• jdettmann

Sleep Like No-One’s Watching


Gusto refusing to participate in a dramatic re-enactment of the sleeping arrangements at our house. Honestly, never work with cats.


It’s been a while since I updated you on the state of sleep in the house of Gusto. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath.

Here’s the lowdown: May Blossom and Garnet share a room. Ostensibly, H and I also share a room. Every night, we read to the kids in their beds at bedtime. Because I am a very lucky duck indeed, H is almost always home for bedtime, so we take turns each reading to a kid, night about.

Because children are cruel and unthinking creatures, they fight over having me read their books, which makes H feel pretty bad. There is no reason whatsoever for this preference for me reading. May Blossom has recently realised it makes H feel bad when she crows about how it’s Mummy’s turn to read her books, so she has turned it around and now brags when it’s H’s turn. ‘Oh yay! It’s Daddy’s turn to read my books, Garnet. Lucky me!’ That mollifies H somewhat, although I fear she is just trying reverse psychology on Garnet so he will request H reads to him, and thus she will get me. It’s complicated.

After books, we turn off the lamp, leaving only the hideous white night light that looks like the light an airplane toilet before you lock the door properly,  and I lie with Garnet in his bed, reading on my phone, while he practices his tumble turns and chatters to his toys. May Blossom usually goes straight to sleep. Eventually Garnet falls asleep too.They have never yet mananged to do that thing I’ve seen on TV where the parent kisses the child softly on the forehead and leaves the room and the kids go to sleep. I am too scared to try that because I fear it will lead to between one and three hours of them wandering out  to complain about the darkness, the lack of milk, the temperature of the milk, the absence of a certain toy, an itchy foot, the presence of each other or any number of other imagined problems. It’s just easier to lie there until they sleep.

Once they are asleep, we don’t hear from them again for hours. This has been the situation for quite a few months now, but it never ceases to amaze me when they sleep for over two hours without needing me. Possibly my standards are quite low.

But some time between midnight and 3 am, something wakes Garnet. He gets up, trots like a tiny zombie into our room, using sonar to avoid crashing into the laundry baskets I leave around like speed bumps to try to slow him down, and he climbs into bed with me. Usually I don’t notice it happening. Occasionally I do, when I happen to open my eyes and see his big sleepy eyes gazing at me. I don’t know how long he as been watching me. It’s a bit weird. I haul him up, he curls up with me and we snuggle to sleep.

This would not be a problem, except that when he leaves his room, an alarm must sound on May Blossom’s Unfairometer, causing her to wake and realise her brother is having cuddles and she isn’t, so she comes in to join us. She climbs in beside H. That makes four in the queen-sized bed, plus one fat sprawling Burmese cat.

That’s too many. H moves May Blossom back into her bed, and he goes to sleep in Garnet’s bed so May Blossom isn’t lonely. Garnet and I remain blissfully sprawled in the big bed.

Early each morning, H is woken by the feeling of being watched, and opens his eyes to see May Blossom standing beside him holding his glasses out to him. That’s his cue to start making French Toast.

I think the key to stopping these night-time shenanigans is for Garnet to stay in his own bloody bed. When this is suggested to him, he laughs like I would if you suggested I should become a vegan. Preposterous! What on earth would I do that for?!

Last week I told him if he stayed in his own bed for the night he could have some M&Ms in the morning. Later, when I quizzed him about the new plan for that night, he said yes he did remember the plan, and he would definitely stay in his own bed and eat M&Ms until he needed me, when he planned to come find me, as usual. Um, no, dude. That isn’t the plan.

This week I have upgraded my offer to Octonauts toys, which he can have if he stays in his bed all night for three nights. We are one night in and it worked last night, sort of. I did have to go in twice and lie down with him for a while, which ended up with me falling asleep and remaining in his bed for much of the night. At this rate I am going to earn an Octonaut before he does. And then there will be even less room in my bed.

#Motherhood #Sleep #Life #Parenthood #Sleepdeprivation #discipline #sleeptraining #kids #Parenting

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