Bedtime at our house has always been a chore. I have two little girls who are, more often than not, co-sleepers. I love the cuddles and snuggles that come with having your child in your bed next to you. Of course, now that they are respectively seven and four, the once adorable cuddles and snuggles are escalating into flailing arms and kicking feet, usually to my torso or face. Ouch!
We put the girls in their own room at night but some time between bedtime and dawn, one or both always finds their way into our bedroom. This almost always ends with either us pulling them into our bed with us or one of us walking half-asleep back to their room, snuggling in and staying for the duration. It's not a bad deal but some times the kung fu fighting antics makes it a bit difficult to get any quality sleep for the adults. Apparently, they lose no sleep over the fact that they are sleep Kung Fu Masters.
The girls know that they are at an age now where we would prefer that they stay in bed and fall back to sleep, preferably on their own. After all, waking themselves completely up and then proceeding to wake us up provides for a not so restful sleep for any of us.
One night, my four year old ran from her room and jumped in our bed. Literally, jumped completely over me and landed between the Big Guy and I. It startled me and woke me from a dead sleep. She was crying. I asked what was wrong and her answer was , "Mommy, there were lemurs dancing around my room and jumping on my bed. They came from under my bed. I can't sleep in there any more!!!!" So much for letting a four year old watch Madagascar.
She was very serious. I cuddled her and reassured her that there were no lemurs dancing around her room. There were no lemurs jumping on her bed. There most certainly were not any lemurs living under her bed. But, I told her just to be sure that I would spray under her bed with "Lemur spray" in the morning. She was sufficiently satisfied,cuddled into me and fell back to sleep.
You know? Lemur spray. It looks like Febreeze but it has a lemur skull and crossbones on the label and reads "Kills Lemurs dead!" No? You don't have this at your house? We also have Chicken spray, creepy doll spray and boogie man spray. Are you sure you don't keep some in your laundry room for just such occasions?
The next morning, I sprayed that bedroom down like Father Michael McFlannigan; blessing every nook and cranny while exorcising all rogue dancing lemurs, for good measure. I prayed and blessed and then repeated the entire process until my four year old was sufficiently satisfied that her room was lemur free.
There's got to be an easier way to get my girls to go to sleep, stay asleep and prevent scary dreams. What do you do to alleviate the stress of scary dreams? How do you soothe your child's irrational fears in the middle of the night? What are your top bedtime tips?
The Pajanimals, available only on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, features four fuzzy friends who wind down for bedtime in a cozy and reassuring way. The show helps you tackle common bedtime issues like getting out of bed, bad dreams and scary monsters. Check out Sprout’s bedtime tips! Also, by replying below four of my lucky readers will win a prize package - including a Pajanimals DVD and The Sleepeasy Solution book, proven by Hollywood’s celebrity parents and written by the sleep experts at Sleepy Planet.
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