This post is about a monumentally shit night’s sleep. I’m writing it straight after an equally awful one, so please forgive any bitterness. Xander has, of late, been a complete nightmare during the hours when children of his age should be fast asleep.
He was already rubbish at sleeping through the night – I think we’ve had two uninterrupted ones in the near 16 months he’s been around. That said, he’s recently taken his flagrant disregard for kip to a new level. It has coincided with the recent hot weather. I’m not complaining about that, by the way. Stay please, sunshine. As long as it’s vaguely warm, he won’t go to sleep without an epic battle.
So it was that, one day last week, I had to try all kinds of things to get him to eventually surrender and go down for the night. I say ‘night’; it was about three hours. First of all with the bedtime routine perfectly observed and laddo looking decidedly drowsy, I put him in his cot while making that sound favoured by strict librarians and started to edge away.
He sprung to his feet, threw his dummy and cuddly toys to the other side of the room and began demonstrating his incredible lung power. More cuddling and shushing then. No success. Toothache, maybe? He seemed to have a little bit of tooth rash, so I gave him a small dose of Calpol to take the edge off and allowed a bit of time for it to kick in while giving him a cuddle. Still nothing.
Next up on the checklist of things that may prove soporific was motion. We don’t have a car – and I don’t drive anyway so that would’ve been a flawed plan. So I put him in his pushchair and took him for a ‘quick walk around the block’. “That’ll do it,” I thought to myself. Silly naive Tom!
As we got further around the circuit I had in mind, it became evident that he was still nowhere near going to sleep. I extended the route. Several times. Every time I thought he was going to nod off, he decided to show that he knew words for things we saw on our way round. He also showed he knew what noises animals make by greeting both a dog and a cat in their native tongues.
When I got home 45 minutes later, he was still not asleep. Maybe a story would do it? For some reason, I decided that getting into his cot with him to read a book together would help. And it started out alright. Until he’d had enough of The Gruffalo and started using it as a surprisingly formidable weapon. Oh, and Dylan who heard the commotion decided to join us and helpfully gave his little brother several more books to throw.
I can’t remember how we actually got him down in the end. I think Kate probably managed in five minutes flat.