Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Things that go bump in the night

Butter wouldn't melt before bedtime

Everything just looks worse at night doesn’t it? There’s something about the quiet, the artificial lighting and the extreme tiredness that just makes everything seem worse. My husband and I are not a good partnership at night. If Monkey wakes up, which he does quite often, it seems something always happens that leads us to having a 0-60 row.  

These are the rows where you don’t start off with snippy comments and whispered crossed words. These are the rows where you are instantly on your feet with accusations and hurtful words flying. However, we’re starting to understand the way this works. We’ve got better at apologising in the morning and we’re learning to appreciate and allow for each other’ tiredness. Perhaps we’ve also accepted that it’ll happen again next time so there’s no point holding a grudge! 

Unfortunately we haven’t been blessed with a sleepy child. Monkey, now aged 2, didn’t sleep through the night until he was about 15 months old. That is a looong time. Never one to do things by half, my son didn’t just wake up once or twice a night. No, he went for a good 20+ times every single night.  

I look back now and wonder how I coped with it all. I mean, that is a pretty ridiculous way to live for almost a year and a half, and yet we made it through. I remember nights when I would hang over the edge of his cot, patting him back to sleep, and just think ‘I absolutely cannot do this anymore. I’m done’. Then I’d get him to sleep and the next wake-up would be at 6am. The sun would have come out and suddenly it all wouldn’t feel quite so bad. It was like this every night.  

When he started to sleep through the night I didn’t allow myself to believe it for a long time. He’d sleep through one night and I’d be delighted as we woke at a reasonable hour. But then the next night I’d go to bed hoping to get an hour’s sleep before the first wake up, never believing he might do it again.  
After 15 months of multiple wake-ups it took me a good six weeks to start to go to bed safe in the knowledge that I too might get my recommended eight hours.  
The legacy of Monkey’s terrible sleeping though is that I am always grateful when he sleeps through the night. And I have some well-set bags under my eyes that won’t shift.

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