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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goodnight, Sweetheart

The Boy is becoming less well organised as he gets older. As a newborn, he fell into a fantastic routine immediately, and we always knew when to expect him to wake, feed, and nap throughout the full 24 hours of any given day.

As he got older, he got into the routine of having two naps each day – one from 11am-1pm, and another from 3pm-4pm, before going to bed at six and sleeping for thirteen to fourteen hours regularly. People marvelled at how good his routine was, but I fully admit it was all his doing – I did nothing to try and get him into a routine other than put him to sleep when he wanted and letting him sleep as long as he wanted, and feeding him on demand.

Even more time passed and he decided that he only needed one nap a day, and he preferred the nap, after which I’d get him dressed, he’d have lunch, and we’d go out for the afternoon. Often we didn’t have anywhere in particular to go, but I’m a huge fan of getting him in the pushchair and going for a walk, so we found our way around several new areas of town we’d not ventured to before, including a beautiful riverside walk that completes a round circuit of around four miles; we’d take stale bread with us to feed the ducks, swans and geese that hang out by the river, or I’d take him in the car to the local soft play centre, or we’d visit friends with children of similar ages.

By the time he was a year old, he’d pushed bedtime from six to eight, but was still sleeping til eight in the morning, and having one nap a day. I’d learned by then that if he didn’t nap from , he would nap from , or from , he really wasn’t as bothered anymore. Sometimes he would eat lunch at , other days it was almost four, some days he wouldn’t eat lunch at all, because he’d sleep right through.

Yesterday, I didn’t try and put him down for his nap. He’s pushed it round from to at the earliest, and my parents were expected at around . The parking in our road is ridiculous, but we have access into our garden for parking, which is where my car lives and where we can park a few other cars, too, when we have visitors, so I knew when they arrived I’d have to shut the dogs in the house and go off down the garden. When you shut the Hairy Hounds of Hell in the house and go off down the garden without them, they presume you’re going out without them, and they really don’t like that, so they tend to cry, bark, howl and generally make a lot of noise. If they know that The Boy is upstairs and I’m setting off like that without him, I don’t know whether they think I’m going to leave The Boy home alone or whether they understand it means we have visitors, but either way the noise they make is even worse. There is no person on earth who could remain asleep upstairs in our house while they were creating such a fuss, despite the fact The Boy is a good sleeper, that wakes him up without fail every time it happens. And I don’t know about your children, but The Boy is quite like me in the fact that if he is woken up before he is ready; he is grumpy and difficult for some time afterwards!

My parents arrived, the dogs went barmy, and then The Boy and his grandparents settled down to play. I made lunch, including The Boy in the round of toast I produced, but he was more interested in poking it and leaving it in various odd places in the front room (on the sofa – butter side down; on the seat of his ride on car; tucking it into the DVD cabinet) I cooked up a batch of sausage rolls to try and tempt him – he’s not been eating well for ages – and sausage rolls always seem to be a favourite. The last lot I cooked lasted three days; admittedly The Hubby is also quite partial to a sausage roll, but even so there were plenty that The Boy had eaten. So I cooked up another lot, and once they were cool he was put into the highchair and offered some food. It was just after .

Bearing in mind as well that The Boy had been awake since yesterday morning, and had three ounces of milk first thing, then refused to eat breakfast til shortly after , when he played with a bowl of cereal and actually ate about three bites of it. By my reckoning he should be fairly hungry for lunch, and he didn’t do too badly, but it wasn’t what I would have described as lunch for a growing toddler, it was a snack. Anyway, he decided he’d had enough to eat, so I got ready and we all went out for a walk around town.

The Boy was wide awake for the walk into town, though at the first shop we went into he fell asleep pretty much immediately – he’s not a keen shopper – leaving me free to peruse. We wandered about for a while before heading home again, and he woke pretty much as we walked out of the town centre itself, though my mother blames a particularly loud motorbike making him jump as it rode past us.

