Thursday, June 21, 2012


The best thing about kids is when they're asleep. 


You struggle to get them to sleep. Sometimes it takes hours of rocking and back-rubbing and tip-toeing and whispering and stories and lullabies and cuddles before they finally nod off. 

You struggle to get them to stay sleeping. My worst night in living memory was when all 3 of them awoke at hourly intervals complaining of scary nightmares and various ailments. That night we all subconsciously played musical beds - each of us moving around and sleeping in every one of the five beds in this house in order to grab pockets of sleep in a bed that didn't contain a wriggly child. Until they wake up again, realise they're alone and seek us out again.

You struggle to get them to lie in bed beyond 7 oclock in the morning. I'm not a morning person. I'm a grumpy, grunter, don't talk to me, "go away noise" arrrgh kind of person in the mornings. I'm a bad mum first thing in the morning.

My kids don't even nap during the day. My baby is supposed to sleep at least 3 hours during daylight, according to an idealistic sleep expert I met recently. He doesn't and never will. He power naps for about half an hour. That's him done. Sleep's just for wimps, right Lorci? I've struggled. I've given up.

My newly-3-year-old girl hasn't napped for at least 2 years. Unless I use a tank of diesel and wear out my patience and tyres on the potholed country roads around here. She doesn't go to bed at night either. She's still wandering around at the moment (it's 9pm), saying "five more minutes", whilst I lose the will to live and try ignoring her as a tactic to get her to return to her room.

A very rare moment when all 3 were asleep

When she finally gives in after being frogmarched upstairs for the 10th time and threatened with all kinds of recriminations if she resurfaces again, I get a breath of peace and quiet. I get my space. It doesn't last long as the baby normally wakes up at this time. 

Eventually there's about an hour's downtime before I crash out, exhausted. Only for the wild animal circus to begin again at 7, if it hasn't already during the night. 

I can't imagine a harder time to be a mother; it's non-stop drudgery looking after 3 small kids who can't do anything for themselves except whinge about everything and scream very loudly (see Torture)

Yet for some reason, every single person I've met recently who's listened to my stories of kid chaos has shaken their head and laughed at me. "That's nothing, it gets worse when they're teenagers," they say, smugly. 

As if it's a competition amongst mums to outdo each other with tales of how our kids (and mums by association) are experiencing the ultimate nadir of our lives. NOOO!!

Don't talk to me about teenagers.

Teenagers don't scream at you to wipe their bums 5 times a day. Teenagers don't cling to you like glue, never giving you a second's peace all day. Teenagers don't try to climb in bed with you every night nor wake you up at 4 in the morning demanding you make weetabix for them. Teenagers can largely look after themselves, can help with jobs around the house and even give you personal space to do your own thing.

I can't wait until they're teenagers. 

Please don't let these words come back to bite me in 10 years time.

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