Matty at bedtime

Dear Matty,

Why don’t you like to sleep? Don’t you know sleep is magical…and essential to basic life functions? Don’t you know you need it?

I know I need it.

Is it because you have “terrible” parents who didn’t sleep train you? Who let you choose to co-sleep (of course without calling it that because we didn’t want to deal with judgey parents or give any clues that we were too tired to care where you were as long as you were sleeping)? Is it because your life is so fun you can’t imagine why in the world we’d ever want to sedate you with bedtime stories, lullabies and your dad’s snoring? OR is it, as I suspect, because you just want to make sure your dad and I are always functioning at half-speed so you can run around the house like your hair is on fire and you have crickets in your britches late into the night and never be caught?

I’m onto you.

Don’t you know bedtime is supposed to be a quiet, peaceful event? When the lights go down and your jungle animal projector kicks on, that doesn’t mean it’s time to pretend you’re a young John Travolta in Grease dancing on the hood of a car (at least not yet – those days will come – and I can’t wait). It also doesn’t mean it’s time to pretend you’re a WWE superstar wrestling for a belt of some sort (though I can appreciate your imagination). It’s not time to karate kick the wall like you’re Mr. Miyagi – I am not the karate kid. When the bedtime stories are over and I say, “All done” and you say, “‘ah-gin?” in your cutest voice, with your eyes wide and the sweetest smile on your face, OF COURSE I’m going to recite On the Night You Were Born from memory again…and again…and again. But don’t mistake that for weakness, I know exactly what you’re doing. And unlike you I know the word for it. Stalling.

But you will eventually fall asleep – even if it’s after I do. You will. You will eventually fall asleep.

Can’t you tell how much your brother loves sleeping every time you try to lay on him while he’s sleeping in his swing, sleeping in his chair, sleeping on the bed, sleeping on our laps? It shouldn’t take convincing, buddy. It’s not even questionable. Sleep is the bee’s knees. It’s the kitten’s meow. It’s all that and a bag of cookies. It’s rest. It’s calm. It’s refreshing. It’s sanity. It’s legitimately necessary for EVERYONE.

Sleep is a vital part of existing. I’m honestly confused how you, your dad or I are still living lives as legitimate, functioning human beings on this amount of sleep.

And speaking of that, your dad and I are young but we’re not that young – waking up is not a tragedy. I don’t totally understand how you could hate going to sleep so much and, yet, equally hate waking up just as much…THAT MAKES NO SENSE, DUDE! But more importantly, I don’t know how much longer our hearts will continue to beat after being woken up by the sound of excruciating, blood-curdling wails coming from your room in the dead of night. That isn’t something you get used to. It’s also just not okay. We have got to find the middle ground, Bug.

I get it – you’re new to all of this, but trust me when I tell you all of this could only get better with a willingness to go to bed and an adequate amount of sleep – for everyone. As for getting there, Michael Bolton has (all of) the answers.

Just think it over, okay?

Love you always,