Before children, Chris and I would sleep late on weekends. (Is “sleep in” an East Coast expression?  I don’t remember anyone saying that in the Midwest).  We might get up at 9, 10 or even 11, depending on which parties or concerts had taken place the night before.

Then we had a baby.  And babies arise at the crack of dawn.  As soon as he could, Ian would stand up in his crib, clinging to the top bar, a huge toothless grin on his face.  Later, he’d climb out of his crib and toddle into our room to wake us up.  That awakening was way too early, but at least the awakener was adorable.

Repeat above scenario with Hugh, then Malcolm.

During elementary school, the guys would still get up early, but eventually at least we didn’t have to get up with them.  They were fully capable of pouring their own bowls of Chocolate Coated Sugar Bombs and watching unfunny cartoons on Nickelodeon, while we slept for another hour or so.

At a certain point, early in the middle school years, the sleeping habits of our children changed.  They continued sawing logs until late in the morning.  Ian and Hugh can easily sleep until 11:30 or noon.  The circadian rhythms of teenagers are in full effect.  Their bodies are changing and growing, and they need rest.

This syndrome was described in the new book “Happens Every Day” by Isabelle Gillies.  “My father believes that because teenagers are growing at such a fast pace, they should be allowed to sleep as much as they want…my little brother and I would encounter our big brothers making their breakfast at two in the afternoon…they would bring their mountains of food to the Adirondack chairs outside to eat.”

That’s where we are now.  Two Rip Van Winkles making breakfast in the early afternoon.  It’s hard to believe our children ever woke us up at sunrise.  Or wore matching PJs.  Those are also a thing of the past.


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