Too Old For This

1:34, 2:18, 3:04, 3:41, 4:00, … This is not a bus schedule, a list of bible sections, or available time slots to have the cable guy come. No, these are the times that BR woke me on Saturday night.

I stopped at 4:00 not because he finally fell asleep. No, I stopped then because I finally got up, told my wife to try and sleep, and I took over trying to get BR back to sleep. I picked out one of his library books, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives by Matthew McElligott, and began reading. Fifty pages later and he was … declaring it morning and time to get up. You thought I was going to say he fell asleep – didn’t you? Oh how I wish you were right!

No luck. One of the blogs I follow is Being Mummy ( One topic that the blogger has written a lot about is the difficulties she and her husband are having getting their child into a good sleep pattern. The baby has been giving them long sleepless nights. I’ve left comments saying, “Good luck, been there, be strong, it will happen eventually, enjoy your 80 ounces of coffee,” etc. While reading the blog and writing the comments, I have felt great relief: Thank G-d my children are past that stage!

After all, my boys are 8 and 5.5. They are way past the up-all-night stage. (The first time BR slept through the night, I told colleagues at work the next day that I had never loved him more.) Sure, I know there is the occasional illness, anxiety, or excitement that may awaken or keep the boys awake a bit – maybe an hour. Nothing a book or lying next to them could not cure. What you may be wondering caused me to be soooooo wrong on Saturday night?

Well, on Sunday morning, BR and I were scheduled to be on the 9:48 a.m. train out of Radburn with our final destination being Trenton, NJ. At Trenton, my Mom was picking him to spend a few days at her condo. We’ll be driving down on Thursday night. This is the longest – by far – that he will be away from us.

How excited is he? And quote.

“Tomorrow will be the second best day of my life.”

“So, you are not coming with me? Or Dad?”

“Of course, I can behave – SJ won’t be there.”

“I’ll only miss you a little bit.”

“You’re not coming with me, right?


So, my parenting expertise gained from years in said role tells me he is ready for this experience. Duuuh.

I’m happy he is excited to spend time with his grandmother. I’m happy he is ready for some independence. I’m happy he is maturing.  Before his next getaway, though, I’ll be spiking his milk and cookies. I need my sleep!

28 thoughts on “Too Old For This

  1. How cute! There were times when I thought a little something extra to help them sleep wouldn’t hurt. 🙂 Now that they are teenagers, the trick is waking them up.

  2. OMG! I hate nights like that! Especially when I think that he will really sleep the next night (or maybe even earlier) but it usually causes a weird anti-sleep pattern when he is overly tired! Mine seems to do this during noticeable growth spurts or if the house is too hot in the summer. I’m usually exhausted the next day which doesn’t help the behavior that he will exhibit after a rough night of sleep. I feel your pain!!

    • The good thing was the next night was my mom’s problem. Thanks ma!
      She gave me the rundown. He actually had a very good night of sleep. However, his bedtime was the normal time. Me – I fell asleep on the train ride back.
      The night also made the transition for me – happy to see him go. I need a break!

  3. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I am too old too. You were quite a love letting your wife sleep – let her handle the drugging next time so you can keep your hands clean! It’s such a mixed blessing as our kids grow up and assert their independence (unless it’s the middle of the night – then they can be as independent as they want!). Hope your son’s grandma visit goes beautifully!

    • She took the first couple of hours of the lovely disturbanace. I figured ti was only fair. Besides, I was not able to sleep through like I usually can.
      Here’s to a more quiet and timely indepdendence!

  4. So if I understand the gist of this story, “Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!” was such an exciting, captivating story BR just couldn’t get back to sleep, right?

    (Hope you enjoyed it too!)

    • Yes, that really is the point of the post.
      Actually, he and I are enjoying the story. So much so, that we will be reading the sequels.
      Thanks for checking in.
      P.S. My younger son and I are looking forward to Even Aliens Need Snacks.

  5. Wow! That is one really really bad night. I guess there is no need to say that I know how you feel. Exciting times for BR though! Hope he has a great time and I hope you had a chance to catch up on your sleep.

  6. So glad those are long ago memories … my sons are 22 and 25. Although they still occasionally wake me up at 3 am laughing and yelling at video games with friends. Soon, I hope to have some grandkids waking me up at night on sleepovers (but not for a few more years yet).

    You’re a good dad (and husband). 🙂

  7. At 57, I am looking forward to my first great grandchild. (We tend to have a new generation every 20 years or so in our family.) We raised our granddaughter from the age of one, when we lost her father. She is going to be living in our upstairs grannie flat. We haven’t had a baby in the house, other than visits from my other grandchildren, since she was a baby. I imagine I will be doing my share of floor walking at night so she and her fiance can get some sleep too. Looking forward to it on one hand, feeling terribly old on the other. But at least I am retired, and I can be some help when they need it most.

  8. Hi,
    You can say that again! I would have spike his milk and cookies first, before he went to bed. But seriously, I can so identify with BR. You see, I was also one of those sleepless kids. If I went to bed at 7 PM, I woke at at 9 PM thinking it was time to get up! My parents didn’t have much fun with me. The nicest part is that it doesn’t usually stop. Up until this day, I wake up after four hours of sleep and get up. The majority of the time I never take a nap. I believe a doctor told my parents, I thought I was going to miss something, and that was the reason I didn’t sleep much. Maybe, just maybe, BR thinks he’s going to miss something. 🙂 Kids like us usually are pretty bright and intelligent. 🙂 (chuckle)
    Very nice article.
    I enjoyed reading it.

    • I vacillate between being jealous of people like you who need such little sleep and feeling bad for people like you who don’t enjoy it. I only sleep 5.5 per night during the school year and feel like I am skimping. FOr you, that is a long night.

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