Sleep its the great talking point of parents isn’t it. To parents its like the weather to us Brits, a common ground and most definitely a talking point. You get the odd jammy folk who can brag that their little beaut has slept through since they popped out. But the majority of parents have their sleep horror stories. And horror stories is the right genre for them because sleep deprivation is a form of torture. To many Hollywood writers a story where the plot follows two people plunged into the reality of hours of torture would surely excite. The reality is though that parents across THE WORLD are tortured by mini people that we LOVE every night. Like T.V. zombies parents plod through the following days and weeks super fuelled on caffeine dreading the possibility of that nights sequel.
We were getting quite smug as parents. We had our own terrifying stories of course. The 2 hour sleep nights of newborns . Or, like the midnight stroll around an industrial estate in Swindon, when the little darlings wouldnt stop screaming in a Premier Inn. But apart from the continuous eruption of teeth, sleeping had seemed to have been sorted.
We have always had a strong routine. Bath, Book, Bed, it worked. No it works I should be saying, I know it does, it’s never failed BUT then something else happened, something which has completely changed the whole sleeping game. Taken away our control, thrown a huge spanner in the works…………they learned to climb!
In the last 6 months our sleep battles have continued to change. The biggest one being the girls ability to do a double somersault out of their cots. This lead to a midnight blurred emergency where we lowered the sides to their cots. But oh the joys that unpenning them brings. The monsters are now free, uncaged, able to roam. So stair gates went up, shelves taken down, bedroom rearranged, doorknobs changed. We have stuck with the routine and every night ignorantly set them down saying ” close your eyes now, time to sleep” when deep down what we now have to endure is a pantomime of devilish acts in their bedroom and Mummy and Daddy playing the fools, repeating the ever so tiring return to bed routine. Some nights they do just drop off and we fist bump, go us, maybe once again we have a handle on this and then other nights, 3 hours later after the initial routine has happened eventually things go quiet.
Well over the last few nights a new challenge has added to the girls nightly escapades. Nakedness. At least previously, wee and poo incidents were contained. The last few nights however we have had dirty protests: Poo being smeared around the room and synchronised clothe removal. And for that what do you do??? Where do we go from here??? How can our happy and lovely little routine help in any which way two toddlers finding it hilariously funny to run around their bedroom stark naked???
I know these days will pass and the mist of tiredness will rise. A week of full nights sleep will fool us once again to believing we are winning at this cat and mouse game. Will foul us into a false state of believing we are in charge. But for now hubby and I in our perpetual state of exhaustion have to surrender to the reality that maybe we no longer rule the roost ( certainly not beyond the hours of 6 o’clock anyhow).