Heater, Mother of Lance

Fending off the body snatchers

The aliens have been waking Leta up at ungodly hours. We did what anyone would do to protect our child from their corrupt influence and have once again sealed off her room from their death rays. This way she will never see the sun again.

our strategy to curtail the aliens

As Jon and I hung the tin foil in her windows on Friday night we felt a tad mischievous. She was going to wake up at 6 AM the next morning like she has been doing for the last month, but the appearance of the room would indicate that it was still the middle of the night. A small part of me felt like we were intentionally deceiving her. That small part kept asking whether or not our personal comfort was worth the lie. The much bigger, world weary part of me had the answer and it went something like this: SHUT UP ALREADY.

Like clockwork she woke up at 6 AM on Saturday morning. Jon and I braced for the screeching, but after thirty seconds of loud rustling she fell back asleep. She didn’t wake back up until 8:15. HAH! When I got up to go and get her I did a stylish moonwalk out our bedroom door and pumped my arms in the air like the pistons of an engine, a victory dance to signify our victory over the tyranny of a two-year-old who regularly sneaks into the bathroom to scratch her underarms with my toothbrush.

  • gusgreeper

    2006/03/20 at 11:10 am

    fantastic idea.
    genius in fact.

  • gusgreeper

    2006/03/20 at 11:11 am

    fantastic idea.
    genius in fact.

  • Melissa

    2006/03/20 at 11:09 am

    I’m so going to try that. My daughter gets up way to early on the weekends. I like the moon walk visual.

  • Daisy

    2006/03/20 at 10:50 am

    Just to make ya’ll jealous I’m going to tell you that I couldn’t get my 3 year old up before 8am to save our lives! This morning it was 9:34am! heehee!!

  • Heather

    2006/03/20 at 10:49 am

    The question then becomes why tin foil and not black out blinds?? I suppose the alien story is not nearly as interesting if you don’t use the tin foil!! 🙂

  • iamchanelle

    2006/03/20 at 10:43 am

    i so wish i could have seen the “doocewalk” dance. i laughed out loud at the visual image of your triumph. haha! enjoy “sleeping in”. 🙂

  • David

    2006/03/20 at 10:38 am

    Ahh… The breaking down the tyranny of twos. Can you help with ours that wants to sleep horizontal between us?

  • David

    2006/03/20 at 10:37 am

    Ahh… The breaking down the tyranny of twos…

  • Megan

    2006/03/20 at 10:20 am

    (starting to realize the source of the kid’s translucent skim-milk toned skin)

    My parents just taught me that the earlier I woke them up, the sooner I lost control of the remote…

  • missuswayne

    2006/03/20 at 10:21 am

    Yeah, the minute my kid wakes up from his nap the tinfoiling will begin. Today he slept late – until 6am. Sweet Jesus, that’s SO VERY WRONG.

  • worldfalls

    2006/03/20 at 10:33 am

    My husband has lived in our current house for about eight years – so he lived there for several years with a bunch of his old college buddies before I ever met him. He (and the house) have changed/matured so drastically over the last several years that the neighbors just assume we are a nice new couple that moved in recently. Back in the “college buddy” days, one of his friends/housemates had completely covered his bedroom windows with tinfoil in order to be able to sleep off hangovers, etc. after many late nights of partying.
    In a recent conversation, one of our (apparently gossipy) neighbors informed us that those “Evil Boys” who used to live in the house were actually GROWING POT in that upstairs bedroom (described with wide eyes in a scandalous whisper) – because, you know, the only way to acclimatize a room for pot-growing is to cover the windows with tinfoil…
    She also proceeded to tell us many other scandalous stories of the “Evil Boys” – during which we did our best to feign shock and incredulity, because WE would never act like THAT.

  • Dr. Research

    2006/03/20 at 10:20 am

    What you’re experiencing sounds very much like “night terrors,” a very common thing at that age. Our daughter making the transition from crib to bed about this time. She’d wake up in absolute hyteria. We even moved the crib int our room briefly. We had a big ceremonial replacement of the crib with a new bed and everything went well thereafter.

  • BrittanyGifford

    2006/03/20 at 10:11 am

    That’s brilliant! Do you think it will work on a 6 month old?

