It's 10.30 on a Monday night and these are standard bellows from our toddler's bedroom. No crying. No screaming. Just a toddler who is so tired she looks like she's on another planet.
Hands up, we slipped a bit over Christmas, but usually this toddler is tucked up in bed by 8pm. She gets her vitamins, her teeth brushed, ready for bed (under dimmed lighting of course), tucked in, a bedtime story, a few kisses and then some relaxing music. Despite this rigorous routine, some nights mummy is sleeping before her toddler. What has happened to our little sleeping cherub? The one who never battled bedtime? The one who used to roll over, suck her thumb and shut her eyes before we even left the room?
What happened was she got a sniff of freedom. And she loved it. The bars had to be removed from her cot about 18 months after she made her grand entrance into the world. One afternoon she thought it would be fun to shatter the living room light by abseiling up the bars of her cot bed then leaping from the top.
We have tried everything to convince her that bed is the best place to be at 11pm... nana and aunty arranged for Santa to bring a Frozen toddler bed. Daddy removed the stair gate from the dangerous kitchen and used it to confine her to the safe haven of her bedroom. Mummy sat on the stairs in torchlight, ready to pounce on the 80 centimetre escapee. Toys have been removed from the bedroom. A ceiling-high teepee has been removed from the bedroom. NOTHING will make this toddler sleep like a log.
Daddy even called the main man, Santa, hoping for some assistance...
"Hello Santa? Santa Claus? I'm not doing too good actually. I'm a sad daddy. I'll tell you what the problem is. She just won't stay in bed... Yes Santa, she keeps getting out the the Frozen bed you sent especially for her... Take it out of her room if she doesn't stay in it? Ok Santa, I'll do that. Thanks very much. Bye Santa."
Did that work? Did it stuff. Twenty five minutes after hanging up on Santa, even the bed had been removed from the bedroom. Apparently this toddler's sleeping place of choice isn't a bed anyway. She prefers a mattress on the floor.
So there you have it. Despite our best efforts, 11pm is sometimes bedtime for our toddler. Occasionally she will bunk up on a mattress because Santa has instructed daddy to remove the bed.
Time to dig out those sleep books which are gathering dust in the garage. And read them in torchlight. From the comfort of the staircase. Or from a disused Frozen bed."
A mummy who needs some sleep xx