Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Night of a Single Time-Out and an Early Bed-Time

So Big and Eight delivered a one-two punch to us over the course of last couple of nights.

As you know, we broke down and got Eight a Kit American Girl Doll for her birthday.

As an aside, I have turned into a big fan of the whole thing (as opposed to my earlier entry). Last summer, after a bout of some sassy 'tween lingo sprouting from then-Seven's mouth, we cut out most television, but particularly those shows that portray sarcasm, put downs and other such behavior as 'funny' (particularly Hanna Montana and the Suite Life). Since then and coupled with Eight asking for and getting a doll with all of her (paperback) accoutrements, we feel like we've staved off teen hood for at least a bit, despite popular and media pressures for kids to grow up a bit faster.

We did not, however, anticipate the short-term problems that the gift might employ on our little nuclear structure.

Despite being one of those babies that slept through the night at four months, Eight, over the past three years or so, has worsened her sleeping habits. We're not sure if she is simply a morning person living in a land of night-owls or if she is just a light sleeper, or what, but she generally wakes up in the five o-clock hour. Now we've let go of the identification and simply consider her a nocturnal entity, but on the other-end of the day's rotation from ourselves, i.e. the morning.

We used to spend much energy trying to change this, or at least attempting to measure correlations with her wake up time: bed time, sugar input, allowance of television on weekend mornings, the effect of having to go to school, not having to go to school, sunlight, temperature, daylight savings time etc. etc. etc. I got so obsessive about it that I would freak out if we had people over that stayed past 9 p.m. in anticipation of what we lovingly have termed the "bezatch factor" that we would expect to deal with the next day.

Finally, and particularly after she moved into her own room on a different floor of the house in which her nocturnal antics could be enjoyed privately, that is without any externality on other members of the household (before moving downstairs, she would come into our room -- often when it was still dark -- flash on the lights, make herself comfortable on the chair next to my side, pick up a book, and end up gently tap-tap-tapping my bed as she rocked and read. . . At FIVE a.m.).

Anyway. Since getting Kit and her 'book set' (last friday), she has, we suspect begin waking in the FOUR o'clock hour to read (Eight reported today that she had finished the sixth and last book of the series. BioMom back-of-the-enveloped that since she and Eight had STARTED with the first chapter of book five the night before, and then calculated the time necessary to have finished that and the last book at some assumed rate of reading on behalf of Eight).

It's gonna be a rough night.

Overheard often at our house are the following two phrases:
"Please don't talk to us like that" and "Ugh! She must be exhausted."

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