Can you remember a time when if you heard that your heart would race?
Now your a parent of a toddler and it has a new meaning.
You haven’t had a nights sleep in eighteen months.
Memory, humor, disposition, judgement have all become seriously impaired.
Enough is enough.
Other people have managed it.
Tonight is the night you toddler is staying in its own bed all night!
All the books suggest that the key to your child sleeping is to,
1. Have a routine.
2. Give your toddler a bath.
3. Read them a story.
4.Put them into their cot and say goodnight.
You follow the advice.
Every point checked.
Bed time at last.
Pity your toddler cant read.
Up until the moment he went into bed all was looking good.
You caught him yawning,
“Oh Joy, hes definitely tired”.
However once he saw you retreat out that door up he jumps.
Eventually after a bit more,
coaxing, rocking, storytelling and another bottle,
he drops off.
Before you had children the only sleep deprivation you had experienced was self induced.
Even then you made up for it by sleeping round the clock the next day.
However your babies first birthday,
was also the anniversary of the last time you slept a full night.
I can remember a friend telling me about their neighbour.
They had a fourteen month old who woke every night.
The only solution was a bottle with blackcurrant cordial in it.
Nothing else worked.
One night they ran out of blackcurant.
In desperation they tried milk.
The mother handed over the bottle of milk to her expectant baby,
then crept quietly towards the door.
“Thump!”, the bottle of milk,
hit her on the back of the head!
My friends thought this was outrageous behavior.
A baby ruling the house like that.
And what damage were they doing to its teeth?
Two years later the same friends would drive around at night,
searching every shop,
for a particular brand of blackcurrant cordial,
for their little girl!
During the day it’s easy to strengthen our resolve.
We understand we may have to let him cry.
We listen to all sorts of advice,
and then use the internet, hoping for different advice!
“Leave him cry”…
You worry, for how long? Will this damage him?
“Stay with him but don’t pick him up”….
What a nightmare, you would be awake and out of bed!
“Don’t give him any bottle”….
So you have to listen to, “Please mama, ba ba!” being roared between sobs.
However, according to the experts,
the greatest sin of all,
is to take your toddler into bed with you!
Oh dear, this has been happening every night for months!
Well not tonight.
Tonight the bed is for you and your partner.
You will persevere.
You are determined.
The time arrives.
Your toddler wakes.
You are firm.
You are determined.
Over an hour of mayhem passes,
during which you try to apply every piece of advice you received.
Eventually you are all crying or close to it!
At last one of you cracks.
Muttering about how ridiculous this is,
the tear soaked, sobbing child, is picked up out of his cot.
He instantly clings to you like he will never let you go.
Gasping for breath between sobs.
You return to your bed with your toddler.
He settles down between you,
Two minutes later he falls fast asleep.
As do you both!
Ah well there is always tomorrow night!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/raggle/3383003810/”>-mrsraggle-</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/reverb/5049828942/”>reverbca</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>