Things that go bump in the night…are children; whether it is body parts fighting with the sides of a cot or whole bodies landing on the floor. There’s never a dull moment, or a night without sounds. Some of the noises that come out of that room, could cause a grown woman to have nightmares. I should know. I sometimes wonder, amidst the snoring and slamming about, whether a horde of zombies, with a flatulence problem, have invaded the house.
At this exact juncture in my sons sleep life development, sleeping is not really his thing. He has recently learned to climb out of his cot. And so he does, every 2 minutes. I usually find him relatively quickly, the sound of his body vaulting over the top of the cot makes enough noise so that I know he’s out. Sometimes he hides under his blanket, to make sure that I can’t see him as he makes his escape from his bedroom but it also means that he can’t see the walls, doors or anything else that he then walks smack bang into, the least mobile ghost ever.
I collect him up and deliver him back to his cot, where, as he is being placed down, runs through every possible excuse to avoid going to sleep; “Water?”, “Brush teeth?”, “Book?”, “Daddy?”.
Sometimes, however, his dismount is so silent that I even miss the sound of his feet padding across the floor. If he finds adventures inside the confines of the bedroom, I often don’t know he’s broken out for a while. Usually he’ll have a climb up onto the top bunk. Without the ladder. After switching on the fan. This escaping convict caper, is hot work. He gives himself away when hiding under his brother’s blankets alone loses it’s fun and he requires someone to find him, to spice things up. A little giggle first. Then a louder giggle, if that doesn’t work.
Often Husband and I will be ready for sleep well before he is. So we’ll switch off all the lights and be in bed ourselves. “Hi”, he declares as he strolls through the door with a casual wave, as if nothing in the world is more desirable or expected than his nocturnal visit. Straight to me, for a big cuddle.
Don’t be cute, I need to be angry with you.
Once I woke up at 3am, a hostage, with a toddler on my belly. “Apple! Wheetbix. Water. Toast with butter. Juice.” He rattled off his list of demands.
“No”, I said. “It’s time for sleeping”. “Daddy sleeping”, he observed astutely. “Yes, Daddy is tired. Mummy is tired too. It is night time, time for sleeping”.
Apparently, he is not affected by peer pressure, which will hopefully stand us in good stead for his teenage years but does little for our sleep in the here and now.