Monday, September 13, 2010

What If I Paid You To Sleep?

Sleep.  The Holy Grail, the one topic that EVERY parent has a story regarding, dilemma about or advice to give.  I really didn't get this prior to children.  I didn't understand the huge industry around sleep, different luxury beds, bedding, breathing devices, sound machines, eye covers, and the list goes on and on.  For me, sleep has always been super simple.  You find a quiet dark place, you lay down and bam you are asleep.  Stress was really the only thing that could ever interrupt my sleep.   Maybe a big thunderstorm or an even bigger scorpion in bed with me, but other than that I was confused by all the difficulty. 

And then I became a mom. 

When they are tiny you grow your mommy ears and can all of a sudden hear a pin drop in their room.  Coughing, labored breathing, tossing and turning; I can hear it all.  When they get a bit older you trust more that a cough and cold or a fever won't do any permanent damage so you sleep a little easier.  On the flip side, while you are learning new strategies to keep yourself asleep, you must also learn how to keep these new people asleep, also. 

I have reached the, what if I paid you to sleep strategy.  Which really isn't a viable option until they understand the value of a quarter.  Every night that they stay in bed all night, they receive a quarter.  Needless to say, in the middle of the night when a certain five year old boy wants his mommy a quarter isn't going to purchase his staying in bed.  There really isn't a price you can put on needing your mommy.  But we will continue this strategy for awhile.  The one thing I think it does do is reinforce the behavior you want.  The problem is that if the behavior you want never presents itself it is sure hard to reinforce. 

In the words of my mother-in-law, he won't go to kindergarten in diapers.  He also won't go to college waking up in the middle of the night and climbing into bed with me.  For that matter, I highly doubt he will go to high school or even middle school doing this.  However, will we make it to first grade, second grade, third grade or even fourth grade without nighttime interruptions?  I know that this too shall pass, but if anyone could give me a timeline on when it will pass; I would really appreciate it. 

I was called patient recently and almost laughed out loud at the complement.  But maybe it is true, maybe my family, Jac included; are teaching me patience.  Do you think if I can demonstrate patience the lesson could be over and we all could get some more sleep?


Anonymous said...

I found you through Technorati. I'm always looking for mommy blogs to read. Just wanted to say hi! :)

Heather said...

Definitely don't pray for patience. God has too well developed sense of humor for that. Funny though -- was just having this same conversation on FB with some old HS friends. Theirs had to do with counting though -- guess that is what you have to look forward to.