Bedtime Battles

My girls will not go to sleep.

And I’m about battled out about it.

Regardless of what time I actually bring them to their rooms, regardless of the following of routine, my children stay up chatting, giggling, reading, playing with stuffed animals — and, occasionally, arguing, wrestling, and crying. It turns out that melatonin doesn’t really work unless the kids chill after immediately taking it. Taking some, then playing for another 30 minutes — no effect.

I’ve tried getting them to bed around 8 p.m. (always challenging anyway). The usual time I shoot for is 8:30. I’ve even tried pushing it later to 9 p.m. because I know they aren’t going to sleep anyway.

I really flipped out on them Tuesday night because I was exhausted. I got home from soccer and wanted to clock out of being a mommy. However, there was homework to supervise and baths to give and everyone was hungry for a night time treat. At 9:30, the girls had a giant fight in their room, and I went storming up the stairs and screamed like the proverbial fishwife at them.

Super relaxing environment for going to sleep in.

Last night, I went up after the Penguins game, and they were organizing their nightstand drawers.

I mean, come on. I can’t get them to do that when I ask them to on a random Saturday afternoon. Why pick 10 p.m. at night on a Wednesday?

I don’t have any practical way of separating them at bedtime. We could take books and stuffed animals out of their room, but I’m not sure where we would put them in the meantime.

I am out of ideas, and ready to let them just put themselves to bed. As long as they will stay *quietly* in their room from 9 p.m. on, they can stay up as long as they like. (And as long as they don’t wake Michael or keep me up.) That’s not a real practical solution, but the nightly battle has worn me out. Pretty soon, school will be out, the nanny will be coming every day, and they can sleep the mornings away if they want.

Aside: Michael’s been giving me some grief at bedtime, but once he sees I mean business, he settles in for his book and lullaby, and he drops off like a stone. The activity in the evenings and the bath-book-bed routine works so well on toddlers!

What do you do when you don’t want to fight the battle anymore?