Sunday, 29 April 2012

Let sleeping toddlers lie...

It's been a very busy weekend. The start of my weekend was a half-day's holiday I booked on Friday. Unfortunately not for a relaxing min-spa break, but for a meeting with my son's nursery regarding his behaviour (biting, hitting and hair-pulling).

Ever since I was invited to the meeting I have been dreading it. I was afraid that they would judge me and think I was an unfit mother for 'letting' him behave this way. How can I possibly provide all the attention, care and learning he needs as just one person? I do regularly question myself and my ability, however, on reflection I think that's just a normal thing for a parent. You worry from the day they are born if they are too hot, too cold, hungry, thirsty, need the toilet. That nurturing instinct continues on into their adulthood. Before I went for a run this morning - after I explained to my mum the difference between 'camel-toe' and 'moose-knuckle', and why I therefore wear jogging bottoms and not leggings - my mum still reminds me to put on a coat to go out in the rain, and I still answer her back like a stroppy teenager.

The bottom line is that I do wonder if I'll be enough for my son. He's an intelligent child and picks up things astonishingly quickly. My worry is that he might be getting bored at nursery. I discovered that he is very well behaved when the staff spend one-to-one time with him. The little girl that he bites and fights with is in fact his 'girlfriend' with whom he spends most of his time. Apparently she gives as good as she gets, and even at this age it is clear they have a passionate relationship.  The nursery decided it would be best to give them a trial separation. As my son has already had enough changes to deal with this year they decided that his girlfriend would be the one to move rooms.  They tried this for the first time on Friday and he was a little sad and asked where she was. His behaviour, however, vastly improved on that day.

The nursery also suggested that I try to get him to sleep longer, ignore the bad behaviour (as long as he's not in danger) and spend more time with him praising his good behaviour. Well, I tried this on Friday and I felt like I had a different child! He was much more attentive, agreeable and didn't snap or lash out. Friday night was a different story though.

My night began when the Friday-night-bottle of red I bought (Mummy's special juice) rolled off the kitchen worktop and smashed on the kitchen floor. Luckily the bottle was still inside the carrier bag so the glass was contained but the liquid quickly spread across the floor. I stood their for a moment, stunned, trying to think about what to do about the quickly spreading stain-in-a-bottle. The first things I saw were two yellow towels which I quickly threw onto the wine. No sooner had they hit the floor and soaked up some wine that I remembered I have a mop.

So after mopping up the wine and putting the towels in the washing machine I nipped back to the supermarket to re-stock and came back to a house which smelt like a brewery. We were then ready to begin the bedtime routine:

After his 2nd birthday party, asleep in his tea.
If only it were this easy every day.
- Bath
- Story with cup of milk
- Brush teeth and toilet
- Tuck into bed and sing a song (normally 'Horsey, horsey, don't you stop)
- Fight with him until he finally goes to sleep

At 9.45pm my glass of wine was still sat waiting for me in the kitchen. I was close to either screaming at the top of my lungs or having a good blub so I had to leave his room, shut the door and let him cry it out for five minutes. I went back upstairs (by this point he was clearly exhausted) and tucked him in again. He passed out instantly and snored like a baby walrus.

Tonight was a different story, and I think we're both getting the hang of the new bedtime routine. I tucked him in, sat with my back facing him for a few minutes and then said I had to do something down stairs. I reassured him that I would be back to check on him in a couple of minutes but that he must stay in bed. I left a few times, each time a little longer. He refused to stay in bed a couple of times so I just put him straight back in without talking to him and left the room again.

The last time I left him was for 20 minutes and he didn't make a peep (apart from a bit of singing) so after I went in to check on him one last time he passed out quickly! I'm so pleased that we have progression. I haven't been able to leave him on his own to sleep for about 7 months. I just need to stick at it religiously for the next couple of weeks and hope we both get the hang of it.

Finally, a quick update on the online dating front: I just got asked for "regular naughty fun".....

Errrrr.....no, you're OK thanks. If you check my profile I don't think it actually says that's what I'm looking for, or anything of the kind. Anywhere.

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