I need a way to get the Boy-child to sleep sooner.
Once he lays down at night, his big brain starts a-working, and all the events of the day just run amok in there, and he worries and obsesses (just like me, I’m afraid), and even though his ‘bedtime’ is 9 p.m., he usually doesn’t fall asleep until 10 p.m. or later. I’ve quietly tried to put freshly folded laundry in his room at Midnight, and when I open the door, he’s awake, says “Momma, is that you?”, and I then have to calm whatever fear is eating at him before he can fall asleep.
The ‘tucking-in’ of the kids is my time. For a while, early on, I didn’t realize what a special thing this was, I just thought of it as another ‘mom-thing’ for me to do. Then I realized that the kids consider this ‘Confessional Time’, and we talk and talk and talk about, well, whatever is on their minds. The Girl-child always wants me lie down next to her, under the covers, and rub her hair and back. Which I gladly do, unless I’m really tired and can’t be trusted to NOT fall asleep, in which case we talk, I rub for a minute, and then I leave, promising to check on her after I tuck her brudder in.
The Boy-child is older, has more going on, more thoughtful, more concerned. As soon as his bedroom light is off, he scoots over and makes a place for me to lie down beside him (on top of the covers) and then he unloads…the kids in his 3rd grade class, how he’s doing on his latest conquest of Gameboy Pokemon, who he played with (or didn’t) at recess, what happens if his loose tooth comes out while he’s sleeping, why he doesn’t like anyone to even mention the word ‘blood’, let alone show it on a tv show or something. I’m pretty frank with him. I tell him things that happened to me in 3rd grade, to let him know he’s not alone in thinking the way he does. I also tell him that 3rd grade, in the context of his entire life, is just a blip, and those little worries he has will eventually go away, so he shouldn’t make a big deal of them. We do the ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, really, how bad is this thing you’re worried about?’ That seems to help.
Sometimes I spray a lavender linen spray in his bedroom, and that calms him for a minute or two. Sometimes I rub his back. Sometimes we just lie there, listening to the crickets, the branches of the maple tree brushing against his window, the whoosh of the furnace fan, the cat mreowing outside his door, waiting for her own little time alone with me.
It’s so peaceful in there, I almost hate to leave.
But the sleep thing is a problem. He told me last night, “About 10 o’clock every day at school, I just feel SO tired. Do you think I need more rest?”
So. What say you? Do I try warm milk? Should I get one of those ‘sound’ machines that plays ocean sounds, rainfall, etc.? Should I lace his dinner with Robitussin? A nice massage? What?
Come to think of it, all those things might be the answer to MY insomnia….