“Mom, does that mean 8 in the morning or 8 at night?” asked my middle son, staring at the digital clock on the oven.

“It’s still morning, sweetie. Remember? You have only been up a little while.”

He nodded his head, looking relieved.

My 5-year-old has been obsessed with going to bed at 8 p.m.

With all of the activity of summer, he often found himself feeling tired and lacking energy. When it came time for his kindergarten physical in late August, he begged me to ask the doctor why he is so tired all the time.

“I think you need to get more sleep,” I advised. “You either need to go to bed earlier or take a nap.” Despite our attempts at an 8 p.m. bedtime, he and his brother couldn’t imagine going to bed before the sky was dark, so they would often spend another hour goofing off in their room.

“Plllleeeeaaaase ask the doctor?” he said.

So, we explained the symptoms to the pediatrician. He listened carefully and then gave the diagnosis.

“You need to get more sleep, buddy.” The doctor looked my son right in the eye and said, “I want you to go to bed at 8 O’Clock and don’t get up until 7. Understand?”

Now, without fail, he watches the clock to make sure he does JUST as the doctor prescribed. If the clock says 8, he rushes off to bed without any complaint.

Doc, could you have mentioned something about cleaning his room, too?

%d bloggers like this: