Thursday, October 04, 2001

Bedtime boon

Bedtime just got a half-hour earlier at our house, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I know, as the kids get older, bedtime should be getting later; but by a stroke of great good fortune, we’ve been able to go backward instead. The catalyst for the change was my daughter’s endless whining about taking a bath or shower at night, when she was sooooo tiiiiiiired, don’t you know. So we made a deal: She could get up half an hour earlier and bathe in the morning, but in return she’d have to go to bed a half an hour earlier at night. So eager is she to put off washing as long as possible that she readily agreed.

Tasting an extra half-hour of evening freedom, I told my son that because it was so hard to wake him up in the morning, he had to go to bed earlier, too. He whined a little, but not much, and voila! -- bedtime was 9 p.m.

It’s only a half-hour, but what a difference it makes. I can watch “The West Wing” now. I have time to read the paper or make lunches or surf the Web for a while before settling down for a 10 p.m. show. I can fall asleep on the couch so much earlier than usual. And we all get going a little earlier in the morning, too. If my daughter gets her shower done quickly, she can start practicing her trombone at just the time her brother should be getting his butt out of bed. Wakes him right up, you bet.

Of course, the earlier bedtime does mean that we have to get homework done before 9 p.m., which has often been a struggle in the past. It also means that we have to get dinner on the table well before 9 p.m., which has often been a struggle, too. But with the right incentive, anything is possible. And I’m what you’d call motivated.

No comments: