It’s Motel 6 that advertises, “We’ll leave the light on,” right?
Well, make that Motel 6 and the Noll residence.
Some might call this How Not to Parent–Step 2, but I think it has more to do with the “crazy gene” my kids inherited, apparently on both sides.
We started out as sleep nazi parents. Allow me to brag for just a moment: all three of my babies slept all night by 12 weeks, two of them by six weeks. By six months of age, I could lay the kids down in the crib, wide awake, at 7 pm and not hear another peep until 7 am. No lie. I was very very serious about the sleeping thing. It may just be luck, but I prefer to take all the credit. Lights out, door closed. End of story. Nighty night! This went on very nicely for a long, long time.
So how come our house is lit up like a Motel 6 all night long these days? Well, it’s a long story, but you wouldn’t expect anything less of me, right?
It started with just Thomas, who for reasons discussed in many previous posts (ie: severe anxiety, ocd) decided he could not sleep with the light off. We’d turn the light off after he fell asleep, and then BAM! he’d wake up and turn it back on. He’s ten, so unless I sit outside his bedroom door like the light police, he’s going to keep turning it back on. I decided not to care and so he’s been sleeping with his overhead light on for a few years now.
But then recently Cate decided she couldn’t fall asleep without her light on as well. So then we started having to turn her light off on our way to bed, after she fell asleep. No big deal….I guess. A little strange, perhaps.
And then the clincher: a few weeks ago Henry started turning back on his overhead light after I tucked him in and left the room. Really, Henry? Really? You were our last hope.
So I asked him, “What’s up with leaving the light on?” And his answer, so logical, “Thomas and Cate are doing it. I want to do it, too.” Um. Well, he’s got me there. I can’t exactly let one kid leave his light on for several years and then turn around and tell another that it’s forbidden.
For all you perfect parents out there (which I seriously doubt you are reading this blog if that is the case; I’m pretty sure all the perfect parents have run away screaming by now), I know that as the authority figure, I can just tell them to turn the damn light OFF.
But, I have bigger battles to fight, and more important things to worry about, especially with my oldest. What does it really matter if my kids think they live in a Motel 6? Besides, we found a better solution: we shut our own bedroom door and turn out our own bedroom light.