From Cot to Bedlam

Mark Parenting 2 Comments

ls lowry paintingI’ve had an epiphany; what I’ve long assumed to be random mood swings, actually come with a (relatively) rational explanation . The mood I wake up in, and which shadows my entire day, is intrinsically linked to events some twelve hours hence.

We recently made the questionable decision to move both Sonny and Luca from their cots to single beds at the same time … in the same room?

The routine has remained the same, which generally begins with a tantrum of varying proportions from Sonny depending on the reply he receives to,
“I just have one last important job to do. I just need to watch/do/check/make/go ….”

Bath-time is a shared family hell, I mean, activity; as is getting dressed for bed and settling(?) down. It’s only when it comes to actually putting them to bed that a rota signals the beginning of every man for himself.

I’ve no idea where the ‘quiet time’ went, or if it ever existed, but when the time comes for me to turn off the light and leave them under the sole stewardship of Janet it feels like I’m walking away from an acid-house rave in an 80’s asylum, where if they’re not bouncing off walls in what they perceive to be part of the fun of bedtime, they’re crying over the other one being in their bed, reading their book, or just looking at them the wrong way.

It’s in an entirely masochistic way that I find nothing more fulfilling than to head downstairs, recline on the sofa, and listen to the repeated pattern of,
“Sonny, get back in bed!” followed thirty seconds later by,
“Luca, back in bed!” and so on until my smugness gets interrupted by remembering that the pay-off is cleaning up the kitchen.

I don’t have the same issues with getting them to stay in bed, but my biggest downfall is becoming tired of the monotony of singing the same songs over and over again. Every few nights I can’t resist the temptation of trying to introduce a new song to the play-list, only to immediately regret making such a ill-judged call.

ls lowry paintingTonight was the perfect example. After the obligatory ‘In the Night Garden’ followed by the current favourites of ‘Five Currant Buns’ and ‘Three Wheels on my Wagon’ (which now apparently begins its journey with twelve wheels) I stupidly tried to slip in a verse of ‘Matchstick Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’.

After two uninterrupted verses where I thought I had him half asleep, I enthusiastically and cockily launched into a third verse with additional self performed harmonies. It was during this admittedly painful verse that I was interrupted by,
“Daddy, what’s a matchstick?”
After a careful explanation that bordered on the moulding of a child-arsonist I continued the song, albeit with slightly less gusto, before I was rudely stopped again by,
“What’s a matchstalk?”
Explaining he’d obviously misheard the line, and replacing all the stalks with sticks, I began again but this time with no enthusiasm what-so-ever.

“Daddy, is it the Coco Pops factory?”

“Yes it is”.

“Who’s painting the factory?”

“Mr Lowry”

“Is he a tiger?”

“Yes he is”

“Can I go to the factory”


“What’s a matchstick cat?”

It was only after another ten minutes that I realised Luca had long given up any interest in this discussion and was happily snoring away, and  I had my mobile hidden behind a pillow on Sonny’s bed showing him pictures from the Lowry Gallery website in a pitiful attempt at getting him to stop talking?

Anyway, I know I’ll be waking up in a relatively good mood tomorrow morning, and the reason for this is purely down to the knowledge it’ll be another 36 hours before my personal hell resumes. That is unless Janet announces she’s conveniently got another over-night course to attend, or some friends to meet straight from work; which I swear has quadrupled since the introduction of the single beds!

Comments 2

  1. Ha funny post and I am impressed, I didn’t know even one verse of that ( think I need a visit to the Lowry website myself, what the hell is a matchstick cat?)

    However, you are lucky you are getting a comment. Favourite auntie you say, next time Mabel gets hold of that favourite cars book or takes Lucas’s shoes and I will be whispering words of encouragement.

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