My sister and I met up with an old family friend a while back and she told us about what little night owls we used to be. My parents were out and about on visits most nights of the week and Alia and I were out alongside them. We’d be up until 11 or 12 some weeknights – read ‘school’ nights.
The family friend seemed quite impressed but I wasn’t. I remembered the late starts and the tired days for us. I had the worst time getting up in the mornings and I vowed that I would be more like the non-ethnic Australian parents when I had my own children. There would be bed time and structure.
With structure in mind, I suggested to Mersi’s dad that we have a family meeting. He seemed most amenable, mostly because he had thought that I was going to scold him about something.
The first item on the agenda – on which, the items were almost all mine on this occasion – was bed time for Mersi. So far I had been struggling to establish some kind of routine for her. She wakes every couple of hours until 7.30am when we get up and I have breakfast. We then go back to bed around 9.30am. She naps every couple of hours again and is finally solidly asleep by 11-12 at night. It sounds like a schedule but it’s a post hoc one more than anything. She decides and gets grizzly to let me know.
From last Friday I started a bed time routine. I put her to bed at nine and we read a book. So far we’ve covered Pinnochio, Swan Lake, The Three Little Pigs and a bit of Aesop’s fables, all in Greek, and we’ve also read a bit of Dumas’ the Black Tulip (Greek) and A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg – by the end of the reading she eats and then either falls asleep or gets a second wind and we walk. Either way, bedtime has crept up to 8pm and she has consistently fallen asleep around 10pm each night. So far, so good.
1. The first agenda item was for Bed time.
This has been set for 8.30: story, feeding, sleeping. If dad wants to come around and tell her a story he can do so between 8.30 to 9pm.
Let’s see how it goes.