These past seven days or so have been busy with all those back-to-school tasks. Go through clothing and toss that which no longer fits or simply is not presentable, throw out old markers run dry through use or time and, of course, get new stuff for the new year.
These tasks and to-do's as a parent are so easy and clear. There's no questioning, no debate. However, there's been this one back-to-school item that's been nagging at me for a few weeks now and that's the schedule and being on a schedule.
As an aside, any parent out there can tell you all the advice they rain down on you about getting your kid on a schedule. I am a very scheduled person. I like schedules. I like knowing what to expect and when to expect it. The concept, while appealing, doesn't necessarily hold true for all kids, but there was a time in my kids' lives where we were pretty darned scheduled. While it was good when they complied, it was nerve-racking when they didn't. No one ever told you what to do when your kid wouldn't stick to the schedule.
Anyway, now that my kids are getting older, they are naturally staying up later. No more 8:00 pm bedtimes. Even the six-year-old has been staying up late, well past 10:00 pm almost regularly. That's what you get with the third kid. And who cares? He can sleep as late as he wants. I like that. I like that a lot because that means on weekends, I get to sleep late. Win-win if you ask me.
But that all needs to change, starting tonight. And hence my dilemma for the past week. I kept saying, the kids need to go to bed earlier and get up earlier so the start of school is not a shock. My husband and I agreed, but secretly I struggled. I mean, hey, it's their summer vacation. Shouldn't they be allowed to stay up late and sleep in late, especially the teenager? It is particularly difficult for me because I remember being that age and I remember sleeping until noon, until my mom came in and made some wisecrack about sleeping the day away. It was wonderful and I still enjoy long mornings snuggled under the covers.
And so I've waffled and indecisive. And husband was no help. He doesn't care. And guess what? The kids really haven't been going to be earlier. Well, I've had them shutdown the computers and stop the TV and get in bed. But the sleep-time is still basically the same - way late, especially when I think that school starts tomorrow.
So last night, as I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep, I convinced myself that I needed to wake the boys up before I left for work. Wake them up at roughly the same time they need to be up tomorrow, so it isn't such a shock. But then as I was going through my motions in the morning, I somehow convinced myself that they didn't need to wake up. That depriving them of sleep for an additional day in the week would only make them more tired tomorrow. After all, the adrenaline of the first day of school will take care of any residual tiredness, right? And I let them sleep.