  • Megan

    2006/03/20 at 10:19 am

    (starting to realize the source of the kid’s translucent skim-milk tomed skin)

    My parents just taught me that the earlier I woke them up, the sooner I lost control of the remote…

  • Mary Craig

    2006/03/20 at 10:10 am

    I never would have thought of this. Which is why I haven’t slept past 7AM in eighteen years, possibly. Damnit.

  • Daxohol

    2006/03/20 at 9:51 am

    What no propeller arms during your victory dance?

  • aubs

    2006/03/20 at 9:38 am

    Brilliant…and timely too. After spending one of my first nights in my new apartment, I’ve come to realize that the sun is INTENSE around 9:30am (something I’ve never realized since I’m usually up long before.) Was contemplating those blackout shades but this is a MUCH easier, much more crafty solution. Thanks!

  • Bucky Four-Eyes

    2006/03/20 at 9:32 am

    Hmmph, MY mom used to just wrap my whole head in tin foil. It worked great – I slept in on weekend mornings, according to plan.

    Of course, I thought I was the Tin Man until I was 14, but that’s another story for my therapist.

  • gabip

    2006/03/20 at 9:32 am

    OMG…Im’ This Many, the clown under the bed is priceless.

  • jes

    2006/03/20 at 9:10 am

    I would have done the same thing to her windows, but how did she not hear you?

    Also, I am deeply disturbed by the scratching of the armpits with the toothbrush.

  • i'm_this_many

    2006/03/20 at 9:14 am

    we solved this problem by dressing up a mannequin to look like a really creepy clown and placing him under our son’s bed so that just his head stuck out…. we then told him that if he got out of bed before 8 o’clock the clown would get him. it works great! in fact, some days he doesn’t get out of bed at all…

    belated birthday wishes to Leta by the way…

  • gabip

    2006/03/20 at 9:31 am

    This is such a great idea, my son is two and gets up with the roosters. I purchased black out shades from PB Kids and curtains but somehow the little monkey knows it’s 6AM. Today he woke at a bright and shiny 5AM, and started chit chatting with Teddy, his bear, by 5:45 the screams began….Mamaaaaaa, Mamaaaaaa, of course it’s never Dadaaaaa. Gone are the days of waking to lovely sounds of music from the alarm clock, now it screams of Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I think I will be purchasing tinfoil today, lots and lots of tinfoil.

  • Everqueer

    2006/03/20 at 8:46 am

    Hey, The armpit IS much better than the really hard to reach itch…caused by her diaper.

  • BigA

    2006/03/20 at 8:53 am

    I love it. There was a time when I thought of draping our daughter with one of those bird-cage covers to achieve a similar result. In fact I think I may start producing baby pj’s made out of bird-cage covers. I’m sure Mighty Goods would pick it up in a heart beat!

  • greenthumb

    2006/03/20 at 8:54 am

    OMG!!! Lucy gets me up every morning at 6am now too. You have given me hope.

    Hmmm! Only one problem, Lucy doesn’t wear diapers. Is it ethical to put your 9 week old puppy in a diaper?

  • fred

    2006/03/20 at 8:45 am

    if the tin foil does not work, just give her a small dose of benadryl… she’ll sleep like a baby.
    ahhhh…drugging the children for the better of the parents…

  • LeafGirl77

    2006/03/20 at 8:37 am

    That’s hilarious. Whatever you need to do to get some sleep!

    Our strategy? Spray our children with a spray bottle when they start yackin’ at 5:30am. Mind you, our children are our cats.

  • Nickki

    2006/03/20 at 8:44 am

    GENIUS! I’ll definatly use that on my future little ones.

  • E-Lo

    2006/03/20 at 8:30 am

    Dear lord, what a wonderful idea. I’ll keep that one in the back of my brain for when my little one wants to rise with the sun.

  • ladymadaysia

    2006/03/20 at 8:32 am

    It’s so cruel, insane, and GENIUS at the same time! I LIKE IT!

  • Kirstination

    2006/03/20 at 8:33 am

    Strange – I have to impose a similar technique for my husband. Yes, I just said my husband. He’s always waking up at 7 am on the weekends. I couldn’t take it anymore and finally covered the windows in black posterboard. He now makes it to about 8:30 before he decides that I must wake up and hang out with him. I can’t imagine what he was like when he was Leta’s age.

  • Peggy

    2006/03/20 at 8:24 am

    It’s all for her PROTECTION. And of course, your sanity. Brilliant!

