I'm having some trouble getting enough sleep these days, and it's not the kids' fault! Well, not entirely their fault anyways; I can't acquit them entirely! But the real culprit is the sun.
Sure, the later sunset is wonderful, and we're very much enjoying hanging out in the yard or riding bikes in the street after supper these last couple weeks. But since outside is so much more fun than in, the boys have lost the motivation for starting bedtime that let us get them in bed by 6:30 some winter evenings. Stories aren't enough to compete with warm evening breezes! Now I do need to stress that they aren't putting up a fuss over bedtime—they come in eventually, and do all the usual things without any untoward complaining—but the whole process is slower than it would be in the dark.
And actually, that isn't a problem by itself. To be honest, half the trouble is my fault: I don't want to come in any more than they do! And when they're playing happily there's a lot less motivation to get them moving towards bed than when they're feuding over the remains of their toys after a day stuck inside. They don't actually have a set bedtime (I promised a year or two ago to write a post about that; someday I will) so the time creep would be fine, all things being equal.
What's not equal, though, is that the sun is also more present in the morning. The main effect this has is to make the chickens wake up earlier, which makes me wake up earlier, because I've inadvertently trained them to make lots of noise in the morning when they want to be let out to scratch and peck in the yard (can't let them wake up the neighbors!). Again, this by itself would be fine. I love the early-morning hours: nothing makes me happier than wandering in the dewy garden as the first rays of the sun strike the top of the pea trellis.
But, as you can imagine, between those two lovely signs of summer lies an ever-shrinking pool of sleep. I can survive it for a little while, but eventually the lack starts to tell and my mental acuity begins to fade. And I'm tough—how much worse is it when the boys' sleep time is similarly squeezed?! Harvey wasn't asleep before 8:30 last night and then he woke up by quarter to six, which is far from enough sleep for a growing boy! At least he stays asleep all night; Zion, though he does manage to stay abed a little longer in the mornings, compounds his lack of sleep by waking himself up for big chunks of the middle of the night.
So today—following an afternoon where they weren't good for anything but watching an hour of shows on the iPad—we got them to bed early. Well, by 7:30 at least, which is early for summer: I didn't need the headlamp to read their stories. Now all I have to do is follow their good example myself, and my enjoyment of the summer season will be yet fuller. Too bad there's all this blogging to do...