Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kids and the Sandman

This month I've been chronicling my efforts to infuse more outward joy into my day. This outward joy is not to be confused with my inward joy, which comes from the knowledge and assurance of my salvation in Christ, and from my relationship with Christ. That joy floods me whenever my favorite praise songs come on, and is powerful evidence of my spiritual transformation.

I wrote of my made-up joy songs; I would start singing whenever there was an incident threatening to rob me of joy, such as a major spill or a major behavior issue. Recently, Joy's post about her household triggers made me realize that I need to identify my own "triggers", so that I can pray through them, or avoid them altogether.

My joy-song method became counter-productive around here; they began causing the children to go into hyperactive, loud frenzies, from which they had trouble "coming down". One of the problems with having hyperactive kids is that when things get really happy or loosey goosey, you spend the next hour trying to get the household back down to earth, which usually involves one or more of them receiving consequences for not controlling themselves. While Daniel appears to be the only "officially hyperactive" one, Emily and Anna are close seconds. Any child between two and three will experience their highest lifetime activity level, according to the experts; so the jury is still out on Emily Rose's hyperactivity--time will tell more.

Anna is about the most wiggly baby you'll find; at six months, she is already crawling two steps or paces. And it takes two adults to bath her! You can't eat with her in your lap, due to her wiggling. Getting the food to your mouth while still keeping her in your lap is impossible. It is VERY common for there to be more than one ADD/ADHD child in a family, and also common for one or both parents to be similarly affected. I secretly think it's Don and he secretly thinks it's me. LOL

But that's digressing. As I read more about the struggles of other (homeschooling) women in regards to keeping a tidy house, I am getting to a place of acceptance about untidiness. That's not to say I won't keep working on it though. It is less of a trigger--although sticky, muddy floors will probably always get to me, and I'll probably continue to be on my hands and knees with wet paper towels 5 - 10 times a day.

One huge trigger that has followed me from the day I became a mom, is my preoccupation with my children's sleep patterns. Right now, Emily is still getting out of her crib before bedtime and before her nap, leading to less overall sleep. No, she isn't particularly cranky--something that the experts point out as a sign of too little sleep. And no, she isn't any MORE hyper than before--another sign of too little sleep. Yet she is getting less than the recommended sleep for her age, and less than she appeared to need even a month ago. We've been consistent in how we've dealt with it, but it continues. Could be the light coming into the room earlier than before, but there is little I can do about that. She has vertical blinds, which keep it pretty dark regardless.

Daniel is currently very excited about the fireflies, and rightly so. The trouble we have every year, from mid-June until the end of July, is that they light up around 9 p.m., and Daniel functions best when he is asleep by 8:30 p.m. We compromise and allow him to catch them every few nights, for fifteen minutes, after he has had his bath and his teeth brushed and his story time is done, leaving only prayer time and tuck in--which still puts him asleep at about 9:40 p.m. He's too excited to sleep before that, apparently from watching the flies light up his bedside. And what's the fun of catching them if one can't watch them do their lantern magic? I get all that. This is the stuff of which memories are made; we'd best not interfere too much.

The boys' sleep (and mine, Don's and Anna's) is also affected right now because when Emily gets out of her crib in the morning, she goes into the boys room and gets into bed with Daniel for a nice cuddle, (just precious--I agree) waking both boys, if they weren't already awake. She used to wake up around 8 or 8:30, but now it's between 6:30 and 7:00, meaning she should be asleep by 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. the night before. She's averaging 9:00 p.m., due to her continually getting out of her crib.

Anna's sleep is always affected when she has a cold, as she does now. The last few nights she has been up every hour or so. The mucous is so loose that the bulb suction does her no good; it only sends her into screaming fits.

All this to say that never-ending sleep issues is enough to drive me into a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad mood (or decade). This is likely to continue until Anna is nearly seven, so I definitely need to learn to disengage emotionally from sleep issues. After doing my part, I have to let it go. Instead, I stew, I pray, I research, I plot, I stress. And yet still, sleep issues continue to come up--different season, different issue--but there is always something.

And guess what? Vacation Bible School is coming up. It goes until 8:30 p.m., for five consecutive nights. Just shoot me!

And this post will now have to be labeled--to be continued. Anna Grace has been in here with me during her morning nap, from which she has awakened no less than three times! Time to channel the sandman once again.

Have a good day! I'll be busy over here trying to disengage emotionally from all the failed, my-nose-is-too-snotty baby naps.

And hanging on to this verse:

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

1 comment:

Sandi said...

We are up early here too and it challenges me. As soon as Issac's feet hit the ground he is running and bouncing....and in many ways defiant just because. This is about 6am.

When he is up to early he spirals out of control due to exhaustion and then he needs a nap...then goes to bed later...etc. I have had to let it go too and plan for the mornings. I will be sharing some of that in my upcoming posts.

I also am learnng to let the house go in order to stay sane. It is so crazy how hung up I can get over the tidy house and yet don't see the effect it is having on my kids. DUH! I truly have settled in that area. About three times a year I delutter which helps me. The less I have the less I have to clean and move around :o)
And as a kid I don't remember if the house was tidy I remember my mom never being available.