Sunday, January 3, 2010

Should I be worried...?

Should I be worried that my 11 year old gave her 6 year old sister a sleeping pill today?
I was a little surprised to find her snuggled up in bed at 3pm, but put it down to the recent late nights and the freezing cold day. Even I spent an hour snoozing under the duvet. But then my little one fessed up that she had been given a small white pill on a spoonful of strawberry jam "to make me go to sleep"
Stern words were had with both girls. Don't take pills from strangers or big sisters unless Mummy says its OK. Don't give your little sister a sleeping pill ... unless I say so.

How concerned should I be that my 11 year old doesn't want to read?
The snow days in the run up to Christmas (sorry ... "winter") break meant a joyful reprieve from a book report which had not been started let alone completed. Two whole weeks, even with the interruption of Christmas, new presents and days filled with computer games should be plenty of time to read a book and construct the report. But no. The book has not been read. School starts tomorrow. The report was mangled together this afternoon, with tearful protestations and half hearted gestures of defiance and defeat (and that was just me). Wikipedia book summaries are a dreadful and necessary evil. I promise that next time she WILL read the book ...

How many other parents have an 11 year old child who cannot sleep? Who creeps on silent feet, avoiding the creaking stair: stealthily slipping through the kitchen (helping herself to an apple, or a slice of bread) and seats herself at the computer desk. While we all sleep and dream, Jessica plays her games and drifts from one artificial world to the next.
So we treat her insomnia with over the counter "natural sleep aids".
But sometimes they don't work as thoroughly as we would like them to.
And we resort to other methods.
The one we are using at the moment relies on Jessica's sweet gullibility and guileless innocence.
We informed her that we did not want her to play her computer games at night. We told her that as she was repeatedly going against our wishes regarding this, we had resorted to a drastic measure. We had decided to set an alarm. Every time she sat down and attempted to use the computer between the hours of bed time and awake time, an alarm would sound in our bedroom, alerting us. To add weight to our deception, we installed a screen saver which had big red letters proclaiming "ALARM SET" on a continual loop.
Jessica was horrified and outraged. Bethany found her hunting in our bedroom for an "off" switch to the alarm. Of course there was none. She eventually went to sleep, but woke up a few hours later. Her usual nighttime routine had been rendered unavailable, so she lay in bed and sobbed. This woke Rebecca, who came through and got me. And so I lay beside her and held her in my arms until she drifted back to sleep.
Jessica is an ingenious child. I am sure she will find other ways to occupy her sleepless nights. As long as they are not too dangerous and within the law I suppose we will cope, and find ways to deal with them as and when they occur.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Ok, so clearly you are laughing at my FB status updates which ask "will they ever sleep?" Your reply must be a snort and "they will NOT!"

So sorry....maybe YOU should give the 11 yo the sleeping pill?

About Me

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I have been married to Andy since 1991, we have 4 daughters, 2 dogs, 2 cat, 4 rabbits (and various baby rabbits) and a hamster (not dead). We have lived in the U.S.A since 2000, and are citizens of the U.K. I miss many things about the U.K.(pubs, old buildings, red post boxes, church bells,narrow roads, a good joint of roast lamb with mint sauce, to name but a few) but I have grown to love the U.S.