Good evening? Not on my watch!

A meme based on Game of Thrones with the wording: "Brace yourselves, the toddler's bedtime is coming"

I was interested to read about a study currently being undertaken in Canada, which is investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain. Not least because this subject is rather close to home at the moment!

I’ve been struggling with tiredness a lot lately. There are a number of factors at play. My busiest time of year due to Father’s Day work has contributed. As has the recent heatwave. The biggest culprit, however, has been the littlest.

Amelie – who is now 19 months old – seems to have reached the same stage that Xander went through at a similar age. Namely refusing to go to sleep at a sensible time. Until a few weeks ago, she would nod off relatively quickly. She would still wake up in the middle of the night, of course, but at least Kate and I got an evening.

Now it’s taking around three hours. Nothing works. Routine, motion, a calming atmosphere, night lights. You name it. There are a few remaining things to try, but I’m not holding out much hope.

She’s obviously tired every night, but just won’t give in. On the rare occasions that she closes her eyes, there’s no guarantee that she’s going to drift off. In fact, it usually means that she’ll be even more defiant a few moments later.

As a result, we regularly find ourselves having our evening meal at gone 9pm. Even then this is sometimes with her in attendance, which is far from ideal for anyone. She continues to miss out on sleep and we get no time to relax.

This is especially annoying as we only started watching Game of Thrones a few weeks ago. We’re running out of time to catch up before season seven starts and the internet spoils it for us. An evening is my iron throne. And you thought you had problems!

Once she does settle down, that’s not it for the night. Nine times out of ten she’ll wake up a few hours later and refuse to go back to sleep in her own bed.

Although we sleep relatively well once everyone is finally in bed, I’m always shattered in the morning. Coffee doesn’t do much other than taste nice. The shower washes away sleep from my eyes but not my brain. And fresh air on the school run doesn’t achieve much either.

This just goes to show how tricky parenting can be at times. Amelie is our third child. We know all of the different ways of persuading her to get some kip, but theory and practise are two quite different entities. I would say we ought to be able to get her to sleep with our eyes shut, but I doubt I’ll ever get the opportunity to prove that as things stand!

As I mentioned earlier, we went through this with Xander. We got there in the end and will again. I’m just hoping that it will be sooner than the age of four this time. It would be nice to sleep properly again before I turn 40.

So what is the purpose of this post? Just to have a good whinge, to be honest.

And, of course, to show solidarity with other parents going through similar battles of will with tiny people in their own image.

We’ll show them… in two to three years’ time!


  1. Nige

    Great post wish I could help the girls still thankfully still go to sleep at a reasonable time. So Emily and myself do have the evening, both still wake in the middle of the night, but always go straight back to sleep. I really hope this settles for you soon mate. Good luck, there is always EBay Haha!

  2. Steve | Big Stevie Cool Blog

    Sometimes we just need a good whinge. In my experience it does get better, but only for a short period! My three are aged 6, 8 and 10 and we feel like we’re forever shouting upstairs and explaining the need for them to go to sleep!

  3. Anne

    A whinge is okay, but sleep deprivation is certainly not fun, I’m pretty sure it will be a phase though. My daughter has been going through this phase for 11 years now, but it’s ok, her younger brother and sister sleep really well!

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