Monday, November 28, 2011

Jet lag

Well, we're back in Moscow after a great vacation filled with family, food and shopping (stay tuned for a post about the expat phenomenon of panic buying).  But all good things must end, and, in their place, we have jet lag.

I've flown internationally with babies five times now.  And I have come to the conclusion that I am either incredibly dense, or that there is really not much you can do to get your kids over jet lag.  Each time, I have a plan.  Usually the initial plan involves waking the kids up somewhere close to their normal rising time.  And usually, it doesn't work.  No matter how much I engineer their schedule during the day, they still get up at 2 a.m. ready to play.  We expose them to sunlight (well, what sunlight there is in Moscow this time of year - not much).  We feed them at the traditional meal times.  We keep the room dark and discourage playing in the middle of the night.

Days later, still, 2 a.m. seems to be a good time for a party.  So then, around day three or four, I usually vary the plan.  I tell myself that "sleep begets sleep," or some such nonsense from the gospel of child-rearing experts. I stop waking them and let the, sleep as much as they like.

And, surprise, surprise, they still wake at 2 a.m.

Usually, after about a week, and just before I think I can't possibly take one more night of awful sleep, jet lag is over.  And it's not from anything I did or didn't do.

And I know that we're looking at about a week of terrible sleep, yet I still woke the girls up this morning (they had screamed more or less from 2:30 to 6 a.m.) at a relatively early hour.  They took good long naps at the appointed hour.  And I find myself hoping against hope that they'll sleep at least until 5 a.m. tomorrow.  Wish us luck.

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