“Momma, can we bake something.”
“Mmm, let me just wake up a little first, bud. Then we can bake something.”
It’s 6:13 a.m. Saturday and my 5-year-old woke up about 4 minutes ago, rip-roaring and ready for his day.
“Momma, can we go somewhere?”
“Maybe later, Mikey.”
“Well, because nothing is even open for at least more 3 hours.”
Mikey has always been an early riser. When he was a toddler, we were lucky to make it to 5 a.m., so these days we try not to complain. But the real kick in the pants is that every weekday – and I mean every, single weekday – we have to drag him out of bed at 7 a.m. like a teenager and coax him to get dressed and eat something for breakfast so we can make it out the door by 7:30 to get to work and prekindergarten.
But, for some reason I have yet to understand, he is up in the 6 o’clock hour on the weekends. It’s like he knows…. He. Knows.
So, on Saturday, here I am trying to coerce him to come snuggle with me on the couch and watch cartoons until at least 7 a.m. But he’s got other plans.
“Can we play wrestlers?”
“Mmmhmm. Just bring them over here, will you?” I point to the floor next to the couch where I’m laying because I’m being the laziest parent ever and don’t want to have to get up to play with my child at this ungodly hour.
Luckily, he obliges. After a few minutes of the most boring wrestling match ever between the Miz and John Cena, my husband comes shuffling out of the bedroom with only one eye open.
“What time was roll call this morning?” he asks me.
“Exactly 6:09 a.m.” I inform him.
Here’s another head-scratcher: It seems that no matter what time Mikey goes to bed, he still wakes up at the same time. If he falls asleep at 7:30 p.m. Friday night, he’s up at 6:15 a.m. Saturday. If he’s up until 8:30, he’s still up at 6:15. Then, if we have a real crazy Friday night and he’s up until 10 p.m., we will be punished with an even earlier wakeup time Saturday.
People love to say, “At least he’ll sleep in tomorrow for you.”
No. No, he won’t. I cannot explain the science behind it, but I’m telling you, it must have something to do with the Earth’s gravitational pull or polar vortexes or something.
Mike and I try to take turns on the weekends. So, I let him “sleep in” one day, and he lets me “sleep in” the next. It’s semantics, really, because there hasn’t been much sleep in this house for the past five years.
Mikey was a terrible sleeper as a baby, and I’m sure it was all our fault – but that’s a column for another day. However, since he grew out of toddlerhood, it still seems as though he just doesn’t require much sleep.
We shoot for a 7 to 7:30 p.m. “wind down” time, with a bedtime of 8 p.m. But most nights it’s 9 p.m. and he’s still laying awake in his bed.
I just don’t get it. He has a long day at prekindergarten/daycare. Then we play on the playground at school for a good hour and a half after I pick him up. We get home and it’s dinner, bath, then bedtime.
On Saturday, we have soccer, then playground time, then who knows what shenanigans.
And he hasn’t napped for almost two years.
You would think the kid would be exhausted. But nope. At 7:30 p.m. he’s stalling, asking for a snack, saying he has to pee again… It goes on and on.
Then it’s 8 p.m. and he’s calling us back into his bedroom.
Recently, I sent my husband into the fire.
“Dada?” I heard through the monitor.
“Mikey, stop stalling. It’s bedtime.”
“No, I just had to tell you something.”
“Umm… Did you know honeybees have five eyes?”
“Mikey, I don’t think they do. They probably just have two eyes.”
“No, actually they do. Ms. Monique told me.” (He says things like “actually” and “literally” now.)
“Okay, well, great. Now go to sleep.”
“Dada, guess what?”
“No, Mikey. No more ‘guess whats.’ Go to sleep.”
My husband came back out, exasperated. “He just never stops.”
I nodded, then Googled “honeybee eyes” and it turns out, they do, in fact, have five eyes.
Holly Crocco is editor of the Putnam County Times/Press and mother of a 5-year-old. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.