Thursday, August 3, 2017

Like father, like son - how to get to sleep

Superstar used to be the World's Greatest Sleeper. We could take baby-Superstar anywhere and he'd fall asleep in his carrier most happily. Didn't crimp our lifestyle at all! Those days are long gone, though, as Superstar has been having some trouble sleeping.

One thing I remember most vividly from my boyhood days was the level of stress and distress I gave my parents by not going to sleep when they put me to bed. I came out just about every night most of the time, often multiple times. Now I understand the stress I gave Pop and Grandma anyway.

I don't recall being particularly scared of anything - more bored and unable to get to sleep. The thing that most helped was when we got me a cassette player and bunch of tapes (here's a link for the google challenged or nostalgic) of people reading stories. If the tape finished before I fell asleep, I'd just turn it over and listen to some more. My brother also got some stories that added to our listening options. Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories and Kim, Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, bunch of Native American legends along the same lines as the Just So Stories, bunch of others. Kim might have been my favorite snoozer - don't think I ever stayed awake long enough to finish it.

Image result for frog headband headphones
Not Superstar
So we thought we'd try that solution out for Superstar too. We got him a CD player and a fun headband with headphones and sent him off to Fablehaven his way to bed. On Sundays he listens to James Earl Jones read the New Testament.

In the two weeks since, we've only seen him come out of bed ONCE!

But there's also been one other discovery. Ages and ages ago, little Derrill LOVED being read to. I'd beg my parents to read to me constantly, the same books over and over again. So they recorded themselves reading my favorite stories and got all our living relatives to do a story as well. Those were easily the tapes I listened to the most. I transferred them to CD some time ago and wondered if Superstar might enjoy those stories too.

On a car ride last week to and from our dear friends, we listened to Pop and Grandma reading stories to little Derrill, who laughed and helped read sometimes and interacted. It was SO charming and heartwarming for all of us. Superstar did indeed ask for one of those CDs right away and listened to it several nights in a row. Sadly the aunts and uncles CD didn't work as well (which I mention in case my parents have a cleaner copy than I did and want to try preserving it again), but the Pop and Grandma CDs sound great even 35 years later.