It is 9.51pm. I’m sat on a bean bag in the nursery singing ‘Soft Kitty’ to my child who, despite having a decent track record for falling asleep between 7-8pm every evening, has decided tonight is the night to resist sleepies (aka sleep in case you aren’t down with my rendition of mummy slang) and has spent the last hour and a half terrorising myself and his father if we so much as tried to lay him down in his cot.
My initial response to this break in routine was anxiety. Evenings are sacred… I look forward to them as much as I used to look forward to my lunch break in school following double periods of maths and science! Evenings are my time, our time, time to gather thoughts, revel in quietness and submerge one’s tired body onto the sofa and focus on really important things… such as Netflix and a catch up with how the day has gone. Having that time taken away can be such an upheaval for one’s mood and brain function!
Then my anxiety fuelled selfish disappointment gives way to irrationality, where I start to panic that we shall never have peace and quiet again. That this is the start of a new behaviour where each evening will be spent trying to cajole BB into his pit and that we shall have a child who simply won’t ever sleep ‘normally’. Then it crosses my mind that he must be in pain or unhappy or terrorised so I administer teething powders and look around the room for anything that may be causing his imagination to go into hyper drive and summon up monsters and scary suits of armour leaping out of the closet or something (it happens… I was 3 and I still remember it vividly!). Then, just as I am planning out a strategy to try and fend off this offensive character plus all the other reasons for this uncharacteristic insomnia (and start to write on here in order to calm my worries) I look up to find that I have stopped singing ‘soft kitty’ and that BB is sleeping peacefully.
Isn’t it funny how we can snowball into complete irrationality and anxiety? It always amazes me how logic disappears out the window once you have the perfect panic cocktail of tired baby/tired parents in equal quantities. As soon as the calm and quiet descends, you do find yourself thinking ‘what the hell was I so worried about?’. After all, we are still here… no major disaster happened. Two or three hours of my evening have disappeared but, meh, there’s always tomorrow!
The main thing to remember is that as long as you are there for your kids and keep a cool, calm head, everything falls into place. It’s dawned on me many times that circumstances aren’t what affect our children… it’s how we as their parents react and handle the circumstances that have more of a bearing on them and their well being. As long as we see past our own selfish tendencies (such as wanting to sit down and watch the latest Game of Thrones for example… ahem), stop running around trying to control the situation and just sit and provide comfort and support… then all magically works itself out.
|Daren’t risk an action shot from within his cot so a nap time picture will suffice!|