Off Kilter

When Mimi was a little girl, I had to go through the next day’s plan with her before she could go to sleep every night.  The next morning, she needed to go over the day’s happenings one more time…just to make sure it hadn’t changed.  Routine and structure were essential to her well being.  Over the years, her need to know every detail has lessened.  We still have a quick run down over our plans for the day, including any changes from the routine.  (Mostly so I know where my kids will be)

During school breaks we lose our routines. It gets even worse when the adults are taking time off as well.   Our entire family foolishly reverts back to what we call “Summer Hours”.  We instantly become night owls..staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping in way too late.  Strange perhaps…but it just seems right to us.  The only problem with our Summer Hours is that there is always an end to our breaks and we have to once again live in the real world.

Tuesday was the first day back to school.  It was a hard morning for us. Naturally, nobody had been able to get to sleep in a timely manner the night before…our internal clocks were all off.  It was a sleepy, cranky bunch trudging out the door.  Somehow, we all managed to get thorough the day somewhat coherently. 

One would think after such an early start we would all be ready for bed as soon as the sun went down.  One would be wrong.  We all seemed to wake up as the sun went down.  (Hmmm…staying awake at night…thriving in the grey overcast Seattle skies…hmmm..I can’t help but wonder if we’ve been turned into vampires and don’t even know it…)

All of these late nights and early mornings seem to finally be taking their toll.  My girls have been a bit…um…shall we say…grumpy? (Not me though…I’m never grumpy) It’s been getting harder and harder to get up in the morning, yet we don’t seem to be able to go to bed earlier.  It all came to a head this afternoon.  First Mimi fell sound asleep.  I couldn’t wake her up for more than a few seconds.  She was completely sound asleep.   KT lasted a few hours longer, but she conked out in the middle of a conversation. 

I’m counting on this second week of school to get us all back into a routine.  Things just don’t flow properly and are off kilter when we are sleep deprived.  (When I told the girls I wanted them to start going to bed at 7:30 again, they both looked at me in stunned amazement…then they started laughing at me. Dang disrespectful kids)

Wish us luck…

Edit to add: as I was writing this around 1:30 AM I got an email from my aunt in Michigan.  Two minutes later I got one from my cousin in CA…I think it must run in the family…

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7 Responses to Off Kilter

  1. This happens to us as well–though we do get back in the swing fairly quickly.

    When my youngest was small she had a need to know how we were going to get places–step-by-step directions, including freeways. It was very strange.

  2. Our kids need the stability and security of a routine … but so do we! Hope your routine gets back to “normal” soon.

  3. Brenda says:

    I’ll come over clanging my brass bell if you’d like!

  4. Brandt! says:

    As much as I love school breaks .. I love going back to school as well. My son likes routine, and my girl doesn’t .. I have to have it. During the summer I can’t keep up with their late night stay ups .. I’m an early riser, and I love climbing into bed under those covers!! Five more months until school is out for the summer!

  5. Pamela says:

    makes me glad I don’t have kids going back to school after break. I’d forgotten that whole scenario!

  6. Hilary says:

    When my cousin’s daughter was little she needed to make sure that her morning started off with her vitamin pill (a tasty Flintstone vitamin). She obsessed about it and insisted that it be on kitchen table so that she could get it first thing in the morning. She’d call her mother back into the room several times during the falling asleep process to seek reassurance that her pill would be remembered and to know what colour or shape it was. Finally after hearing how frustrating this was for my cousin I asked her why a vitamin pill had to be taken in the morning. Why not give it to her just before brushing her teeth at night? It was a forehead slapping moment. The routine changed and the kidlet never asked about it again. Of course she’d find other sleep delay tactics. I didn’t solve the problem, only the topic. I guess putting the next day in order was a similar need for reassurance.

  7. Brenda says:

    Whew, I have been in the hospital for a while and neglecting my blog and blog friends. Since I am now home bound, decided to check up on my old blog friends…glad I found your new site! Looks way cool!

    Peace