Vicious Cycle

Cameron got up at 3:30 this morning, and was not happy when Matt and I sent him back to bed.  Though he wasn’t nearly as unhappy as we were at being woken up at that time of the morning.  This isn’t the first time my son has gotten himself out of bed at the butt crack of dawn, and I’m quite certain it won’t be his last.

Matt is a night owl, and I am a morning person.  Brendan clearly takes after Matt.  He loves to stay up as late as we will possibly let him, and getting him out of bed in the morning takes a lot of time, effort, and patience.  Kaylee takes after me.  She doesn’t get up super early, but when you go to get her up she’s wide awake instantly and ready to get on with her day.  She is also pretty easy to put to bed because she’s usually very tired by the time we put her down for the night.

Cameron is neither of these things.  It’s almost like he’s both a night owl and a morning person at the same time, and that is a really bad combination.  It’s really hard to explain, but I’ll give it a try.  Most nights, Cameron fights his bedtime like crazy.  Swears he’s not tired and will find any excuse he can to get up and out of bed again.  In the 30-45 minutes between Cameron’s bedtime and Brendan’s bedtime he will get up an average of 5 separate times.  Then after 2-3 nights of this we will put him to bed at bedtime with no fight and he’ll fall asleep practically before we’re out the door.  He sleeps soundly until around 3:00 in the morning when he comes in wanting to get up for the day.  We say no, and send him back to bed.  I’m not sure how long he actually stays up before going back to sleep, but when I go to wake him up at 7, he becomes an absolute bear.  He’s tired and slow moving and everything you try to make him do takes 4 times as long as it should.  Then he’ll be tired and grumpy all day, go to bed again early and start the whole cycle over again.  He does this for 2-3 days until he’s so tired that he sleeps through the night and then we start over with the staying up late.  All told it takes about a week for him to get through a cycle, and there’s only about 1 day a week where he goes to bed on time and sleeps in.

It’s a vicious cycle that I don’t see an end to.  We could let him stay up a little later at night, but at 4 I don’t feel he should get to stay up as late as the 9 year old and Brendan is seriously not ready for a later bedtime yet.  He might think he is, but he’s hard enough to get up in the morning, a later bedtime would just make that even harder.  And truthfully I think if we kept Brendan up later Cameron would just stay awake longer as well and still not fix our problems.

So this morning was definately interesting.  Brendan didn’t want to get out of bed, until I reminded him that tomorrow is his birthday.  That got him moving quickly.  Cameron, of course, didn’t want to get up at all.  He spent the next 10 minutes arguing with me about having to get up.  Meanwhile Brendan had been to the bathroom and was starting to get dressed.  By the time Cameron finished in the bathroom Brendan was almost completely dressed and it was only a minute or so before he was ready to leave their bedroom.  This sent Cameron into a fit of tears because he didn’t want to get dressed alone.  After sitting in his room sobbing for about 5 more minutes as I argued with him to either come into Kaylee’s room or just get dressed, he brought just his shirt into Kaylee’s room and was still fully dressed in his pajamas.  I made him go find the rest of the clothes I’d laid out for him and he took so long at getting them that Kaylee was fully dressed as well.  This started another sobbing fit.

We moved out into the kitchen to have our breakfast.  Brendan picked our cartoon, and decided to have waffles for breakfast.  Cameron decided on waffles as well, while Kaylee wanted chocolate cereals (that’s cocoa puffs).  The boys still needed to decide on a waffle flavor (we keep all the main flavors of Eggo’s in the house–its just easier) and Cameron decided that chocolate sounded good, and after a moment more of thinking Brendand chose strawberry.  Well, once Bren had picked strawberry Cameron absolutely had to have that.  When I told him he’d already decided on a flavor and couldn’t change just to match Brendan he threw a third fit.  By this time he’d been up for exactly 30 minutes and I was very tired of hearing him bawl.  So in typical frustrated mom fashion I rolled my eyes and let him have the strawberry waffles.  This usually has the effect of setting Brendan off into a fit of his own, but thankfully he was more interested in talking about his birthday and didn’t take note of the waffle flavor fiasco.

By the time we left for school I was at my wits end.  Brendan has now been at school for an hour, and Cameron is not any better.  I’m already counting down the minutes until nap time…

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