Burning the Midnight Oil

Meaning: To work late into the night. Originally this was by candle light or an oil lamp.

Our girls are 8 and 4 years old and their bedroom was a nice set up. They slept in the same room and they had the majority of their toys in the adjoining room. There is a doorway between the rooms. So one room was for sleeping, reading and puzzles whilst the play room was for ponies, lego, princesses, and other games involving make believe.

2 Weeks ago my Hubby and I separated the girls into their own bedrooms. Our eldest has been asking for her own room for months and we decided that it was time. We put 2 bookcases in the adjoining doorway with a curtain in the middle of these, just for now.

Our eldest was elated and thoroughly enjoyed telling her sister to get out of her room! She can use the night light now and sleep with the door open, as the dark makes her nervous. The little one cannot sleep with a light on at all!

In the beginning the little one was not too happy. She missed her big sister and was constantly in her room. Now she has settled somewhat and has discovered the delights in having her own room. She loves being Mommy to all of her toys and is constantly making them tea, food and letting them watch TV – using an old remote she has and pretending the wall is the telly!

Wonderful, right? She has her independence and is enjoying her own space.

Our only issue is she does not know when to stop! Every night she comes out. There are all sorts of excuses! I need a wee, I need something from my bag, you forgot to put a plaster on my finger… You name it, she has used it! She would do it sometimes when they shared a room, but now it is every night without fail!

Last night we were watching telly and I can hear noises. Maybe it is one of the animals, I thought. The noise continued and eventually I got up. There she was, in her room, out of bed, door open and playing – very far from sleeping! I saw red and turned into the Dragon Lady!

‘Go to sleep’, I shouted! ‘You are supposed to be sleeping, you have school in the morning!’ It was more like a loud series of barks actually. (Our poor eldest, I probably startled her out of her slumber with my barking!) She says nothing and does as she’s told.

I sit back down and we don’t hear or see her again!

It’s 10pm and now we are off to bed. I pop in to check on the girls and what do I find? She is in bed – great – but not asleep – ah crap! I am no longer the Dragon Lady and speak softly to her. You have to go to sleep now’, I say, as I take the bag she has been emptying all over her bed and put it onto the floor. She quickly takes some of the treasures she is playing with and puts them under her pillow, before I can take them away. Shame! I pretend not to see and instead move some of her teddys to the end of the bed.

‘Are you and Daddy going to sleep now’, she asks. ‘Yes’, I say, ‘it’s 10 o’clock already – way past your bed time.’

Her eyes are heavy and she looks grateful as I tuck her in, snug as a bug! I recon she fell asleep almost instantly!

In case you were wondering, she got up the next morning at 6am with no complaints!

I wonder how late she needs to work tonight…

Midnight Oil-Sml


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