I’m awake before my kids this morning, no small feat, and this funny thing is happening: I’m looking at the weather and listening to news. I’m showered, dressed, and my bed is made.
As Oliver get’s older (the youngest, 3 1/2) we have this vision of what our house will eventually look like with sleepy-eyed, slept-in zombies roaming around past 8 am. They might even sleep til 9!
When Jessica was a baby I read the book Baby Wise and decided that sleep training my 6 week old was the most fantastic idea in the entire world. I was tired, you see. Jessica was compliant and slept through the night pretty quickly. Problem is I trained myself to stop queuing in to her cries.
But part of the book was deciding when YOU wanted to wake up. When do you want your day to start? And then set all of your internal clocks, most importantly the babies, to this schedule.
I decided a 12 hour schedule from 7am to 7pm was lovely. I was tired, but also hopeful that this new gig as Mom would automatically turn me into a bright-eyed early riser.
I really like to sleep so this is probably flawed, hormonal thinking at it’s best. But it’s been our schedule, like clock-work, for over seven years with her.
Oliver came around and I refused to sleep train him, but I also refused to put him down or not pay attention to his cries. And even if we did try, unsuccessfully, to sleep train him after he weened – it never mattered.
That kid would wake up with the sun, period.
So, terrible parenting book aside (possibly a moot point), Jessica has always been a scheduler. A sleeper, a clock watcher. She likes the rhythm of a day, she needs.to.know what’s next. She functions about as well as a puddle when spontaneity reigns. Surprises make her anxious, almost to the point of not wanting them. You can’t mention plans of weeks in advance to her unless you want to rehash every single detail of those plans with her, every day, until they arrive.
Oliver? Is a 50 year old farmer in a 3 year old’s body. Up Up Up! Work to do! Things to fix! Things to break! Things to climb! Food to eat! Animals to hunt! Guns to build! Trains to ride! Dirt to shovel! Oliver happens to fit inside of our schedule just fine, but he didn’t really get a vote. We bend our schedule to his needs (which there is never a blueprint for) and we protect Jessica’s need for a rhythm by being the buffer between Day Time and the world.
So I woke up before them this morning … just as the tide might be turning. Where I’m no longer an exhausted mother of infants, toddlers or trainees. Just when they might start sleeping in, I’m waking up.