Being the mother of three boys holds individual triumphs and challenges for each child. My oldest child is a social butterfly, he loves being around friends, it is the main thing which makes him really happy, but he doesn’t do well at school. I suspect he has ADD but trying to get him diagnosed in Australia is like trying to run through a maze while you are blind!
My Middle child is imaginative, creative and super intelligent, which makes him manipulative, god help anyone who gets in the way of what he wants when he goes after a dream when he is older! He had a speech delay up until the age of five which was very challenging, and it was really sad seeing him get frustrated when others couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell them. His speech is perfect now, in fact he makes up for lost time being the most chatty child in the family, asking endless questions which I often have to look up on Google to answer. While these are/were some pretty big challenges, there was one day in time which changed everything. While trying to make my youngest have a day time nap, he climbed over the top of his cot and ran out laughing, taunting us even. We were flabbergasted! How the hell did a one year old do that?! But it was also terrifying as it was such a long drop down so we immediately took the side rail off and turned his cot into a big boy bed, since then, nothing compares to what my youngest child has brought to the table! My youngest child JUST. DOESN’T. SLEEP.
So here is the hilarious part. My oldest two were quite happy to climb into bed at the same time every night with their teddy and bottle and fall asleep, it was pretty easy and I have to admit, I thought I was the shit, ready and willing to pass on my expertise to anyone in earshot who had trouble getting their kids to bed at night. I thought the trick was simply putting them to bed at exactly 7pm. My youngest, however, is different. He wont sleep during the day unless I drive him around for half an hour, and when I put him to bed at 8pm, the same as the other boys, he spends three to four hours getting up, coming out of his bedroom and running away when we try to catch him to put him back into bed. It is just so much fun for him! And to make matters worse, he is up at the crack of dawn, recharged and ready for action, and once again, I am running around after him, one eye open and the other half closed, bags and mascara under my eyes, hair all over the place, dragging my feet as I tell him not to climb on the coffee table, and not smash his cars against the wall of our rental, and not bang on the pots and pans this morning PLEASE!!
Now I have tried desperately, many things to implement bed time. I have tried setting up a routine – bath, book and bed, but it was a catch 22. If I read him 20 books before bed it wouldn’t be enough, but if I read one or two books to him he would spend the next few hours chasing me around with yet another book. I chose to read him two books for the routine, this went on for three months before I gave in and let him watch Teletubbies on my laptop at night. This worked for a little while, but he was soon up and about again, looking for trouble.
I tried the whole Super Nanny method for another three months, you know, the first time they get up, you tell them it’s time for bed, take them by their hand and lead them back to it, then after that you keep getting up and just taking them back to bed with no eye contact, no reaction and no words. No dice.
I have tried changing his diet to only natural foods. Absolutely nothing changed, if anything he got more cheeky and had more energy.
I have now just resigned to the fact that he is a night owl. His Daddy is a night owl who has trouble sleeping at night and is often up until 3am, sleeps until 8am and he is perfectly fine when he wakes up which is mind boggling to me, someone who needs at least 8 hours sleep at night, and if I don’t get it, I wake up feeling a little… stabby. He helps with him but he gets frustrated as he too wants time to himself at night. I know that feeling.
So how am I keeping my sanity? I just keep telling myself it will get better with time. He is only two years old, but he is smart. It brings to mind a saying, “The smarter they are, the harder they are to train.” With this in mind, all I can say is FANTASTIC. I can’t wait for toilet training. It is going to be AWESOME.