Turns out I may be using the big Santa bribe after all. I cannot think of a single other way to get Little T to stay in his bed, both after we’ve put him to bed of an evening & much past 5am in the morning. This is having a less than beneficial effect on Project Happiness, which is in danger of turning into ‘Project Biting People’s Head Off For No Reason’, ‘Project Being Generally Tired, Run-Down & Looking Like Shite’ or ‘Project Ain’t No Touche Eclat Strong Enough For These Bags’. I’m being a little melodramatic, but you get my drift.
He’s not always been like this. From 12 weeks, he slept for 12 hours, regardless of whether he’d had a nap or not & regardless when you put him down. 12 hours from closing his eyes to waking up. It was bliss. Many of our parent friends hated us.
When we took the side off his cot & made it in to a big boy bed, he still slept 12 hours & showed no real interest in climbing out. I believe the phrase ‘Piece of cake….’ may have been uttered by one of us fools at some point in this process.
It’s only been the last few weeks that this has started & I see no rhyme nor reason for it; it’s actually darker in the mornings now, so it’s not the daylight waking him, he gets up & says he wants to sleep in our bed, which we have never, ever allowed (for this very bloody reason!!!!) & if we ask him to get back in to his big boy bed, he will stay there for – & I kid you not – exactly 30 minutes. On the button. I am beginning to think he’s actually toying with us – he can tell the time, has a watch & has been sent to this earth to shatter our sleep. We both love sleep.
Over the weekend, deliriousness with tiredness, we bought out the big guns & ordered a GroClock. For those of you who have toddlers who go to bed at bedtime & wake up at a civilised hour & are blissfully ignorant of the need for such a device – I like you a little less than I did because of this – the idea is that the clock face has stars on when it’s bedtime (the stars disappear as the night progresses) & a yellow happy sunshine when it’s morning & time to get up. It comes with a lovely story about ‘Sleepy Farm’ where all of the animals except for the pig go to bed on time & wake up on time (let’s call them your children) are playing & enjoying their day, the little pig (let’s call him our child) is miserable, naughty, irritable & sleepy because he hasn’t slept at night & gets up before the sun. This sounds very familiar to me.
So it arrived today & we made a big deal about it being a present for Little T & let him unwrap it, then we plugged it in & moved his little chair upstairs next to his bed to put it on, so he could see it. We showed him the sunshine & explained that he is to stay in his big boy bed until he sees Mr Sun again & while Mr Star is out, he should stay in his big boy bed, like a good boy. We read the story & he seemed to settle down & looked quite impressed when – at the right time to correspond with your children going to bed (this is entirely fictional, obviously) – the sun disappeared & the star came out. We kissed him goodnight & left the room, hopeful that this was the start of something brilliant.
Approximately 2 minutes later we heard a bang & a shout ‘Mummy? Daddy? The clock has broken!’ & Mr T went upstairs to find him sitting next to the chair with the cable of the clock in one hand & the clock – now showing neither stars or sunshine in the other. Mr T (much more patiently than I would have done) put it back together, reset the time & made it night time again & once more bid our son goodnight & crept quietly out of his room.
Another 3 minutes passed & I heard him get out again & went upstairs to him. ‘Mummy, how do you get the sunshine to come out?’ he asked. ‘I think you just press the button. That’s what Daddy did’. ‘This button here’. Thankfully, Mr T had locked the pad, but I fear it’s only a matter of time. I kissed him goodnight – again – & crept out his room. Again.
About another 2 minutes pass & we hear another shout ‘Daddy? Mummy? It’s broken again, can I get up now?’ queue him sitting on the floor having unplugged it again. I didn’t know whether to be proud or weary. I chose weary, as I’ve been up at 5 for the last few days, don’t forget. As Mr T was putting it back together, we were treated to a rousing rendition of ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’ (how does this child have so much bloody energy when it’s bed time – if anyone could bottle it, they’d make a fortune!
This time, we moved it our of his reach & it’s on the shelf – much to Little T’s dismay & 5 minutes have passed in silence.
I fear he may get up in the morning & unplug it at 5am, in which case it will be the worst £20 we ever spent, but we will persevere with it as I don’t really know what else to try. I’ll let you know how we get on in part 2.
In the meantime, suggestions on how we can get him to sleep on a postcard please….