Back at home he played until dinnertime but by then was moody and restless, rubbing his face as if he was tired. His catnap in town had lasted around about an hour, while he normally has two or even three hours at home, and I think he would have carried on sleeping for longer depending on the circumstances. For instance I know as soon as he opened his eyes mum would have been talking to him, whereas if it had been me pushing the pushchair I would have probably not spoken to see whether he’d go back to sleep again! Once you talk to him, that’s it – he’s too interested to go back to sleep!

Anyway The Hubby put him to bed and he was asleep by . My parents left while he was in the bath, and The Hubby and I sat down to watch a program together. Just after  The Boy started crying. I made a bottle and The Hubby went straight upstairs; The Boy had gotten himself in a real state, screaming and tears pouring down his face, and we couldn’t fathom it out apart from thinking maybe it was a bad dream, or night terror. I calmed him down after a while and gave him back to The Hubby to put back to bed, but five minutes later he started again and wouldn’t calm down again. I went back, there was rocking and shushing and drifting from room to room to try and distract him (He likes watching the car lights going past on the main road from the front bedroom window) Eventually I put him back in the cot and while he was still whimpering, he settled after a while. It was by the time we headed back downstairs, confused as it was not the normal run of things for The Boy to behave that way.

At , he started again, and The Hubby went up to him. While he was gone I turned off my PC, fed the dogs, loaded the dishwasher and tidied up the kitchen, made myself a drink and went upstairs – it was almost 1am by then – I got ready for bed then took over from The Hubby trying to settle The Boy. It wasn’t easy – just when you thought he’d calmed down, he’d start right up again and get upset all over again. Eventually I took him into our bedroom, shut the door, and allowed him to wander about a bit. The Hubby came up about half past one, and as soon as he saw him, The Boy burst into tears again. “Oh, no,” The Hubby panicked, “What have I done?” We couldn’t work it out. Then I went to lift The Boy and realised his sleepsuit was wet. “He’s soaking,” I said, “Did you change his nappy?” After all, I added silently, it would be the first thing to do, surely, when he wakes up crying? It turned out the nappy hadn’t been checked, or changed, because The Boy usually goes down and goes all night without a nappy change, so The Hubby didn’t think he would need one by that time. We got The Boy into his room and I unpoppered the sleepsuit – a thick towelling one he wears because it’s so cold at night – and found that sure enough his nappy was full to bursting, his vest was soaked from front to back and up to his chest, and his sleepsuit was now also wet. I nearly cried. It took a while to clean him up, dry him off, get another nappy on him and a clean vest and sleepsuit, but once it was done he looked so much happier. I sat in the rocking chair with him for half an hour while he had some milk, then laid him in his cot and tucked him in and he snuggled up with his favourite soft toy and smiled as he closed his eyes. I got into bed about .

The Hubby has a very long day today – working , then a work do tonight from . He’s getting a lift there and back, fortunately enough as I wouldn’t be able to go and collect him, and by the time he gets home we’re anticipating it to be about . He left this morning before The Boy was awake, after seeing him last night for the first time since Friday morning, and he won’t see him at all today. Fortunately he’s got some time off coming up which will be nice – hopefully he’ll get to spend some time with The Boy then! If he’s not too busy doing more DIY like he was the last time he had time off from work! It does mean that I’m flying solo with The Boy all day today, with no chance of a reprieve, but to be fair, it hasn’t been hard work. This morning, we got up at and he had milk and a nappy change and we came downstairs wrapped in our PJ’s and dressing gowns. We watched CBeebies in the cosy front room and ate scrambled eggs on toast and drank milky tea for breakfast (scrambled eggs is another good favourite of his!) I took him upstairs at for a nappy change and some milk and put him down for a nap about twelve thirty, and went back to bed myself. I thought well, it’s Sunday, why not have a nap? I slept til then came downstairs and made tea waiting for The Boy to start singing and let me know he’s awake … Except so far he isn’t! 

I do have limits to how much I will let him sleep, even though I don’t like waking him up before he’s ready! If I don’t wake him up soon he’ll be up til tonight and I’m not keen on that idea because it starts the week off badly! How mad is it though that sometimes they want to sleep for so long and other days you’re lucky if they nap for 10 minutes?

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