5:36 AM

12 Jan

Vivian woke everyone up with a bang trying to play with a Xylophone at 5:36am today. My child, who has never gotten up early, aside from a few 6:30 days. My child who sleeps well, and always has. My child has suddenly decided that sleeping is for sissies.

We don’t even care if she’s up. “Get up and read” we tell her “But close your door and do it in the kitchen. Oh no, not Vivian. First she has to SLAM the light on in her room, waking her sister. Then she needs to jump off her bed, waking her grandfather. Then she runs to the kitchen, slamming on that light, waking US up. Sometimes this is followed by “Mommy, I want pancakes!”

To which I usually respond “Go back to bed or we’ll sell you”

This morning she started crying and sobbing when I asked her to go back to sleep. “I’m not TIRED!” she screamed, despite the tired induced hissy she was throwing and the bags under her eyes. “I want to RREEEAD!”

We compromised on the flashlight, with me asking that she lay down in the hopes that she would fall back to sleep. I reminded her to not shine it at her sister. Then I crawled back into bed.

Since I’m not high maintenance, I can get up 30 minutes before I need to catch the bus-I don’t do make up, no complicated clothes, no nothing really, so I sleep as much as I can. Vivian is putting a severe cramp in this. If it continues, and it’s something I need to adjust my sleeping patterns to, then so be it. But she’s not consistant. And if I’m honest, I know that I don’t WANT to get up at 5:30am ever again.

I just don’t get it. I ask her why she’s awake, and I get many answers, the popular ones being

  1. There’s a ghost in my room
  2. I’m hungry
  3. I’m not tired/I’ve slept and slept and slept

I’m not really falling for any of it. If she was scared, she’d be crying and yelling for us. (Besides, I don’t feel anything weird in her room anyway-other parts of the house, but not there) If she was hungry, she’d let us know. There is no possible way that she isn’t tired, not looking the way she looks.

I just don’t know what to make of it. We’re all too tired and cranky to figure it out. Should I move her bedtime to later in the night? She’s about 3.5, and she goes to bed appx 7:30, which after all the screwing around they do, is more likely 8:00. Ros is in the room with her, and she gets mad if Vivian doesn’t come to bed with her, so we’d keep her up as well.

This one is a new one for me. She doesn’t fight bedtime. It’s pitch black in her room, so it’s not a light issue. She’s just awake like an old man. And it’s driving me insane.

Has anyone else run into this one? Any advice?

18 Responses to “5:36 AM”

  1. Nat January 12, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    Beats me. I grew up with insomnia and never ‘really’ outgrew it.

    Maybe get a small TV upstairs where she can quietly watch cartoons in the kitchen while the rest of you sleep?

  2. Caitlin January 12, 2007 at 10:28 am #

    You could try walking around the block with her before supper time or rent a toddler/preschooler yoga dvd from the library to help her work off extra energy or settle down. Or she might have outgrown her nap, if she still takes one. We’ve had to try a lot of things to find a sleep routine that works for us.

    My niece is an early riser. My mother in law puts out a pre-measured bowl of cereal and milk to go with it, along with a cup of juice the night before. The milk and juice are low enough in the refrigerator that my niece could get it herself. My mother in law also has a quiet corner, which is basically a box of quiet kid activities (books, magazines, etch a sketch, magnadoodle,etc) next to her big comfy chair and a cuddly blanket. Maybe Vivian is old enough to try this?

  3. puddlejumper January 12, 2007 at 11:07 am #

    Be thankful she’s only awake at 5.30. My daughter (now 14) used to get “night terrors” which meant the entire house regularly got woken three or four times a night by her yelling and screaming. Thankfully she did eventually grow out of it.

    Maybe its just a phase. Children sleep more when they are having growth spurts (I read that somewhere sciency but can’t remember where). Maybe her body is taking a short break from growing and her sleep will re-adjust itself soon.

    She’s three and a half. Is she still having a nap during the day. I presume not but if she is I would be trying to discourage her.

    Perhaps it’s just the novelty of being up before everyone else. Again it’ll maybe settle down.

    If all else fails I sometimes try this…

    Close your eyes and click your heels together three times and repeat after me “they all grow out of this…they all grow out of this…they all grow out of this”

  4. puddlejumper January 12, 2007 at 11:08 am #

    And I’ve no idea why that posted twice. Please edit it for me Thordora otherwise I look like a mad lady.


  5. venessa January 12, 2007 at 11:12 am #

    I would second cutting out naps if she still takes one. I did that with A once she got big enough and replaced it with one hour of quiet reading time. And wear her out big time before dinner, like running relays outside or turning up some music and dancing. ‘Course it could just be a fluke. Maybe she won’t do this again tomorrow. If she was all wound up from a bad dream or something and couldn’t fall back asleep, than today might not reoccur.

  6. thordora January 12, 2007 at 11:19 am #

    The last few days before this it was around 6:30. Today I almost starting crying, since I HATE HATE HATE being up early.

    I think “novelty” might be some of it. She only takes a nap maybe once a week, and is running all day long around the house (it’s been FAR too cold to be out much this week).

