There are a lot of things in life that can cause me to have less-than-perfect sleep at night.
Among them are: work issues, life issues, finances, where the heck my remote is, the final Seinfeld episode, awful stories in the news that I have consumed too late in the evening, and, of course, an upset, crying or otherwise unhappy daughter.
Lately, that final one has been the culprit.
Like many things Addy’s done – walking, talking, talking back – I cannot remember when this stuff started. But this one is definitely affecting my mental well being. Well, further affecting it, I suppose.
Bedtime used to be in the 8 p.m. range. Then it got closer to 9. And for that, I take full blame.
Many moons ago, I was equating “it’s dark outside” to “it’s time for bed.” I guess I didn’t factor in that pesky summer solstice.
As the days grew longer, Addy stayed up later.
Then, she had a change in scenery to downtown Lee’s Summit.
So, yes, I’ve thrown her world into a tizzy.
Even as the days are getting shorter and we throttle toward autumn, Addy is having more and more trouble with bedtime and actually, you know, staying in bed.
Any number of factors could be to blame: it’s too dark in her room, it’s too quiet, it’s too warm (or cold when I crank the air down) or the choo-choo has awoken her.
It simply breaks my heart when Addy cries in the middle of the night. Or even when she doesn’t want me to leave her room and gets that lip going, tear running down her cheek. I’m such a pushover. I used to stand firm on anything to do with her bedtime or the slippery-slope of sleeping in my bed.
Now, as I open her door at 2:15 a.m., I find her with Hello Kitty pillow, night-night blanket in hand, ready to dart to my room.
Friends have told me their strategy of never allowing their little ones in bed, or even sleeping next to the bed in a sleeping bag.
I keep thinking I am going to pick my battles better with her. Maybe compromise on this and then stand strong on other things. But that comes and goes.
Of course, my lack of sleep will start to dictate my mood sooner rather than later.
And, maybe, this is just a phase.
One of many, many we will deal with over the years. And perhaps I will see the sleeping situation as largely uncomplicated compared to what may be ahead.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.