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It can be the nemesis of parents and a top issue they seek advice about. Getting
kids to bed at night—and keeping them there—is a serious struggle for many.
what do you do when your child's doctor tells you to keep your child up all
night? It goes against every parental instinct you have. And your own need for a good night's sleep (especially if you haven't been in the up all night with baby phase for years!)
for the EEG my daughter needed to have, sleep deprivation was key. We've been
through it before. And it felt so very wrong. The epitome of cruel and unusual
vividly remember our then 3-year-old crying and begging us to let her go to
bed. We felt like the Worst Parents In The World.
all got through it, but none of us was eager for a repeat. This time would be different.
You see, if the results are normal, which is expected, we will begin to slowly
wean our daughter off her seizure medication. She
has been seizure-free for nearly two years. A day we have been hoping for had
But first, there was this big hurdle to get over.
child is no night owl. She loves her sleep and always has. She goes to bed
early and sleeps through the night. For which we are very grateful.
is so important for our daughter, we learned a long time ago not to make night
plans that involve her. We follow a strict bedtime routine. No exceptions. Any
time we have made changes, it has not gone well. So we simply don't anymore. We
stick to what works.
we were told we could put our daughter to bed at her usual time and allow her
to sleep for a bit the night before the test. We would have to wake her in the wee
hours of the morning and keep her up until we got to the hospital.
came up with an idea I thought could help—a middle of the night scavenger
hunt through our neighborhood. I reached out to a number of neighbors and
received permission to place items and clues in or around their mailboxes.
promised we would not come into their yards, near their homes and would be as
quiet as possible. I bought small toys, crafts and
treats. And came up with clues like:
I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, ______________. (One of our neighbors has a dog named Sam.)
This princess lives in a high tower, and is sleeping in her high bed tonight. (My daughter's friend down the street has a Rapunzel-themed bedroom and bunk bed).
my daughter went to sleep, I headed out to set things up. Then I tried—in vain—to get a few hours myself.
her was not as difficult as I had anticipated. She was very eager for our
scavenger hunt and wanted to head outside right away. I had the first clue, a
bag for all her goodies, a glow stick and lantern ready and sitting on the
bundled up (it was chilly for Florida) and headed out.
scavenger hunt ended on our back deck with glow in the dark bubbles and the
reveal of two light sabers. I had recently made some out of paper towel rolls
and construction paper, and my daughter and husband loved them. So when I went
shopping and saw some "real" ones, I had to buy them.
my daughter delighted in playing with her other new toys, including a paper
doll pet shop and a "snowball" shooter.
This whole staying up thing wasn't turning out to be so bad after all. My husband and I struggled much more than our daughter did. But for that, we had
watched a few movies. And whenever any of us began to fade, it was time for a
dance party. My husband cranked loud music though the TV, and we jumped around the
living room like we were having our own personal rave. Minus the drugs and