Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Night light

Caroline likes to stay up late. She’s not a morning person, and hates to wake up once sleeping, but falling asleep is hard for her. In the last few months, she’s tried to stretch her bedtime later and later. She’d stay awake playing in her room by the light of her star-shaped night light (star light she calls it), until she tired of her books and ran into our room to demand more milk, or for me to stay awake with her. We tried to be civil and explain it was bed time, we tried ignoring her, we tried time out, but mostly Caroline just got more riled up and stayed awake anyway. Finally, Will said - turn off the star light, it’s as bad as coffee. We did. She got mad at us and another week of mayhem and late nights ensued.

Then, last weekend in Germany, hanging out in a hotel room, I got C ready for sleep and turned out the light. I thought we’d both go to bed, since I knew the light would keep her up. Caroline started asking for star light, the room light, anything to see by. The dark was too much, falling so fast.

I told her I knew a trick, and if she wanted, she could try it too. I said - hold out your hand and start counting, by the time you get to five, you’ll be able to see your fingers. She counted. She saw her hand. We counted to five again and she could see the end of the bed, next she could see the door and the curtains on the other side of the room. She fell asleep a few minutes later. Now at night, before I sing her lullabies, I turn out the light and we watch our hands reappear. She doesn’t try to turn on her star light any more and tonight, she fell asleep at 9:00. Perhaps my nights will reappear too, I’ll wait and see.


tuckova said...

great idea! i wish i had a time machine so i could take advantage of this.

Karla said...

That's definitely a good trick. Also, I read somewhere that nightlights encourage nearsightedness (why, I cannot recall). I am not really sure this is why I'm so nearsighted, though. All that concentration on nearby objects like books and stamps is more likely to blame.