Now whisper it quietly: the sleep training appears to have worked. We had our first big result on Friday. After the bath and book reading, we put him to bed. Five minutes of singing rock-a-bye-baby and out of the room I went. Harrison rolled around in his cot talking to himself for probably an hour, then went off to sleep. It was a very big deal.
Since then this has been the new routine. Big H tells us that he will be having a ‘bathie, bookie and bed’ and that is how it goes. He likes to hold his sheet and get sung rock-a-bye-baby for a little bit, but then he is happy to settle himself down.
This has made a huge difference to our lives, let me tell you. And no, that is not an overly dramatic statement. It really has made a change to our lives. It was getting to the point where it took an hour every night to get him to sleep. This was an hour, bent over his cot patting his bum. That is 7 hours a week, which turns into over a day a month and equates to nearly 2 weeks a year – that is a long time spent trying to get a toddler to sleep.
Now we can have dinner at a reasonable time, watch TV or start to relax earlier than 8pm every night and it is bloody well magnificent!
The past weekend was a daddy-son bonding weekend. Lis had a well-earned rest and went and spent the day/night with her friend by the beach, leaving daddy and son to enjoy each other’s company, this is how it went.
10:45 – Mummy leaves.
10:46- Harrison cries for mummy.
10:55 – Daddy manages to distract Harrison with Thomas toy, we play with that until lunch.
11:30 – Lunch is eaten, we have a scrambled egg and cucumber and tomato, most of the cucumber is ignored.
12:20-2.00 – Blissful quiet as he sleeps.
2:05 – Afternoon tea.
2:15 – Pack us off to the swimming pool.
2:35 – Arrive at pool.
2:36 – Refuse point blank to go into inside pool, play with pool filters on the floor, then want to go into outside pool. Go into outside pool, bloody freezing, we have no sun cream on so can’t stay in sun, so after 15 minutes get out with much histrionics. Flatly refuse to go into inside pool again. Daddy gets in and brings Harrison with him, we like the pool again and this one is warm. Not interested in swimming, we want to play with the lane ropes. 10 minutes of daddy standing on tip toes and Harrison paying with lane ropes is enough, so we are out of the big pool, big tantrum. Not interested in little pool until daddy puts him on the fountain that is coming out of the floor. This is great, we like the fountain.
4:00 – Time to go home, now we don’t want to leave the original pool we had no interest in going in at the start.
4:45 – Due to huge traffic problems we just get home, and it’s dinner time.
4:55 – First course of vegies is served and devoured. Now we want chicken soup.
5:10 – Chicken soup is ready and 4 mouthfuls are eaten, now we don’t want any more chicken soup but are saying we are hungry.
5:17 – No matter what I say there is no more chicken soup going to be had – I have to give him a sandwich or he will be starving!
5:25 – Go play in the front garden.
6:20 – Come in from garden to read books and start to wind down. Not a popular choice.
6:50 – Bath time.
7:10 – Bed time.
7:15pm – Daddy time.
6.20am – Arise.
6.40 – Breakfast.
7:20 – Help daddy eat his breakfast.
7:30 – Play and read books.
9:00 – Drive to awesome park.
9:30 – Arrive at awesome park. Go on swings for 10 minutes, walk the equivalent of a toddler marathon, pat many dogs, insist on going up the steepest hill to reach the top of the slides, get scared of slides and sit on them so no other kids can go on them. Manage to move him from slides, we stand on steps going up to slides for 20 minutes, a final wander and then off home.
11:20 – Arrive home.
11:30 – Lunch: Olives, cucumber and tomato following by some vegemite toast.
12:30 – Sleep.
1:30 – Wake up, then mummy arrives home!
It was hard and tiring work but it was also bloody brilliant! I look forward to when we do it again. Happy fathering.