The bedtime blues


From one extreme to the other is what we have when it comes to bedtime in our house. Sarah just loves going to bed and is asleep within seconds of lying down but Aidan is a totally different story altogether.

For so long he was the dream child at bedtime. He’d head into his room, drink his sip of milk, call me to give me his beaker when it was gone and roll over and go to sleep. He’d be out cold by 7.15pm most evenings, meaning myself and Daddy Chambers had a decent bit of adult only time. Now we are lucky if we get to spend any time together before 10pm.

Aidan has decided that 7pm is the time babies go to bed and when his sister goes so he’s been given grace until 7.30pm. We purely picked that time because it can take up to two hours on a bad night to get him off to sleep. Since making the transition from a cot to a proper single bed he insists on one of us lying with him and giving him a ‘snug’ until he drops off. Doing it is easier than listening to him wail and potentially wake Sarah. I don’t have a problem with it really and nor do I have a problem with a story or two. However I do have a problem with ten stories!

Then, of course, he must bring a shed load of toys to bed too. For the last few nights he’s shared the bed with Ironman, Spiderman, The Hulk and Captain America and they must be positioned perfectly before he’ll even consider lying down. Nine times out of ten one of the feckin’ figures falls down beside the wall and he’ll insist in getting up, turning on the light, crawling under the bed, retrieving the figure and then has to tuck them all in perfectly all over again. I do be exhausted just looking at him!

When the super heroes aren’t flavour of the month they are ejected from the bed and he chooses a different toy to sleep with, which is grand, except the one toy he wants to sleep with is always the one I can’t find or the one I left in the car or the childminders. Daddy Chambers spent last night scouring the house looking for the battery-less remote control for the DVD player because that’s what he wanted to sleep with last night! Why can’t he just be satisfied with a bloody teddy?!

He’s just the master of prolonging the whole event. There’s normally at least two trips to the bathroom, maybe three, the washing of his hands is turned into an event and then he’ll jump back into the bed, smell his hands and announce he isn’t satisfied with the job he did washing them the first time and begs to get up and do it again. I swear, I’m not making this up!

When one of us finally gets him to actually lie down we pray a floorboard doesn’t creak or that the neighbours don’t decide to go anywhere in the car because he’s immediately up to enquiry what the noise is and insists on looking out the window to figure it out.

And Lord help us if he’s had a nap during the day, even a ten minute one can mean he’s up until all hours. It was 11pm one night before I got him down after he fell asleep in the car for a few minutes.

The annoying thing about it all is the fact that the kid is genuinely tired by 7pm, wiped tired some evenings. He could be lying almost lifeless on the couch but put a pair of pajamas on him, step anywhere near him with a toothbrush and he’s, all of a sudden, racing round the gaff like a raving lunatic.

I think I could handle it all better if he slept in a bit in the mornings but without fail, every single morning, no matter when time he actually goes to sleep at, he’s up before 6.30am. If he sleeps until 7am myself and Daddy Chambers think all our Christmases have come at once!

I am fully aware that this isn’t a problem unique to Aidan. From what I gather getting any three year old to go to bed is quite the task, at this stage though I am tempted to re-introduce him to his cot!



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