“I want to sleep in your bed, I want to go downstairs, I need a wee”…….

Sleep my darling Lily refreshes you, makes you all bubbly and bouncy, full of beans and ready for the day ahead, yes? Aw, she doesn’t give a damn, really she doesn’t. She plots and plans each waking hour of the day, for reasons why she wont go to bed and stay there. She has a lovely bedtime routine ending with 2-3 stories, a cuddle and kiss to send her off to the land of nod! She will beg for another kiss and a cuddle before you leave. Which I have obliged (sucker, I hear you cry) just because it might be the cuddle and kiss that keeps her in bed. I’m sure I can hear her titter behind her chubby fingers, as I leave her room for the seventh time. She must lay there counting to five before calling out again, just enough time for me to get to the top of the stairs! “Mummy, I need a kiss…. AND a cuddle”. I tell her it’s the last time I shall be back, and that I expect her to be a good girl and go to sleep (I think I have said it was the last time, the previous 4 times too!). How about needing a wee? How many wees does a child need in a space of five minutes? Maybe she has a bladder problem, or I just have backbone problem. Her nose is running, she needs a tissue, she wants a drink, blackcurrant not orange! Is daddy there, she wants daddy not me, she wants to go downstairs. Finally, after much wrangling we have peace, time for ourselves. At best an hour left of the evening to call our own. We stumble thankfully in to our bed…..
“Mummy…..”. It’s possibly the first time or third time she has now woken during the night. It could be 11pm or 2.20am, who knows. The hours blend in to one big awake time, interspersed with tiny snatches of sleep. She wants to get in to our bed, which does not happen, except in the morning just before we get up (for the final time) for a cuddle. She wants to go downstairs to watch tv. Erm, no, not on your nelly love, it’s stupid o’clock! “What time is stupid o’clock”? she will ask! Sleepily I’ll answer, “Now is stupid o’clock, the time when we should be sleeping”!She wants a drink, orange not blackcurrant. It wouldn’t be blackcurrant would it? It’s the drink she has by her bed. Enough is enough, I’m tired, fed up. I pick her up telling her there is a drink by your bed, stay in your bed. She ups the ante a notch and tells me the Yabs Yabs are here. Holy crap, not them again, I don’t know who they are or where they come from, but I know they are green with spots. They don’t live here but come often! I’m sure she’s not scared of them really, it’s a ruse to frighten me so I will toe the line.
I did lose the plot somewhat the other night. not because I was afraid of the Yab Yabs, but after four hours of up and down, in and out of bed I blew a gasket. Allan got up, came through to see to Lily. I stormed past him, shoving him (accidentally) as I stomped to the loft room to get the stair gate, intent on imprisoning her in her room, such was my rage and exhaustion! I growled at Allan, “Go and get me the wrenchy thing from your tool box, I’m putting the gate on”! Allan managed to stop me and quell most of my rage, saying what I was about to do was punish her. He was right. I wept with guilt and lack of control. I behaved worse than Lily did that night. I am so ashamed. She was none the worse for it all. She asked for the loo, a drink, to sleep in our bed and to go downstairs, exactly the same as she did with me, but daddy handled it better, or maybe she was just ready for sleeping after four hours of tormenting me.
We have tried all the advised tactics to keep her in bed, honestly. None of them have worked apart from this new one. When she wakes, we go to her, give her a cuddle and a kiss then leave, telling her we will return in two minutes. We leave then return, leaving it a little longer each time (not telling her it’s longer than two minutes obviously as she still has no concept of time). If she gets up before we return she does not get her cuddle and kiss, which doesn’t go down too well, and we have tears. We then just start the process again. She eventually goes to sleep without getting out of bed. Over the past week it has got easier to get her back to sleep. Last night I went in once to soothe her, then on my second return she was asleep. I am calmer, less stressed and am able to deal with the night time antics more adultly, which I’m sure is better for Lily as she’s then not picking up on my mood.
One particular morning after an awful night, Lily came to me with a book and asked me to read it. I told her not now, in a while. I asked her to have a look at the book herself while she was waiting. her reply made me smile, “No mummy, I can’t read it by myself. It’s too dangerous”!
What can I say? In true Mission Impossible style, I’m sure her book will self destruct after reading! Which seems very apt, don’t you think?

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