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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 22 August 2011
It has almost one week since I last blogged ~ the longest break I have taken in a year, I believe!
We enjoyed a visit with family and a family reunion on our family's farm of several generations which is up for sale.. a bittersweet event. made sadder by the fact that I took pictures all day long without the memory card in the camera.
And now we're back, knee deep in silk and sewing, back-to-school and Rowan's 6th birthday party coming up this weekend. Whew!

While away, we experienced another milestone~ the ones we have been marking in a series of posts celebrating the 'milestones we never knew were milestones'.  You know, the ones that don't show up on any developmental chart but which we still take as evidence of our children moving forward into new lifes stages.

This week marked the Staying Up Too Late Reading a Good Book milestone.

On Saturday night, following a late evening at a festival (food,midway, music, fun!), I put Rowan to bed and tucked up with a bit of knitting and a movie~ enjoying the first evening to myself I have had in a LONG time (which didn't involve making things for BTRT).

Rowan has never been able to initiate sleep and we use melatonin to get her over that hump.
(any readers with experience with delayed sleep phase or sleep initiation insomnia, I would love to hear from you!)
Once the 'sleep juice' is administered she usually has about 20 minutes before drifting off to sleep.

Expecting this to happen, I left her sitting up in bed with a stack of 17 (she counted) books, all from a series of young reader chapter books several levels above her ability (borrowed from our host's daughter's room). I figured she would bore quickly and the late hour + melatonin would kick in.

More than an hour later, she came upstairs toting book #7 from the series, wide awake and complaining of a rumbly tummy.  She was flipping through each book looking for familiar words and practicing reading 'in her head', stopping to dwell on the few illustrations and their read-able captions.

Somehow she had beat the sleep juice and met a milestone every avid reader knows well.

The one we have all passed ourselves as we pulled open blinds to catch the last light of a summer evening when we were supposed to be sleeping, or hid a flashlight under the pillow, or snuck out of the shared room to curl up under a dim lamp in a quiet corner, or looked at the clock as hours ticked by and we read on into the night...The one that left us bleary eyed in the morning, but contently drifting in the haze of a good story.

I was smiling as I fixed her a snack, re-juiced her and sent her back to bed, 'sternly' telling her she could only read one more book before going to sleep.
And then I switched off my movie, put away my knitting and opened a book.
And read much too late into the night.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share our experience with melatonin. Our 4yo takes liquid drops (fast acting) and a time sustained capsule that we open and sprinkle in applesauce. It works much better if we give it at the beginning of the bedtime routine, that way they get sleepy in a more natural pattern. Doing it that way has helped bedtime tremendously! ( he also gets passionflower, and a valerian complex with our per's blessing-he has extreme sleep issues!)

Unknown said...

On our proper routine nights it is done first LOL We use liquid as getting to sleep is the issue (not staying~ which I assume is why you add the time release?)~ but we do need to be more vigilant with timing~ summer has caused slipping. Do they expect your child to be on long term?

Marie said...

If you have a true night owl on your hands, then you can a couple of things. You can accept it and let her be. If not, you can use light to adjust her circadian rhythm, but then you have to stick with it. I am a natural night owl whose normal bedtime would be around 3-4am if left to my own devices. I took part in a sleep study at NIH years ago and we used light successfully to shift my sleep cycle. Basically what I did was use very bright light box in the morning for about 2 hours. I would sit in front of it while eating breakfast, reading the newspaper etc and occasionally glance at it, but not look at it otherwise. Then late afternoon, I wore wrap-around sunglasses and kept light in the house to a minimum. In 2 weeks, I was waking up normally early in the morning, and falling asleep at a decent hour at night. However, if I slipped and stopped using it, I fell right back to my old ways. Now that I've gotten much older, I don't have as hard a time controlling my sleep cycle as long as I don't stay up too late too many nights in a row. Then I'm stuck. Also, the worst time for me is spring when the clock gets set forward. It takes me forever to adjust. My daughter is also a night owl, and since we homeschool, I just don't worry about it!

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