Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Bedtime

on April 26, 2012

The evening becomes a disaster around the time of the Poo Incident.  Big Girl says that she wants a poo.  But no, she actually wants to keep eating her toast.  Or something. And then she looks agitated in that way that suggests she might be pooing.  And the smell – it’s a bit of a giveaway.

So I get her onto the potty.  Little Girl is crying so I bring her into the lounge.  I remove the pooey knickers and put the contents into a nappy bag and take the knickers into the kitchen to go in the wash.  On my return, Little Girl, demonstrating her new-found turn of speed, has crawled over and is reaching into the nappy bag in that way that suggests she’s found a tasty new snack.  So I move her back into the lounge and try to clean the poo up, which is everywhere – jeans, jumper, legs, potty, bum, floor.  Little Girl comes over to investigate again and in desperation I put her over the kitchen stair-gate.  She starts crying, sounding like a poor neglected baby.  So we’re done with dinner, which has over-run massively, and it’s time to go upstairs, possibly ditching the idea of bathtime altogether.

On nights like this, bath-time is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s part of their routine.  They like it and find it relaxing and it helps them know it’s time to go to sleep, and if they don’t have a bath they tend to be harder to settle.  On the other hand, when Big Girl is behaving like she has tonight, she’s as likely to just stand in the bath and scream if I try to put her in.  It’s a hard one to call.

So I tell Big Girl it was time to go upstairs and she starts screaming about her toast, that toast she had been eating for an hour.  I take Little Girl upstairs first and come back down for Big Girl, who meanwhile has made some play cups of tea, dropped them on the floor and is crying about it.  Due to Little Girl’s crawling prowess, I have put her in Big Girl’s cot as a temporary safety measure and so she is screaming about that.  I ask Big Girl if she wants to walk upstairs herself or wants carrying (Give her a choice! It works every time!  Except, um, this time).  She claims that she wants to walk by herself, but her lack of walking suggests otherwise.  So I carry her.  Total meltdown.

At this point, everything goes to shit.  Little Girl is screaming in the cot.  Big Girl is lying on the floor shrieking “I tired! I tired!’.  I get Little Girl out of the cot.  She crawls round screaming.  Big Girl wants a bath.  She doesn’t want a bath.  She’s tired.  She doesn’t want her pyjamas on.  She wants her pyjamas on.  She doesn’t want to wear a nappy.  All this is communicated through the medium of crying and lying on the floor writhing. She is a big two year old and it’s quite hard to wrestle her into a nappy or pyjamas.  By ‘quite hard’ I mean ‘nearly fucking impossible’.  Please note, I am only swearing in my head, not to my children.  Or at them.  This is only because I am awesome.

So finally Big Girl is in a nappy.  Little Girl is still screaming.  Even if I’m holding her, she is screaming like she is being neglected. I think about my neighbours, who have threatened to call social services because I am leaving her to cry for long periods at all times of day and night (because they have x-ray eyes and can tell if she’s screaming in her cot, neglected, or screaming while being held due to having painful wind. Obviously).  I think, I sound like a terrible parent, with my two screaming children.  I convince Big Girl to drink her milk, and for one small blissful minute, only have one screaming child.  Normality resumes when I once again attempt to introduce the idea of pyjamas.

Eventually, I put Big Girl in her cot.  I ask her if she wants to put her top or bottom on first.  She screams some more.  Little Girl is clinging to my leg, standing up, screaming.  Eventually I tell her that she can either have her pyjamas on or not have her pyjamas on.  She refuses the pyjamas.  I start to leave.  She wants her pyjamas on. Finally, she is in her pyjamas, with Pink Rabbit, her blanket and her duvet. She’s not lying down but she’s as in bed as I can manage.  Little Girl, still screaming, and I head for bedtime round 2.  This is easier because she is little.  She carries on screaming while I change her nappy, put her pyjamas on (she employs the ‘kick and wriggle’ technique which makes the trousers a bit of a challenge) and start feeding her.  After about an hour and a half of feeding, she is finally asleep.  It’s half past ten. I am relieved to find that Big Girl is fast asleep and has not removed her pyjamas and nappy, as I feared she might.

Fortunately, most nights are not like this.

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9 responses to “Bedtime

  1. Simon H says:

    Ouch. You didn’t look as if your night was that bad, so well done you.

  2. Ruth says:

    Blimey! A huge, massive well done to you. x

  3. seaswift says:

    I love the way you’ve written about this. You’ve really captured the full horror of baby/toddler bedtimes whilst seeming to maintain a sense of humour. I admire you!

  4. Lisa says:

    Hope tonight won’t be as bad! X

    • Thanks – tonight was less traumatic but just really loooooong – Big Girl wants to do everything herself at her own pace and any hurrying just makes things worse. And Little Girl must’ve got a second wind, fed for a while and then was just delighted to roll around, grin at me and play ‘try to roll off the bed’ followed by peekaboo. Cute but not really what I was hoping for – but she’s only a baby for a little time…

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