said...

I am pretty sure you couldn't pay me enough to go running at 5 am. Though I have done it before, those kids are crazy, what will they think of next. It just makes me want to sleep through the night too!!!

rangersRus said...

That is hilarious!! They won't sleep through the night for a treat - but they will for some hard, sweating exercise- (they just want to be like mom):) Very cute!!

I wonder if you told them - that if they got to sleep in their own beds every week day- then you could have a "slumber" party in your room on Friday night- with movie/popcorn/whatever- and they could sleep with you and Trent:)

Have fun running tomorrow!!

Jamie said...

The Friday slumber party is a great idea -- too bad I came up with the running one first -- maybe the running will wear off soon and then I can try this one!

My biggest fear now is that the running will work too well. They will be exhausted from running and therefore go to sleep early and sleep through the night out of sheer exhaustion.

Kathy said...

Sydney LOVES to go running with me too...but not quite that early. More like 6:30. She usually bikes along side me so she can make it the whole time.
I must say, some very unique children! :)
Unfortunately, the one time you have to yourself has come to an end!

Chris and Sally said...

It is still a complete shock to me that you run so early in the morning. I think I see where your daughters get their craziness from.