The No-Sleep House

If there’s one thing that has defined our child-rearing experience, it’s sleep troubles. However, it has been so good for maybe 6 months, so I kind of thought we had it solved (by “we had it solved” I mean the kids grew up and grew out of it, not that we did anything in particular). Basically, we had a routine: the kids go to bed at about 7, and mostly fall asleep by 7:15, the kids get up at about 6 which is 30 minutes earlier than we allow them to actually get up, but manageable. Even when Ollie started skipping naps here and again, or if Evie was particularly tired from school, we would just try to get them in bed by 6:30 or so, so they could catch a little extra sleep.


It turns out that perhaps we were not so out of the woods as we would like to imagine. It turns out that the only reason the kids have been sleeping in to the glorious late hour of 6 a.m. is because it’s been *dark* until then for the last 6 months. It’s not dark at that time anymore, nor is it dark when they go to bed at 7 p.m. And it’s only going to get worse as we get into summer.

This is so, so obvious in retrospect that I’m cursing myself for a fool for even forgetting for a second that our 6 a.m. “late” mornings would end as soon as it was light earlier. Evie in particular has *never* been able to sleep when it’s light out. And, of course, this is further complicated by the fact that the two of them are sharing a room; this means there are now TWO chances that the sun will wake somebody up, who will wake the other immediately on pure principle. It also doesn’t help that one or the other is perpetually sick, which means hacking, sneezing, and most importantly, waking up. Loudly.

Of course, our room shares a wall with their room, which means when they’re up, we’re up. I lay and listen to them talking, or singing, or fighting, or coughing and just wish they’d be quiet for 15 more minutes. If they can’t sleep, couldn’t they at least just lie there, or play quietly, or look at books or something? But on the other hand, isn’t that why we put the two of them in the same room? It’s not like we can say, “Play together, but do not exceed this decibel level until the specified time.”

There’s nothing we can do about the sun. We have a blackout shade, and a good thing too, since that’s what allows us to get to 5:30 or so. They’re simply not getting enough sleep, and neither are we, which means everybody has raw nerves and zero patience.

Will this never be over?

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