My adventures into Motherhood
So my no-fuss little angel has been crying at bedtime lately. What’s this all about? Usually it’s easy peasy milk and then snooze time for a drowsy little bunny who is only too happy to go to sleep after a hard day tiring Mum out. But the last few nights, there’s been screaming and tantrums and lots of going back in to cuddle, patting the bottom, sneaking away to the door – only to be busted with one foot in the hallway, and then it starts all over again!
I consulted my child-rearing expert on speed-dial (aka. my Mum) as to what had gone wrong? As I analysed and over-analysed the days events, the lead-up to bath and bedtime, the choice of story, the amount of milk, the temperature of the room, the ambient lighting, I kept coming up empty. So far as I could tell, everything was the same. So……. is this a test?? A battle of wills was declared and the hard line in parenting began. No more would I return and return again for endless cuddles and pampering which was achieving nothing except encouraging my child’s sense of “ultimate power“. I conscripted General Nathan and together we discussed our attack strategy (controlled crying carried out by Nathan) and the rules of engagement (do not pick the enemy combatant up unless absolutely necessary). I would take the first wave, the usual milk feed with added rationale of “it’s bedtime now, time to go to sleep”, and after my first exit from the room, I would not return to comfort her and General Nathan would be tagged in for pacification and time-out of 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then….. oh wait….. she’s gone to sleep!
Friday night’s battle lasted a couple of hours with frayed nerves and Thai take-out being eaten separately, as I tried unsuccessfully to calm the angry munchkin down whilst not picking her up. In the end General Nathan was sent in with a bottle of milk and he hunkered down in the trenches for quite a while, but at least he didn’t take much return fire. Saturday night was stricter with no pacification time with Mum, General Nathan was sent straight in after 5 minutes of crying and then again after 10 minutes and 15 minutes. Sunday night there was silence after a short initial cry, but it turned out to be a ruse with General Nathan doing 5 minutes and then 10 minutes, after which time she was asleep. Monday night she was straight out like a light and didn’t wake up again until 8:30am….bliss.
Hopefully this war is now won, but I’ve been warned that there will be several more to come in this very long tour of duty known as Parenthood. If this was a test, I think we passed. 🙂