The problem with my bookworm (or how my childhood is biting me on the A$$)

My mother will love reading this.

Do you remember those days when you heard “just wait until you have children of your own”?

This stuff is small potatoes, but I really feel like I’m reliving what my mother went through with me when I was the very same age as my darling 9 year old daughter is.

She’s a bookworm. I LOVE that she is a bookworm. I’m a bookworm.

From 2010JulAug

She’s a big sleeper. I’m an insomniac. Lately she’s been waking with huge dark circles under her eyes and behaving like a bear most of the time. She goes to bed without trouble, she doesn’t get up repeatedly with stalling tactics, she’s APPARENTLY getting as much sleep as usual. Maybe she needs an earlier bedtime than previously?

No. I’ve discovered the cause.

When I was her age, I read so much that my parents actually had to limit my access. They tried turning out the hall light (I would huddle at the end of my bed, reading by the stream of light coming in the crack of the door) and who knows how many other tactics. Finally they removed my bookshelf and all of my books except one. I was so addicted to reading, I’d just read the same book over and over, with a flashlight hidden under the covers of my bed (so that no light would escape and be visible from under the crack of my door).

My daughter has been turning on her bedside lamp and reading. Some nights she gets away with it and has fallen asleep with the book in her hand by the time I go check on her. So I started leaving her bedroom door open a crack, with no hall light on. Last week her Bonus Dad discovered a flashlight being put to use to read. Last night I heard the click of her door closing, so I went up to investigate. She had glow bracelets under her pillow and was attempting to open the blinds and let the light from the streetlight stream in her window.

What could I say? What could I do? I SO understand this burning desire to read. I still fight it to this day, staying up past my bedtime because I just want a few more minutes with my book. Being an insomniac this is not a good thing. I have a strict scheduled bedtime for a reason. But I also know how hard it is to get those good sleep habits back, and do not want my daughter going about her days in a overtired stupor.

I explained to her how much she needs her sleep, and how she can read for as much of the day as she likes, during waking hours. The things is, she can’t possibly read much more than she does. Like me she carries a book around with her everywhere she goes. I believe like me she’d read while walking, cycling and playing, if she could do so safely.

I’m really not complaining. I know this is the best problem we could have if it’s the worst of our troubles. But, how do I encourage her to get the sleep she so desperately needs?

I’m hoping someone has a really great suggestion.