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I miss my son

September 26, 2013

We made a realization towards the end of the summer.  The whiny, unlistening, mean little bastard that had taken over our son was created by non-other than his own parents.  You see, we were sleep depriving our son.  A 4 year old requires 12 hours of sleep a night.  He was getting 9 to 10.  Those 2 to 3 hours had several negative side effects:

  1. My wife now has some gray hairs poking out
  2. The stress levels in the house were through the roof
  3. My son had become a little monster.

So, we moved his bed time up from getting to sleep between 9 and 9:30 to getting to sleep between 8 and 8:30.  And wholly crap, our sweet and cooperative son was back!

Then…came school.  It’s from 12:30 to 3 PM M-Th.  He loves it.  But, the intense activity in school saw the return of the monster, only this time he had become a manic monster.  Bigger, badder, angrier and even more…tantrumy (it’s a real word! I swear.).  Every night he’d have an emotional break down like one of these.  There was little joy to be had with the boy.

Realization: 8:00 pm wasn’t cutting it.

We tried 7:30 pm.

Sad Truth: 7:30 pm…wasn’t cutting it either,

Facing reality…that bitch: Jack’s bed time has to be…7 pm.

In order for Jack to be happy and to have the best chance at learning meant he’d have to be in bed just 2 hours after I get home.  Accepting that made me feel like the hero in an epic story who realizes his fate is to die to protect his charge.  Silent resignation.  Internal Sorrow.

It’s only been two days.  I hate these two days.

The harsh reality is that his sisters take a lot of my time, leaving little one-one time for the two Jacks.  Squeezing dinner, bath, and bedtime routine into 2 hours leaves precious few minutes for actually engaging with him, or Kaylee for that matter (Sarah stays up later so I get plenty of baby time).

The result is that I miss him and he misses me.  Tonight, I told him it was time to get ready for bed at 6:30, to which he replied, his voice veiled in sadness, “But daddy, I wanted to play with you some more.”  This wasn’t a whine.  It was just a statement of fact and his own realization of what such an early bed time means for him.

I honestly don’t know what to do.  I miss my son.  I need more hours in the day…or a babysitter or a flux capacitor.  <Sad Sigh>

So, while he is slumbering, I did exactly the thing I probably shouldn’t have done and started looking back on memory lane.  I haven’t looked at his baby pictures in forever.  Tonight I did.  There may have been some fresh cut onions near by, but who can say.

Here is a short progression of my first born.  My only son from those early days in the hospital to the handsome little man he’s become today.

Jack 2 Jack 1Jack 3 Jack 4 Jack 5

Jack 6
Jack 8
Jack 7

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3 Comments
  1. What a beautiful little boy. we discovered this too the hard way. My daughters are 6 and 8 and their bedtime is still between 6:30-7:30. On Friday and Saturday nights we let them stay up until 9. It does feel like we never get enough time with them BUT it’s the only way they can function without terror throughout the day. I know eventually, they will be able to stay up later and function on less that 11 hours of sleep but for now, I miss my girls. Hang in there!

  2. I was just talking to my wife about this same thing tonight. We’ve gotten lax with bedtimes lately, and we’ve paid for it. So we’re getting strict again, but since I commute off and on, and my girls have to go to bed at 6:30, I don’t get to see them much a couple of days/nights a week. I literally told my wife tonight that I miss my girls. Good post.

    • I definitely feel for you. I am curious how you make the most of the small amount of time you do have. I’ve recently started putting my phone in another room to completely focus. It definitely helps some.

      We just started sleep training the baby too, so now she is in bed at 7. Guess I am stuck with my wife at night 😉

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