Ways in Which My Kids Conspire to Keep Me Awake


September 30, 2014 by Katia

“Ever heard of the Maslow Pyramid, kid? To survive in this world you’ll need to eat, drink and occasionally sleep. You know, the basics.” – Smart Grownup People


You know how your kids (at one point, at least) view you as some sort of a divinity? Well, there has to be some truth to it, because what kind of a humanoid creature exists without food, drink and sleep?

In my five years tenure as a parent I’ve come across a variety of ways in which my children try to challenge my determination to eat, sleep and pee.

Here are some of the ways in which they’ve been executing their psychological warfare:


* The Post Midnight Summon:

It’s almost never a helpless whiny Mamaaaaa but more of a hey-it’s-your-boss-buzzing-you-at-2am-what-the-hell-have-you-been-up-to-slacker callYou do the Jack in a box and try to cram a power nap in while you feverishly shushhhh your way into your toddler’s room for fear he’d wake up your preschooler (who has yet to make an appearance in your bedroom – see next item). You’re greeted with a disturbingly perky “mama, beee wead stowy!”.

* The Invasion:

Is it a ghost? Is it a vampire? Is it a zombie? Nah, forget that sh**. Sleep deprivation and its agents are what makes the night scary, and look, it’s your preschooler and his active imagination at your bedroom door at 2:30am. Sweet dreams!

* A Bunch of Things That Wouldn’t Be Annoying At All if They Occurred When You Weren’t Trying to Sleep

It’s go-the-F-to-sleep O’Clock and now that they’re in your bedroom they’re all about hydration, catching up on current affairs, figuring out how the universe works and practicing deep breathing.

* I Kick Therefore I Am:

Remember the excitement of feeling the first kicks, mom? Well, it doesn’t stop. The kicking, that is. At some point your preschooler will decide they’re more comfy sleeping horizontally between two grownups and relocate to your bedroom. If you’re a glass half full kind of person consider this: now your husband gets to participate in the experience.

 * Shift Work

My kids don’t see eye to eye on a lot of matters but when it comes to the fact that someone needs to make sure we wake up within the 5am time slot, they are on the same page. They’ve worked out some sort of an agreement whereby if for some reason 2 Year Old sleeps in (read a 6am wake up) then 5 Year Old is sure to fill in for him. Glass half full? They seem to have really internalized the whole team work concept.

How do your kids make sure you don’t sleep?


This has been a Netflix Stream Team post on the topic “back to basics”. The return to basics made me think of my own childhood and my desire to expose my children to some elements of it. I recently came back from a visit to Israel and brought two of my Garfield comic books with me. I’ve watched Garfield on Netflix with 5 Year Old before and intend to start viewing it together again. In an attempt to create a viewing menu that is non violent but still appealing to a five–year-old boy we’ve let him watch old episodes of Scooby Doo. His great fascination with everything spooky tempts me to share Ghostbusters with him, but I will probably wait for another year or two.

What shows do your kids watch?



20 thoughts on “Ways in Which My Kids Conspire to Keep Me Awake

  1. yvonne says:

    Ah, this made me smile Katia. Twice. Once in recognition because we had those scenes too – the toddler across the bed, the terrified kid with nightmares and the shift work! Our cats sometimes got in on that one too! And the neighbour’s dog. Once, in a rare quiet night when everyone slept through, we got a phone call at 3am. A wrong number.

    But I also smiled because, though it may be hard for you to believe, this does end. Now the main trouble we have is getting our younger daughter out of bed!

    • Katia says:

      Oh, the random phone call at 3am. Thanks so much, Murphy! This sounds a lot like our life. I know I will miss all of this and try not to get too frustrated, by boy is sleep deprivation hard!

  2. Toddler_Mama says:

    I’d say our wee one’s signature move is to wake up anywhere from 1-3 times every night, hardly ever at the same time, thereby preventing me from ever establishing anything close to a sleep schedule that would allow me to fall back asleep easily after getting her back down. Glass half full? I will never be the one who sleeps through a zombie invasion.

    • Katia says:

      Is it bad that I laughed reading your comment? I totally sympathize. Can you believe that it’s actually my preschooler, as opposed to my toddler, who would wake us up anywhere from once to five (!!!) times a night at unexpected times until we’ve moved him into our bed, then exiled him only to reunite with him every night in our bed?

  3. Smiling! I’m reminded of that special day we brought home “Hammy” my 8 year old son’s hamster and her hamster wheel. That night I was awoken from a lovely, dreamless, restful sleep by furtive hisses from my lad. “Mom! Wake up! Someone’s trying to break into the house with a cork!” A cork? Further investigation resulted in the discovery of Hammy exercising on her squeaky wheel …

  4. Mike says:

    we used to have to sit in my daughters room while she fell asleep. it was so annoying. one time she came out after falling asleep telling us the bed was moving and I lost it yelling at her to get her butt into bed. I found out the next day we had an earth quake around that time. go figure.

    • Katia says:

      OMG. I could totally see this happening to me! My five-year-old actually won’t fall asleep unless one of us sits with him and by sits I mean lies down, not sure why I said sits, until he falls asleep. GAH.

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is secretly glad that my husband is a tortured as I am when one of the kids sleeps with us! 😉

  6. sara says:

    Oh God, so true. Go the fuck to sleep o’clock 😃 My six year old still climbs into bed with me every night – if my partner is at home, he climbs straight out and into her bed.

  7. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says:

    Ha! I laugh only because I feel your pain. Mine are a bit older and, most nights, they sleep well. However, I remember the days of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

  8. This morning my 14-month-old woke at 5, her usual. When I went in to try to rock, bounce and nurse her back to sleep, I was met with an enthusiastic “HIIIIIIIIIIII!” At least they’re cute, right?!

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