Early. Too. If you read yesterday morning's post, you'll know I'm running at a slight sleep deficit. While yesterday afternoon went surprisingly well, it was to be another early a.m., with Kiddo rising at early 5ish and begging for 'someone to hold him', then chatting Joe up, twisting around, etc. At 6 he made it clear that he "wanted to go downstairs" again. I'd told Joe he could sleep in, so I took Kiddo down.
But I was feeling pretty grumpy about the whole thing. I got him a dish of dry cereal and raisins, and then gated him into his room and the hallway. He was happy, and I explained to him that I needed to rest and was going back upstairs. But two minutes after laying down, I got up again, grabbed a magazine by my bedside, and headed downstairs. Too many bad thoughts about choking hazards and other mischief warded away any further sleep.
I've been stumped by this early-to-rise thing for quite a while. I love my sleep. Love it to pieces. I do so much better with it. Parents of children this age really need their sleep. It helps us deal with the ups and downs of the day so much better; we can think clearly and more proactively. It seemed, though, that my son, through no real bad fault of his own, was continually stymieing the best thing for our relationship: a well-rested Mama.
So I'm trying a new solution today. Taking my own version of a time out; I went into the kitchen, and closed the door. Kiddo wanted me to come in, so I explained it simply "My body still wants to be resting, and I am feeling pretty grumpy because you didn't let me sleep. I'm tired, so I'm going to go have my tea and I'll come get you when I'm ready for some company."
How's it working so far? Well, I've had to help him in the bathroom, and I let him take a few toys off the shelves from the preschool area to work in his room. I've explained to him, without anger, that I need to have some time alone right now, until I don't feel grumpy any more, and I keep using the phrase "I'll come get you when I'm ready for some company." If I have a point to prove, it's only that Mama doesn't have to come down and turn on the fun machine just because he's up before the birds. Mama is a person who feels he's old enough to understand leaving people alone when they need to rest.
I told him that I'd come get him in 5 minutes. Overall, it's actually been about 30 minutes so far since he's been up. I'm not upset any more, anyways, and that's the bigger piece of it: taking the break I need, so our morning doesn't get off to a rough by being cross with him, which I think is pretty understandable for a tired parent to feel. When I tell him I'm ready for some company now, I'll be able to do it with a smile.