I read somewhere that a child’s circadian rhythm naturally follows the rising and setting of the sun. Simply put in Sam’s words, “Mommy, the sun has not gone down — it’s not time to sleep yet,” even if our clocks say that it is already 830 PM. It therefore follows that once the sun has risen at 730AM in the morning, then Sam somehow automatically wakes up. She is always the first one awake in the room and automatically becomes everyone’s alarm clock. “I’m all done sleeping!” She’ll announce in her perky morning voice. When that doesn’t work, then she’ll start to pull off the blankets that my husband and I use to bury ourselves under to try to sneak in a few more seconds of precious sleep.
I actually thought that once I had kids, my not-so-desirable nocturnal habits would shift to align with theirs. After all, you’re supposed to sleep when the child sleeps right? Isn’t that what they all say? (I have learned that the operative word is “SUPPOSE”)
When I think about it I don’t know how I became such a night owl. Even before coming to Chapel Hill, the exact opposite timezone of Manila, it was always easier for me to stay up late and wake up late than start my day early. So now with kids that wake up as the sun rises my days are actually a lot longer, and therefore, the time I sleep is a lot less. After all, the only time I can get anything done uninterrupted is when they go to bed at night, and I like to have that time to myself. Over the years I’ve learned to survive it; but there are days, like last week’s sniffles for instance, when I do have to collapse in bed and take my own set of naps.
Sometimes I declare that I will adjust and be a morning person. After four years of trying however, I am still stuck with the same late night routine. When I try to get up early I actually end up falling right back asleep, or I get incredibly drowsy in the afternoon that I have to slap myself awake. I’m now beginning to wonder if this will eventually rub off on the girls, since their bedtime is also already so much later than the rest of their peers (granted that it is a long bedtime routine to begin with). My husband always said that Sam was never a good sleeper to begin with. Even to this day, she has so many tricks up her sleeve to delay any kind of nap or early bedtime. I just find it ironic that children who need the most amount of sleep resist and put up so much of a fight, when really, if I were in their shoes, I would choose to sleep all day!
I feel though that as the years go by I will have to keep trying to adjust; the girls will eventually go to kindergarten and primary school, which I know for the most part, start at 730 or 8AM. I’m sure I will have to be awake to send them off (or take them myself). In the meantime, the blankets getting pulled off every morning should work as a jump start.
And maybe some nice hot coffee…