The Lark and the Owl

Alice can't fall asleep. She is still wide awake at ten o'clock, looking at books, drawing, making light shows on the ceiling with her torch, listening to stories, sometimes brooding (no story to listen to = increased likelihood of brooding). Often she calls out to Michael and me in the living-room, "What are you talking about? Talk louder!"

Evie, on the other hand, conks out as soon as her head hits the pillow. But she is an early riser, frequently waking at 5.30, bright as a button and ready to start the day. Worse, she often wakes in the night and crawls into our bed, which means disrupted sleep for all three of us.

So we have put up two beautiful new wall charts in the kitchen, to be filled in (hopefully) with shiny stickers, and ultimately, rewards. Alice's challenge is to lie quietly in bed without calling out, awake or not (last night I went in to check her at 9.30, sure she must have fallen asleep, she was so quiet; but she was bolt upright in bed, eyes as bright as a possum's, changing the CD on her stereo and making plans for her personal lion park. But she was doing it silently which is all I care about right now.) Evie's challenge is to stay all night in her own bed. (Crashing failure last night -- she came in crying at 5.30, and was even more upset when she realised she'd forfeited her very first sticker.)

If they were both owls or both larks, I think we could handle it better; but having one or other of them awake seemingly permanently is very wearing, and incidentally does little for parental privacy!

Apparently it takes 21 days (or nights) to form a new habit. The clock starts now.

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