  • Jessica Bauer

    2006/03/20 at 8:30 am

    Light blocking shades work just as well if you’re looking for a more sightly and permanent solution. Darkness is good! Congrats on your extra hours of sleep!

  • barbie2be

    2006/03/20 at 8:16 am

    gee, i never sleep anymore. i wonder if tin foil would work for me too? 🙂

  • minxlj

    2006/03/20 at 8:14 am

    Blackout curtains (drapes) do the same thing…but the tinfoil probably has added defence from aliens, if you read believe certain conspiracy magazines. haha

  • MamaKBear

    2006/03/20 at 8:14 am

    I did the same thing to the window in my girls’ room! The toddler kept waking up waaaay too freakin’ early in the morning and then she’d wake the baby up. I had enough so covered the window with foil. Works like a charm!

    Now they have separate rooms, and the 3 yr old’s room has no windows…sometimes I wish mine didn’t! The baby sleeps better now too. 🙂

  • Carli

    2006/03/20 at 8:13 am

    Yeah, I live in Alaska and when I was a kid, it got dark after 10 pm and light again at about 3 am – really screwed up the body clock. Foil is a mommy’s best friend! My kids are 3 and 4, and old enough for me to say “Go back to your room until I tell you it’s time to get up.” Sometimes they just play quietly, other times it doesn’t work. There is nothing wrong with deceiving a 2 year old; they need their sleep just as much as you do!

  • Kristine

    2006/03/20 at 8:11 am

    *slapping forehead* Ohhhh that hate mail you’re going to get from the anti-tin foil on the window people.

    Good thing they weren’t around when my mother was parenting. 😉

  • Coelecanth

    2006/03/20 at 8:04 am

    Yah, but what are you going to do about The Black Helicopters?

    And Dude, you can moonwalk first thing in the morning!? I’m lucky if I can shuffle forward in a reasonably straight line. That dance tape you have must be some good stuff.

  • Mel

    2006/03/20 at 8:03 am

    Ha ha! Maybe I should do that when I want to sleep in on Saturday mornings. 🙂 Sneaky!

  • sherships

    2006/03/20 at 7:54 am

    I would happily wrap anyone or anything in tinfoil that tried to come between me and being asleep at 6:00 in the morning.

  • jams

    2006/03/20 at 7:58 am

    in arizona we called this ‘mexican window tint’
    and i just installed mine this weekend!

  • rch7279

    2006/03/20 at 8:01 am

    I will have to try this soon I think, My son currently does not have any windows in his room – it’s fantastic, but we are moving in a few months. I didn’t even think of sunlight even being a factor in his sleep – he is 14 months old and goes to sleep at 4:30 pm and wakes at 6:00 am – now that I am thinking about it I deffinately will have to something about the sun!

  • Stepha1202

    2006/03/20 at 7:46 am

    That’s GD brilliant. And you’re so kind for sharing this with us. I now have hope for ditching the bags under my eyes in the near future.

  • Heather

    2006/03/20 at 7:46 am

    Isn’t tin foil an invention of the gods? Works great for the two little boys that won’t sleep in the summer, ‘But it’s still day time!!’ and at keeping them asleep until 6 am, because that feels later than 5:55 am.

  • di

    2006/03/20 at 7:38 am

    I’m long past the babies waking up early stage, but I think you just gave me an idea for how to make sure my husband sleeps in late on Saturday mornings! Thanks!

  • Paula Puffer

    2006/03/20 at 7:42 am

    Ha Ha ha….. My 42 year old boyfriend has corrugated tin over his windows (leftover from the hurricane that never happened in Houston last fall). It makes for great sleep when I am over at his house (well that and my cat can’t walk on my face because he is in need of cupboard love).

  • meninaprons

    2006/03/20 at 7:38 am

    Ah tinfoil on the windows. Reminds me of the fraternity house. It’s a wonder my wife ever married me.

  • Amy D.

    2006/03/20 at 7:36 am

    sleep is the nectar of the gods, I can’t wait to use this trick! WOOT!! rock on, Armstrongs!

  • Meg

    2006/03/20 at 7:36 am

    I just love that it’s foil. Nothing else seems right, anyhow. When we lived up north in the Yukon, my parents did the same thing to block out the endless light of summer. Unfortunately, I still had a body clock from hell that left me calling out at 5 am, “Hey! You guys UP YET?”

    And this at age two.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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