I need help. Once or twice every couple of weeks, the boys wake up in the middle of the night - like 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. - and decide that it's time to get up for the day and play. I think W is the one who wakes up, and then he wakes R so he has a playmate. I go in and explain that it's still nighttime and they need to be quiet and go back to sleep. They're quiet for maybe five or ten minutes - just long enough for me to doze back off - then the talking and playing starts up all over again. This cycle repeats four or five times over the next one-to-four hours, with my level of rage escalating each time until I finally do something regrettable (like taking away TV for the day). Some nights, the whole episode only takes an hour or so, some nights we're all awake for the day from the first time they wake me up. Needless to say, these super-fun nights result in all of us being exceedingly tired and cranky for at least the next day.
I don't know what to do about this. No amount of talking, yelling, screaming, threatening, persuading, or punishment (except sometimes taking away TV) seems to convince them that it's still nighttime and they need to sleep. They have an Ok to Wake! clock, and they understand that they're not allowed to get up until it turns green (most mornings, I'll hear one of them yell to the other, "It's gween! It's morning!"), but that doesn't seem to apply before the sun is up. I'll point out to them when I go in that the clock isn't green, but they still go right back to playing.
This isn't something terribly regular, but it happens often enough that it's killing my sleep. I was finally getting to a point in my post-child life where I felt like I was getting a decent amount of sleep. I was starting to remember what it felt like to not be totally sleep deprived. Of course, after all that whining about single parenting yesterday, you understand that I'm the only one who is around to deal with this insanity. What can I do to stop this?
I've long posited that my children are trying to kill me. Please help me continue to thwart them. Please?