Oh. My. Gosh.
Believe it or not, lovely readers, after all these months of trial and error regarding Anja's awful sleep habits, staying up until midnight, etc., I think we've finally got it figured out. Sorry if I've already posted about this... understand, I'm still sleep deprived, I just have more of an evening now!
So sometime during his vacation, Martin made the suggestion that since enforcing a bedtime was not working after almost two years, we might try waking Anja up at the same time every day. He says that's what grownups are supposed to do in order to achieve good sleep. (FYI: we don't do that ourselves.) So we've been waking Anja up every morning at 7:00 for the past week or two or three, and holy hell, it seems to have cured all the bedtime problems we had! We haven't driven her to sleep since starting this. She goes down at exactly 8:00 every night. She takes a delightful nap around 11:00 that doesn't last three hours, just an hour or two, and even if she doesn't nap (she's skipped a couple) it doesn't matter; she just has some quiet snuggle time, then the rest of the day is fine. And since I know she's going to go to bed at 8:00, I don't care if she's up all day. I know when I'll get to fold the laundry, check the blogs, go to the bathroom, etc., so it doesn't seem so bad to have to wait. It's really great! Our evenings used to be so frustrating... Martin would come home, we'd scarf down some dinner, then start trying (and failing) to put Anja to bed. We'd switch off, give her two or three tries to go down at home, then drive her. Sometimes we wouldn't get to sit down and talk to each other until 11:00 at night. Martin NEVER worked out (what he loves to do) and I never did anything for myself either. He'd drive her until she fell asleep, come home, and we'd all collapse into bed... except of course, for those few weeks when Greta was staying awake until midnight or so as well.... but she's over that too.
I am so delighted with this! I kind of can't believe it's finally happened. Anja has a bedtime! Like a real child! And the best part about waking her up every day is that if she DOES go to bed late (as she did on Sunday when she went to bed at 9:00 after a day at the river) it doesn't throw off the entire next day, because she'll be waking up at the same time. She might take an earlier or longer nap, but that doesn't even matter.
Anyway, I'm done rejoicing now. I just can't believe that for the past few nights, Martin and I have spent real time together, talking, reading together, PLAYING BANANAGRAMS! It's seriously amazing.
P.S. Did you know? I'm madly in love with Arlo Guthrie.
I'm about to make another post full of pictures. Yay!