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Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be…

July 30, 2006

…completely dependent on you for everything!

Goodness, the older Trevor gets, the more I realize just how many mistakes I made with him when he was younger. (I’m confident that I am making a whole different set of mistakes with Sophia, too… I am just blissfully ignorant of what they are at this early stage of her life.) My biggest mistake with Trevor was doing everything for him. There are basic life functions that he cannot/will not do for himself, even at the ripe old age of 12. Opening things with his bare hands is one. Apparently, so is falling asleep.

Three times this evening, Trevor came out to the den after bed time to announce that he was having trouble falling asleep. The first time, I asked him why and he said, “I don’t know.” Unlike him, I realized that if he couldn’t tell me what the problem was, I couldn’t fix it. So I thanked him for letting me know, encouraged him to be patient, and sent him back to bed.

The second time, he came stomping out to the kitchen to get a glass of water. I called him into the den and talked to him, explaining that if he didn’t know what the problem was, then the only thing that would fix it was a magic wand which, sadly, I lack. I told him a few tricks that I use to fall asleep when my mind seems to be racing, and sent him back to bed again.

The third time, I was at the end of my rope. Did he want me to knock him unconscious? Drug him? For crying out loud, there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I asked him a bunch of questions — are you too hot? too cold? uncomfortable in any way? Is the room too bright? too dark? Are you upset about anything? afraid of anything? Every question was met with a NO response. I knew he was tired — we’ve had a very active and exhausting weekend, with lots of outdoor activity in muggy 90+ degree heat. Plus he’s complained about being tired the last three days.

So the third time that I sent him back to his room, I walked back there with him. I was shocked to look at his clock and see that he had only had his lights out for an hour! That meant that he was getting up (on average) every twenty minutes to complain that he couldn’t sleep. I explained that most people take 15-20 minutes to fall asleep, and that sometimes it can even take longer, but that every time he got up and did something before getting back in bed, he had to start over. I told him to lay there for 30 minutes and if he was still awake at the end of that 30 minutes, he should come let me know.

The 30 minutes is up now, and he hasn’t come out here again, so I’m assuming that means he is now asleep. I wonder what adventure in parenting tomorrow will bring….

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