Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I always say I wish I had a way to monitor the house at night to see exactly when the boys are up in the morning because they no longer come straight to me. Mark is the earliest riser and there are many mornings I know he's up before six, but I also suspect it could be even earlier.

Take Sunday night, for example. I woke up to a thud. Not a loud thud, mind you but it was obvious somebody was up. Kevin got up and caught Mark had gotten into the pantry and was opening up the marshmallow fluff I had bought at the grocery store. He actually had the inside seal partly open. This was at 4:20 am.

I don't know what he would have done if we had not heard him. Consume the entire jar of fluff? Turn on the TV and watch cartoons until an hour that would have been acceptable to be awake. These are the things I am dying to know.

Kevin and I have been talking about ways to solve our night time dilemma for awhile. We strongly believe that Mark is sleep deprived, leading to many of the cranky behaviors we see in him. So on Sunday afternoon Kevin discovered that our web cam has a motion detector video setting. Meaning we could set it up to record any time there is motion in the house when we have it turned on. It saw Mark walk down the stairs and go straight to the pantry. Unfortunately, it also caught on tape (errrrr, or rather the hard drive) Eric getting up and wrapping himself in the couch blanket and sleeping on the couch. As well as Ben going to my room and back up the stairs several times. Ben actually spent quite a bit of time in my bed, but I didn't realize he was up and down so often.

The only downsides to the video thing is that unless we wake up from the noise they make (and they are typically very sneaky!) we will not know until morning, also there is no way to tell what time the "action" occurred. To me the time is more important than watching their ornery little selves bound up and down the stairs.

However, we have a plan to solve the issue. We can just put a clock radio on the kitchen table at night and it will show the time for every little video clip.

Once we have an idea of how many times and which little boys are up in the night we will be able to find ways to keep them in their beds until an acceptable hour. At least that is my hope.

Who knew parenthood would turn us to spy tactics and surveillance? I surely did not.

Notice little boy in the lower right. Now he has a nice bed. If you can answer the question WHY? I'll be eternally grateful.


Anonymous said...

We have very similar problems. Roaming the house at all hours of the night. We have tried to mainly just focus on luring them into our room instead of going downstairs.

So we started by just telling them that they aren't allowed downstairs until Daddy is awake (he is generally the first up). Then I got a basket of different toys (ones they aren't normally allowed to play with- I switch them up sometimes) and put it in my closet. If they wake up at 5a or later, they can go in the closet and play. That way I know what time they are getting up and what they are doing, since I am right there. If they come in wanting to play before 5a, then I know it is too early and I try to get them to go back to sleep, either with me or back to their beds.

It has worked really well. About once a month we will hear them downstairs before we wake up, but most of the time they just come in our room now. Oh, and they get extra morning jobs if they come down without us. Another helpful deterrent.

The video camera is hilarious! I would love something like that in Abigail's room- sometimes she will get up and stay in her room for hours before coming in our room. I would love to know what she is doing!

Rebecca said...

Good ideas... I will work on some of that.

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