I noticed in parenting some of the most mundane everyday things become the difference between life and death... or more like sanity and insanity. In parenting you try to create a structure and a rhythm in doing things that's similar to a well oiled machine. But the littlest missteps can throw a wrench in the whole thing, causing the machine to come to a crashing halt. I would say the most important thing in keeping the machine going and the catastrophic derailments at bay is sleep.
So simple right? It's what every human does every night. You'd think if kids were tired, like normal human beings, they would sleep right? WRONG. My kids were never good sleepers. Joey is bouncing off the walls with energy all day with no nap. Then if we try to put him to sleep at 8:00 PM, he won't actually fall asleep till 9:30ish. Then as soon as the sun is up (around 6AM)... he's up. Unfortunately the sun is never late, and never sleeps in, so neither do we. Kaitlyn is the same way. Even nights when they go to sleep really late like 10PM, it does not equal extra sleep time in the morning at all. Both are bouncing out of their beds as soon as the first piercing rays of Hawaii sunshine hit their room.
This is all very strange to me because I love sleep. Literally the sun could be shining right on my face and I'll sleep like a baby. I can sleep on airplanes, floors, buses, just give me some uninterrupted time to myself and I'll gladly stretch out anywhere to catch some zzz's. So where do my kids get this boundless energy and strange synchronization to the sun?? I don't know, maybe dad.
Lately my kids haven't been sleeping well and it's been leading to some very entertaining meltdowns. For my son the only thing that tranquilizes the craziness is the very thing causing the meltdown, sleep! So to deal with our son's late afternoon crankiness we'll take him for a drive and that will be the only way to knock him out. Unfortunately gas in Hawaii is like $4.30 a gallon now, so that's been assigned to the desperate measures category. The thing is, when my kids have good sleep, they are heavenly. They are so fun to be around, laughter is never ending, the kisses are a flowing, and the cuteness is overwhelming... When they don't get enough sleep they are all those things, except the complete opposite! Here are some quick snap shots I took on one of our recent drives, on a day when both kids were in serious need of sleep:
Then it was her turn:
When my daughter doesn't get enough sleep, days at home are very interesting as every little thing sets her off. This really happened last week:
Only two things can appease her lack of sleep...
sleep and food.
This is why I don't go anywhere without a tangerine, some crackers, or some fruits snacks. They come in handy to tame the beast. The other day she only had 6 hours of sleep at night because it was humid. My daughter cannot stand humidity and heat, unfortunately we live in Hawaii in the MOST HUMID place on the entire island...so she decided to scream and roll around in her crib making my husband and I want to bang our heads against the wall... to knock out and be rendered unconscious, so as not to hear her shrieks... it was a rough night. Then the next morning we were at the beach! At one point she was screaming crying and shaking her fists at the sky, when I pulled out some slices of tangerines. Lo and behold she was fine!
This week she was really cranky after her nap, especially because it was super humid in her room. So while she was wailing and having a meltdown I placed her in her high chair and put tangerines in front of her... again works like a charm!
And.... just another day at the Daechoong Mama house. I've heard people say before "You love your kids through the words you speak and the schedule you keep." This is so true, but the very wise person who wrote this quote probably didn't have kids that hated humidity and all things related to sleep. I hate pithy sayings that underline my parenting inadequacies. Seriously though, aside from these quick snap shots, on a day to day basis parenting I would say is a lot of fun! The laughter and the joys of it all certainly outweighs the meltdowns and the fatigue. There's never a dull moment I'll say. Here is another pic from yesterday: