As a working mom, I had a key concern during my two maternity leaves. My babies were going to be in daycare, so I was very, very anxious about them coming home cranky if they were unable to nap with background noise.
So embracing my über-mom mode, I came up with the answer. I left a television or radio softly playing in their nursery while they napped and slept so they would get “conditioned” to sleeping through some noise. We did not co-sleep unless the kid was attached to a boob, usually mine
Let’s just say I overshot my goal. I am a perfectionist, but I hit this sh*t out of the park.
Our house security alarm is 110 decibels, and the horn is in the attic between my kids two bedrooms. Sleepy, pre-coffee mom has, at times, forgotten to turn off the alarm before letting the dogs out early in the morning. They have slept through it every time. When they do wake, and I ask if the alarm scared them, and they both look at me with no point of reference.
In college, my oldest has one 8 o’clock class. I asked him if he has been getting up one time, and he explained that he sets the alarm clock, and then 6 more alarms on his phone random minutes apart (3 minutes, 5 minutes) because he can “off” an alarm in his sleep so proficiently, he needs redundancy. I am proud to say he has only overslept one class this freshman year! Note it was a 10 am class.
My youngest, now 16, should be a lab somewhere. He also sleep-walks. And doesn’t sleep *fully* dressed. Let’s just say we will have to vet the future college roommate carefully.
He started walking at 8 months old, and quickly thereafter, the little acrobat started jumping out of his crib. He didn’t have the verbal skills to shout “Geronimo” but the effect was the same. We moved him into a regular twin bed to avoid both 1) an emergency room co-pay and 2) Child Protective Services investigation. Overall, I would say these two objectives became my main goals of my child rearing.
So at 8 months old, we also discover he is a sleep-walker when he keeps magically appearing in our room in the middle of the night, and doesn’t respond to us when we talk to him. Creepy. We were concerned with a kid less than one year old wandering around the house and down the stairs. Not to mention our shared angst anticipating his perfect timing interrupting “Mommy and Daddy time”
So, we bought a white knob cover that “a child’s dexterity and fine motor skills prevent the turning of the knob.” Well, these college graduate parents spent the better part of 30 minutes getting the damn thing on the inside knob of his bedroom door. We kissed him “good night”, closed the door and before we made it to the top of the stairs in our modest home, the kid was standing behind us like a scene from The Shining.
He is now 16, and the sleeping adventures continue. He has an alarm clock next to his bed, with an 103 decibel alarm and an attachment that goes between the mattresses (pull your mind out of the gutter, please) that shakes the bed. For reference, that is louder than a motorcycle, but slightly less than a power saw. My son’s response? In one seamless, sleeping-olympics qualifying move, he turns off the alarm, flips over, adjusts his pillow and pulls the quilt up over his head.
He blinks at me like I am pathological liar, he has never met, when I appear at his bedside 20 minutes later explaining the time. I often do this slightly louder than 103 decibels, with a bonus expletive creatively inserted into my rant. And my husband wonders “what I do all morning” before I leave for work. Now you know.