The 21 hour date

It’s a bit like Stockholm syndrome. You wish for five minutes peace and yet you miss them as soon as they’ve gone.

It took a bit longer this time because I fell asleep three and a half minutes after we’d dropped the boys off at their Auntie’s. I napped all the way from Ayrshire to Perthshire, despite Rod’s questionable music choices, and woke up just as we parked at Gleneagles.

My pang for my children was almost immediately smothered by my raging thirst.

Mummykimmy boozing

It was the beginning of an eight hour session – the pace slightly slower than days of old – but the price considerably higher given our choice of venue.

Mummykimmy cocktail

mummykimmy eating steak

There were cocktails and steaks and a fine bottle of Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. There was even a trip to the bar, a place we normally bypass in our sprint to get back for the babysitter. It’s been recently redecorated and we liked everything about the turquoise walls and art deco style, except the bar stools. We did not like the bar stools. They were far too slippy. An attentive bartender came to try to assist us (the bases were very heavy) but seemed puzzled by our assertion that surely they had had many complaints about the bar stools. Neither of us could sit for long without sliding off.

“They’re perhaps designed so that you lean forward and chat to the bartenders,” he helpfully – and diplomatically – suggested.

The next morning, having fallen asleep on each other on the couch and stumbled up to bed around 3, we had a lie in. Nobody yelled “milk!” or elbowed us in sensitive parts or demanded Coco Pops, which made a nice change. Instead we went out for breakfast, read the papers and ate poached eggs, like grown ups.

The highlight of our prolonged date came at 10.45am when we walked into the Best Spa In The World.

Mummykimmy spa

We didn’t come out for three and a half hours. My aromatherapy massage was with a Hungarian called Sonny and I can confidently say it’s the best spa treatment I’ve ever had. The foot massage alone was worth the money. The whole experience was perfect from his soothing low voice to the classical music, heated bed and wonderful aromas from the oils. I felt like he kneaded out all the grumpy and left me feeling renewed. I realise this sounds ridiculous. Rod laughed out loud when I said pretty much those exact words outside in the hot tub as the rain fell on our heads.

Mummykimmy spa ready

We drove back to the kids in stages, stopping off to visit friends and their new baby and then my mum. Of course when we did eventually get to them, they ran straight past me and into their daddy’s arms and the wall of noise smacked us square in the forehead.

They’re in bed now and I’m about to make the lunches, pack the bags and prepare everything for the week ahead – but I’m doing it with a spring in my step.

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The Wee Man starts a new chapter

Our little boy had his primary one introduction this morning.

IMG_8508

Thug Life

It was a huge day for me. Thinking about it now, it’s as if I’ve taken Tim Peake’s place and I’m suddenly able to see the whole picture from a great height.

All the moves – from Glasgow to Aberdeen (serviced apartment, then rented house, then our own house) and then Aberdeen to Edinburgh (rented house and – soon, soon – our own home) have led to this. All the job moves for Rod, all the resettling in nurseries and neighbourhoods, all the challenges for my wee business – they’ve all been for this.

I am so proud to say that he is shortly beginning his primary career in one of our capital’s best schools. I saw today for myself how passionate the staff are about education. I stood in his classroom, with its door out into the playground and interactive board and treasures of resources. I met some of his classmates and talked about football. I shared a joke with another parent, dressed in army fatigues and clearly as proud of his child as I was.

I listened to the depute head give a presentation about the sort of things the wee man will be learning over the next year. I heard parents talk about fundraising and socialising and getting involved in the curriculum. I exchanged smiles with other mums whose smaller kids were being equally demanding while we were all trying to pay attention. I felt welcome and like I was being inducted into a pretty awesome club.

I was hyper-aware of how lucky we are and I don’t take any of it for granted. Millions of children don’t even get an education, never mind one as good as this. We live in a country that provides this level of schooling for free. How amazing is that?

Rod and I went back to collect the Wee Man from his classroom and – somewhat nervously – asked how he’d been.

“He’s very smiley isn’t he?” the teacher remarked and told us how he’d spotted two boys who looked shy and scared and so pulled them into his game.

I nearly burst with love.

All his nursery teachers were outside when we arrived and they excitedly asked which class he was in, who his teacher was and if he’d enjoyed himself. I was touched to see how much they cared.

The Wee Man, for his part, had a massive smile on his face and proudly showed off his name badge with his class on it.

I feel like we’ve reached some kind of finish line. We’ve made it through those tough early years. We’ve done excellent groundwork. The next chapter is about to begin.

 

 

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Sleep Training Live: Night 17

(To my astonishment, people are actually enjoying reading this saga, so if you want to catch up, click on night 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10,11,12)

Sleepy Time

Textbook. Down in no time at all. Probably due to the fact we spent most of the day outdoors. Kudos to Rod, it was his work, I was busy doing this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 09.04.49

12.30

Footsteps and he appeared by the bed clutching his teddy. I carried him through and he went back to sleep within minutes.

