What do you do in the twilight hours? Are you a phone checker, Internet browser, book reader, film watcher, or eyes closed sleep grabber?
And what wakes you? Is it the children, the dog, the alarm, your own body clock or the noisy neighbours taking out their bins?
Me? Well, it’s always the kids that wake me, and 99% of the time it’s Boybug. He’s been up early a lot at the moment. Maybe I should write a science page on childhood sleep one day. Just had a quick look at the scientific literature – it’s a bit…vague. It’s just all so variable – What is a sleep problem and what is age-appropriate behaviour? What is a night waking? What are we aiming for? The literature is pretty muddled. One to come back to when I’ve had more sleep!
Both kids have been OK sleepers, pretty average, I’d say. Boybug is really suffering with his teeth at the moment though – his gums are inflamed and sore where his molars will soon be. 5am seems to be a natural stirring time for him, and if his teeth are niggling he likes to wake either demanding “bread stick” (which he doesn’t really eat, just chews) or screaming.
I have a tight protocol depending on when he wakes:
- Prior to 5am: Attempt to keep Boybug in his cot. Doze with him on my knee as a last resort.
- 5am-6am: On Demand kids TV and a rice cake or bread stick for Boybug while I sleep with one eye open on the sofa (this is probably the hour where the most mischief is caused)
- 6am-7am: Unenthusiastic playing, preferably something where I don’t have to open my eyes too much. Or reading of books I know so well I don’t need to open my eyes.
- After 7am: I do a little victory dance, get up feeling refreshed, plan activities, play make believe or wrestling, make porridge, tidy the house, put the laundry on. The list goes on.
Well, that was until recently. The new blog has been on my mind of late. Here’s what happened the other morning. Warning, poetry is not my strong point, especially with only one eye open at 5am.
It’s 5 am.
We’re up again.
What woke you this time? Was it the rain?
We creep downstairs, and there we sit,
For a while all’s quiet, the room unlit.
Your piercing screams woke only me,
An urgent call for your mummy.
The eldest ignored your call,
though her room is only down the hall.
The coffee machine apparently makes to much noise,
and wakes her from her dreams of toys.
No coffee then until she wakes,
And as you wriggle my resolve breaks.
I can’t muster energy without a hot drink,
So on goes the TV in a blink.
With my eldest we’d read books at this hour,
It was easier then, I had more willpower.
I knew I’d catch up on the sleep soon,
Probably later that afternoon.
Not so with you, that’s it for the day,
Got too much to do, you’ll both want to play.
So I should keep my eyes closed while you watch TV,
try to doze with you sat on my knee.
I’ve promised myself not to check my phone,
Keep my eyes closed, listen to ‘Beebies drone.
But here I am, just checking the blog,
My eyes still blurry, mind in a fog