Confession time here - I'm crap about putting my kids to bed. I like to cuddle them to bed. I just do. I nursed Sam until he was almost three and a half, and Jessie liked me to sing and read her to sleep. I just never got in the habit of shoving then into bed, flicking out the lights and dancing out into the living room for grownup time. But I'm working on it - because at eight years old, my daughter has developed a serious aversion to falling asleep.
Mornings have been impossible with Jessie lately, because she's so overtired. Yesterday, we had a long conversation about ways that we could improve, and since her health teacher (God bless her health teacher) had recently done a class on how much sleep the average third grader should get (which is at least ten hours), Jessie was completely on board with the fact that she needed to go to bed and get more sleep. We decided that if she slept from 9:00-7:00, that would be a solid ten hours and life would be lovely. We also agreed that going to bed at 8:30 would give her enough time to doze off on her own, to ensure that she was actually asleep by nine.
Last night was the first night - and she fought it bitterly. Just bitterly. She wasn't angry or weeping, but resigned and resentful that I was enforcing the rules. She listened to her Sound of Music CD, and was asleep by nine. And this morning was, as promised, lovely. This afternoon, I went to the library and got her books on CD, so she has other options to listen to as she drifts off.
Sam is still a work in progress. He's always been such a good sleeper, so I'm probably going to stick with what works with him - which is for him to fall asleep next to me in my bed and then trek him into his own bed. Most of the time. Sometimes, I'm sure he'll just end up crashing in my bed still... and Julianna still nurses at night, and since we've co-slept from the beginning with her (as we did with Sam), I'm in no rush to kick her out of my bed.