2.30 ish

I intercepted him in the hall this time. His duvet was on the floor, but he climbed back in, let me tuck him in and was asleep again quickly.

3.30

A big sigh from Rod. He was up again, but as with the previous twice, went back to bed and to sleep without a fuss.

So here’s the thing. We have made huge progress from the 62-time-challenge of night 1 – and the stool-removal-debacle of 140 times. There is no longer any screaming, or really any fight at all when we put him back. He is going down at night easier than ever, we’ve got it down to ten minutes on average. So these are all massive achievements.

Our challenge now, into week three, is how to get him to turn over and go back to sleep when he wakes up, instead of actually getting out of his bed. I’m wondering whether to buy him a cabin bed…. Once his brother is a bit older I plan to put them in together in bunks, because I think the Wee Man just wants company. I remember feeling quite lonely and scared when I woke up during the night as a wee tot – but being the well-behaved girl I am, I rarely ventured through to mum and dad’s bed. I’d just lie there in the dark. Even now, lying at 4am trying to get back to sleep after my third Supernanny mission, my mind wanders towards worrying and stressing. It must be part of the human condition.

So any tips on how to join those final dots would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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Sleep Training Live: Night 12

(Catch up on the rather long saga: Nights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11)

Sleepy Time

I was in a good place, mentally, having spent a blissful couple of hours with my third boy Lucas this afternoon…

MummyKimmy Lucas forestMummyKimmy Lucas view

We took them up at the same time. Post-teethbrushing we peeled off, Rod to the Wee Man’s room and me to KD’s. It was my charge who caused the bother. I had to go back in to settle him in order to let Rod escape – but it didn’t take long and we were back downstairs by 8pm.

11.30

I didn’t realise it was this early until I got back into bed. I’d intercepted him in the hall, tucked him back in and taken up my position. He was asleep in a few minutes so I sneaked out without mishap. I checked my phone for the time and sighed inwardly. It could be a long night…

6am

It wasn’t! He was only up once! When he appeared at 6 I pulled him in for a huge hug. He lay happily for ages as I dozed, and when he started to squirm I just handed over my phone. We didn’t get up until 7.10am which may sound early for a Saturday but was actually pretty damn civilised by our standards.

Only once, I tell you! Breakthrough!

Keep reading for the good or bad news…

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Sleep Training Live: Night 11

(Catch up on the longest pseudo-Supernanny episode ever: Nights 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10)

Sleepy Time

I was out riding so Rod was in charge. I got a text as I drove home (early cos it was pissing rain and I got soaked so only rode for 15 mins) “still in and I’ve ordered a pizza.” Sigh. He was in there about 45 minutes. The pizza was rubbish too.

Summary

On the hour every hour. First KD, then the Wee Man.

On the upside, I got lovely cuddles from KD and there was no screaming. On the downside it was EVERY F***ING HOUR. 11.30. 12.30, 1.45, 2.30, 3.15, 4.30. 5, 6. I mean, seriously. By 6 I gave up and got up. Thank GOD they are both in nursery today.

It’s got to get better right? Read on…

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Sleep Training Live: Night 10

(Catch up on the story so far: Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4, Night 5, Night 6, Night 7 and Night 8)

The beady-eyed among you will notice Night 9 is missing.

That’s because it was too horrendous to write about.

In summary, we went cold turkey on the stool and it was awful. The first time he was up, he got out of bed 140 times. I only counted to keep myself from losing my sh*t. Even though he did eventually stay in bed and go to sleep, he was up again an hour later. The neighbour’s lights went on and everything. So, lesson learned, the stool stays.

Sleepy Time

A real challenge. I am particularly annoyed about this as we had cracked it and had it down to 10 minutes. It was partly due to a half-hour kip in the car and partly (probably) due to last night’s emotion.

1am

He hugged me so tight as I picked him up and put him back, my heart split a little bit. He stayed in bed though and I only had to sit on the stool for ten minutes.

5.30

Rod’s alarm woke him. Rod put him back, he didn’t get out and Rod only had to sit briefly on the stool. He managed to creep about getting his gym stuff together and down the creaky stairs without disturbing either child, which is to be applauded.

6.30 

He turned up and climbed in before I could react. I didn’t expect him to fall back asleep, but he did, so that was probably bad. I got up at 7 for my shower and he sat dopily by the door, looking very cute indeed.

I’m feeling quite encouraged. I’m sure that if we stick with the putting back and stool routine we’ll get there. There were no histrionics whatsoever last night, so the neighbours got their sleep, which is a bonus.

On a roll? Read on...

 

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Sleep Training Live: Night 8

(Catch up on the saga so far: Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4, