It is really hard work putting Mia to bed at the moment – only mummy will do and she pleads with me to “sit with me and hold my hand for a minute”.
Half an hour later I’m still there with a sore bum, heavy eyes and Mia’s sweaty little paw still clutching tightly on to my little finger.
The minute I think she’s asleep and try to do that comedy tiptoe to the door (all parents know exactly what I mean), her one eye opens slightly and she murmmers in a slightly accusing tone: “mummy, where are you going?”
A childish version of “WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”
I suppose it’s an improvement on the questions. The endless run of questions she simply MUST know the answer to before she goes to sleep.
“Can I wear green tomorrow?”
“Am I going to nursery in the morning?”
“Can I play with Samual Walker?”,
“Why do my curtains have circles on?”
“I want monster” (the pink cuddly thing she takes to bed that is literally an arm’s reach away).
Why can’t she ask all these questions at the same time? Why must she wait until I’m half way down the stairs before thinking up the next one?
Every time I think I can finally go downstairs and make the dinner/make a cup of tea/make a break for it, I’m called back again and my temper starts to unravel just a little more.
In fact, she has gone from a 7 to 7 sleeper to a bit of a wee hours roamer.
For the past few nights I’ve had to get up at 1, 2, 3am and guide her back to her bed. The first time she needs a drink of water, then she needs a wee, then the bedcovers are all on the floor – any excuse to shuffle round to mummy’s side of the bed (never ever daddy’s side) and come up with some excuse to get me up.
Last night daddy put her to bed while I was out so when she shuffled in at 3am to say one of her gazillion cuddly toys had fallen out of bed, she was so surprised and delighted to see mummy that she had to come back another three times just to check it was really me.
I’ve tried explaining how important sleep is and how is makes your brain grow and that she’s not missing out on anything, mummy and daddy aren’t secretly up watching brand new episodes of Lazytown or making midnight feasts in the kitchen.
To no avail.
So I continue putting her to bed and holding her hand in the hope that a. she’ll get bored of me sat there not saying anything and staring at the wardrobe or b. she will run out of questions.
Of course, the she knows exactly how far she can push me. The minute I lose my temper having been back to her room to answer the tenth question, the minute I throw open the door and shout: “WHAT, MIA?” she smiles sweetly and says “I want to hug and kiss you mummy”, leaving me feeling utterly rotten.
So I go in, kneel down by her bedside and give her a big hug and a kiss feeling all warm and hating myself for being so harsh.
And as she’s hugging me she pulls me a little closer and whispers: “sit with me and hold my hand for a minute, mummy?”