Sleeping In With Kids: A Fools Errand

My wife and I decide to rotate on who pulls the early shift with the kids on the weekends. The goal is to let each other catch up on some much-needed sleep.

It never works out this way, and this weekend is no different. It always plays out the same…

I roll over to get the time on my phone, it says number 6. Number 6 is what my son calls 6 am and it is his routine wake up time. He climbs into our bed, between us, and my wife hands him her iPhone.

He snatches the phone with such force that he just grazes my nose with his elbow. After a half-hearted apology, he navigates to the YouTube Kids app. He locates his favorite videos. His favorite videos have creepy adult males in their mid to late twenties talking about their mint unopened collections.

As he starts to grow bored listening to sad collector monologues he begins talking to himself. This is his favorite attention-getting tool. This does not work given our state of exhaustion. So he revises his tactics.

His moves from talking to himself to making lip-smacking sounds. This provides greater irritation for me and my wife. We ask him to stop a few times and he obliges, but we are far from done.

With all other tactics failing he starts into his MMA training. Turning himself perpendicular to his mom and proceeds to kick her in the lower spine. This does the trick, she is awake.

She leaves the room with my son at 7 am. At around 7:30 am I wake up to a blood-curdling scream. It sounds like it is originating from the guest bathroom just across from our room.

I later find out that this was my son. He is in time out for the third time this morning. The third time in 30 minutes. How is this possible?

After 5 minutes the screaming subsides punctuated by a sumo door slam. I think, “Great this is for sure going to land him back in time out.” I wrap the pillow around my ears and prepare for the worst. Nothing comes, my wife must have missed it.

I roll over and close my eyes… for 10 minutes

I am once again startled awake. This time it is to what sounds like Matchbox cars hurled into a Chinese gong. But wait, we don’t own a gong. It then hits me, they are making dents in the new decorative brass bowl. Good, good.

This is not the only noise I hear. Through the loud banging, I can make out what sounds like a grunting boar. I know that grunt, it is my daughter. She is no doubt pulling on my son, trying to strong arm him into sharing his precious cars.

This battle goes on for say 3 minutes until my wife intervenes. I was wondering what was taking so long. Was she napping on the couch? I would be. The outcome of this tussle is more time out for my son… he is up to a four count at this point.

CUT TO: 5 more minutes of screaming.

I look at the clock, it is approaching 9 am.  Disgruntled, I roll over, close my eyes tight and pretend to sleep for another 30 minutes. It’s not happening.

I pop up and pound my feet on the floor. But, this is not a full force floor pound. I dare not do this for fear of sending my tired wife over the edge. I make my way to the bedroom door and fling it open, “Daddy, you’re awake!” Yes, I am now.

I have reached the conclusion that trying to sleep in with kids is an illusion. You don’t get to sleep in, you just get alone time. Doors and walls don’t drown out kids screams, they always get through.

Get up and get to it. You are only prolonging the inevitable.



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