Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Sleep is the best way to celebrate

on February 12, 2013

Yesterday was my blogiversary – one year since I started blogging.  It’s been quite a year! I wrote it on my calendar to remind me to write a celebratory post.  And then I forgot and spent most of the night discussing feminism on Facebook.

My children celebrated by sleeping through.  Small Girl was in bed and asleep at 7.25 pm.  Big Girl was quietly in bed at 8.30 pm.  I woke up this morning to the sound of them playing together happily, in their room, followed by Big Girl putting on the baby monitor music and singing along.  When I went into them, Big Girl informed me that they had swapped beds after I went to bed.  I think this is unlikely to be true, but really, as long as I get to sleep all night and no-one gets injured, I don’t mind.

Obviously, this is because I saw a specialist health visitor about the sleep issues yesterday and have an appointment with the sleep clinic on Friday.  Small Girl wants me to turn up to see a child psychologist with a sleep diary showing that she goes to sleep around 7.30 pm and sleeps all night.  Well, I can live with looking stupid if that’s what it takes to get some sleep.

So I tried to work out what I did yesterday in order to do it again today and replicate last night’s sleeping triumph.  Yes, I know. It’s almost impossible to guess what you’ve done as a parent which has affected your child’s behaviour.  But I came up with three possibilities: lots of exercise (she and Big Girl spent most of the hour the health visitor was here climbing over me and running round and round); no nap; and a good dinner – macaroni cheese, so solid carbohydrates and dairy.

So, to try to recreate the conditions which could have led to sleep… Firstly, exercise: I made her walk to our regular coffee morning at Ikea.  Well, some of the way anyway.  And then I tried to make her walk to the bus station to get home, on reins, with Big Girl also on reins, and also pushing the pushchair. I was amazed by the looks of disgust I got from people who I apparently was inconveniencing by ‘walking on the pavement’.  It’s not like I was hard to miss.  ‘Oh, wait, I didn’t see you, your two children *and* your pushchair’.

Secondly, no nap.  Normally she sleeps in the pushchair on the way home.  I didn’t put her in the pushchair.  I didn’t put her in the sling.  I didn’t breastfeed her once we got home.  I didn’t do anything which might let her sleep.  This was not a huge success.  She was pale-faced and teary, wanting cuddles and to be held.  This meant that the thirdly, a good dinner, was a bit of a failure. She wanted to be cuddled and she didn’t want to eat.

As it was pancake day, and I am a good parent, I persisted with pancakes.  This was tricky. Big Girl wanted pancakes. Small Girl wanted cuddling. I wanted to avoid burning either child with hot fat.  (I also wanted pancakes but this comes quite far down the list of priorities).

So, the floor and I, we are covered in syrup.  Syrup and tears.  Pancake day is a two-parent job and I am just one parent.  But, I think, a pretty good one.  And both children were in bed by 8.45. I think we’re dropping a nap.

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3 responses to “Sleep is the best way to celebrate

  1. Rachel says:

    Great news! I hope you get a full night tonight too. Good luck! xxx

  2. caspar70 says:

    Woo hooo to full nights sleep!! I’ve still got my little girl sleeping with me all night. She just won’t go in her own bed and I am too tired emotionally and physically to battle with her. My boy never used to sleep in his own bed either but since turning 5 and starting school he never comes in to me anymore and easily sleeps 7-7 so I’m not stressing. I’m sure she will grow out of it like he did.

    The no-nap is a killer. Especially come tea time, or witching hour as we call it in this house!! I keep telling myself it will get easier as they get older!

    • I think with things like this it really is crucial to choose which battles you fight. If it isn’t bothering you enough to change it, and it isn’t hurting your children, then don’t change it. Save your energy for the things which matter – there are enough of them.

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