Man, time change is a huge pain in the butt. Gabby spent all summer waking up around 6:45am. It was by far the latest she’d ever slept and it was such a luxury every morning! Then with her one-month-long cold/infection/molar teething extravaganza, it fell back to 6am. Ok, no problem, we can handle 6am… More time to get ready for work and school, we’re cool. And then there was the time change and BAM! 5am. Ugh!
One of the problems is that we would tell her sun = up and dark = sleep. But now it’s dark for so long, bedtime is after dark and wake up time is before sunrise so she’s lost all sense of when it’s ok to get up or not. I was able to foresee this problem and bought her a toddler clock that turns green with it’s ok to get up (i.e. when it’s past 6am). We’ve been telling her “remember, you have to stay in bed until the light turns green.”
Two problems with that:
1. She doesn’t care about no green light.
2. She wakes up early and plays with the clock so the time is all off and she never actually sees a green light. I think she’s lost faith that there even IS a green light on that clock. She must be thinking, “Green light, fairy tales! I ain’t no fool!”
Meanwhile, we’ve had some issues at bedtime too. A few months ago she started asking for things to delay bedtime. I would cater to her needs because I figured it was better for me to bring her a cup of water in bed instead of her getting up and more awake each time. But the list keep growing every night, asking for water 6 times in a row (and taking only a tiny tiny sip each time – so obviously not very thirsty). It was annoying to put her in bed and close the door, only for me to run back in there every 2 minutes with the next request. But more than anything, I got sick of her yelling at me. “MOM! I’M THIRSTY! MOOOOOM! MOOOOOOMMMYYYY! I’M THIRRRRRSTYYYYYY! MOOOOOOOM! MOM! MOM! MOMMYYYYYYY!”
So you know what I did? “Gabby, you’re a big girl, if you want water then get out of bed and go get it yourself.”
She’s too darn lazy to do it herself so she goes to sleep. Oh man, I should have done this ages ago! Actually I wouldn’t have trusted her alone in the bathroom or anywhere in the house before, but she’s getting big enough that I’m pretty sure she won’t kill herself if giving a little more freedom. So there ya go.
Back to the subject of our mornings, I decided to use our new-found “do it yourself” freedom once again. I told her “mommy and papa are sleeping until the light turns green. You can do whatever you want, but you have to stay in your room quietly and you have to leave us alone.”
It’s not like we actually DO sleep after she wakes up, turns on all the lights, and starts singing her ABCs, but it’s nice to lazy around in bed for 30 minutes while she does her own thing now. We still have to get up and check on her when she decides to venture out of her room and we can’t figure out what she’s doing. For example, this morning after she “had to go potty,” she had been in the bathroom for too long so I got up to check on her and found her sitting on the bathroom counter brushing her teeth. Seriously, why child, WHY?! And then she decided to play with her cardboard robot after I went back to bed… and a few minutes later she came into our room (giant cardboard in tow), turned on the lights, and said “robot is broken! See?! Leg fell off! Fix it, mom!” as she waved miscellaneous robot parts two inches from my light-blinded eyes like it’s some kind of life-or-death emergency. “Gabby, I’m sleeping. I’ll fix it later!”
“Oh ok, mom.” She grabbed the giant cardboard robot and its leg, and went out our bedroom door. Except she decided to also close the light and the door for us because that’s the nice thing to do after you’ve bothered your parents at 5am, and she needed a free hand to do that. It was a solid minute of Tetris skit hilarity, as she tried to find a way to hold the bulky robot and its leg with one arm and still fit in the door frame with all her pieces. I guess the chuckles coming from us didn’t convince her that we were really sleeping.