… sleep tight. Be a good girl and go straight to sleep. Love you. Sleep well. Sweet dreams. And Mummy will see you in the morning.
I say pretty much the exact same thing to Bibsey every single night as Mr B and I tuck her in to bed. And these days, most nights, that is the end of it. The words work. The tucking-in works… and she still has a bottle of water for comfort. Yes, I know, we have to knock that on the head for so many reasons, not least of which is the looming spectre of potty training.
Anyway, when it doesn’t work, now that we have had a taste of it working, it is so monumentally frustrating. Why, why, WHY? Why is it that some nights it is a three-ringed circus? Last night, I thought it was in the bag because during the day, to my effing horror, Bibs just decided to drop her nap so we were sure that she would be knackered. But for the first time ever she insisted on changing ends. Head up the other end of the cot. I’ve got not problem with that, but it’s an arse-around isn’t it? So, I thought “here we go, someone call the ringmaster”.
However, I was downstairs and on the blog soon after, giving it the statutory few minutes, to make sure she really was off for the night, before I embarked on anything as engrossing as cooking.
Now that I am a ‘grown-up’ (loose terminology) it seems that I no longer understand the absolute necessity of the pre-bed arse-around. Yet, I do remember quite well the arseing around of my childhood. I can remember calling out for my Mum, dragging her away from cooking dinner probably, to tell her there were spiders in my bed. And I once lured my little brother out of bed to arse about on the landing with me because I didn’t want to go to sleep, only to scuttle off to bed, leaving him stranded and in trouble, when my Mum came to see what was going on.
I also vividly recall the time when my sister and I were grizzling in bed one night at our Grandparents. I think we were a bit scared of the dark, and the potential for spiders. I am pretty sure that that night a man had come over to see my Grandfather about some cows. Whatever, they had a guest and Granny was in a long skirt. Anyway, we were whining because we wanted someone to come and see us, but I remember that we didn’t want it to be our Grandfather because we thought that we would be in more trouble with him. Oh my goodness, I think that was the point at which we discovered what a formidable woman our Granny was. She swooped into the bedroom and she was FURIOUS. I think she separated us that night and for the rest of the holiday – or was that me and my brother another year. Can’t remember.
The point of all this sketchy reminiscing is that you would think that I would be a bit more understanding and a little less frustrated by all Bibsey’s arseing around before bed. You see, I was your textbook scaredy cat. And I never wanted to go to bed. I must have been the most frustrating child when it came to bedtime. And as for bathtime? In the time that it took me fannying around, splashing water about and generally pretending to have the bath, I might as well have had one. Naughty, is the word for it I think.
Anyway, here’s a note to myself: try to remember what it was like being a small person. Remember it and bear it in mind at bedtime. Perhaps then you won’t get quite so frustrated.
How do you cope with bedtime antics, gymnastics and general rabble rousing? Can YOU remember what is was like? And is it possible, advisable even, to get into the mind of a toddler?