    We might try the TV thing-leaving it so she can turn on the TV quietly and watch/doze in the morning. She won’t bug her grandfather too much…

    SOOOO glad I’m going to Nashville next week.

  7. ann adams January 12, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    Elcie wakes up every morning before five. I don’t know why but at least she’s very low maintenance. I think she likes having the living room to herself.

    I’m up at six because of school but at least once they’re out of here, it’s easier.

    The t.v. sounds like a good idea to me. I’m not sure that giving her a later bedtime would make any difference.

  8. karriew January 12, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    Later bedtimes have not made much of a difference here. Last night Max was up until 8:30 and woke up at 4 0 Freaking 7 am today.

    I’ve tried everything and nothing has worked longterm to extend his wake up time. I think he’s just an early bird and look forward to the day when he’s old enough just to wake up and do his own thing.

  9. Kimberly January 12, 2007 at 1:05 pm #

    Diva Girl has been a lifelong insomniac. If something wakes her at 2 am, she cannot just roll over and go back to sleep. It took me some pretty ugly early mornings to realize that she wasn’t just being a shit, that it truly wasn’t something she could control.

    So, that’s when I became a huge fan of 24 hour Treehouse. There’s no commercials, no shows that they shouldn’t be watching, and no having to rewind a video or press play on the dvd player again.

    I park DG on the couch with her blankie, a bowl of cheerios, and a cup of juice. I turn on Treehouse, adjust the volume, and go back bed.

    The mantra in our hose is “just because you are up, does not mean everyone else has to be.” Oh, and “‘the day does not change just because you haven’t had any sleep.” I’ve actually sent her to school on days when she got up at 4 am.

  10. thordora January 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Kim, I think that’s what we will be doing. There’s nothing she can get into that I need to worry about, and she’s pretty “mature” for her age. My Dad doesn’t give a rats ass so long as she isn’t thumping over his head, so we may need to resort to this. As much as I don’t want her watching more TV, I need sleep.

  11. venessa January 12, 2007 at 3:03 pm #

    Some kids just have thier own internal clocks. Bummer. I do NOT do mornings, so I totally empathize.

  12. reg927 January 12, 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    i could only suggest moving bedtime up a little, or if she takes a nap during the day, make it shorter or make her take one every other day?? that’s a tough one and unfortunately when most kids wake up they’re just up. i too can sympathize, my fiance’s daughter has downs syndrome and whether we put her to bed at 9 or 12 she is up at 630 ALWAYS.. it’s drives me CRAZY!!! but she has her schedule and that’s that. it stinks. i wish you luck hunny!

  13. Magdalena January 12, 2007 at 3:55 pm #

    Sleep begets sleep. I don’t know what the answer is; but I know what it isn’t. Don’t make her bedtime later or she will just wake up amazingly, horrifically earlier than she already has been.
    Do you have a TV in your room? If so, plop her on the floor and have her watch an hour or so of cartoons or a favorite show; maybe some food would help too. It’s fine that she wake up at an indecent hour herself, but that doesn’t mean everyone should suffer. I’d kick in some rewards for quiet behavior and no whining at that hour.
    Or, you could just run away from home and sleep in your car, something I often fantasize about.
    Me? I bribe the shit out of my 4 year old to still take a nap. The reality is, we both need it, even if he doesn’t think so. Otherwise I get to deal with the whackiest fucking freak- outs come 7:00pm or so and I truly want to just send him sailing.

  14. Southerncharm January 12, 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    Have fun in Nashville, I live right outside the city and go to school there. Lots to do, just have to be looking in the right place for it.

  15. peggykerroll January 12, 2007 at 5:58 pm #

    God, my kids are all night owls. I have to drag my five year old out of bed at 8 am and shake him to make it to school on time.

    I think, basically they need 12 hours of sleep at that age, anyway you slice it. And I agree with Magdalena: making her bedtime later will just make her more crabby and difficult–if not in the morning then later in the day when she runs out of steam.

    Set her up, put out a piece of fruit or granola bar for her to munch on when she gets up and a tv to doze to. Then cross your fingers and hope she grows out of it.

  16. jkdufair January 12, 2007 at 6:32 pm #

    I sure can’t offer much more than what’s already been said. I have two early birds that are usually up by about 6:30 or 7:00 (luckilly that slipped over the holidays due to some pretty late nights and hasn’t come back) and one that is a night owl like me and has to be chiseled out of her bed. Not sure which is worse.

    I do put Ian to bed at 8:30 and he’s 4. Usually it’s 9:00. I put Emma down between 7:00 and 8:00. Seems to work such that they rise right around 7:30.

    Good luck! I hope it’s temporary. And have a good trip to the states.

  17. liprap January 13, 2007 at 11:14 am #

    Right now, my guy has got a combination of not wanting to sleep by himself, in his own bed, AND getting up at odd times of the night. I’m just glad the doors have keyed deadbolt locks on them, otherwise we’d REALLY be in trouble…

  18. thordora January 13, 2007 at 11:18 am #

    A long lecture about the virtues of silence seemed to have helped. 7am I can live with.

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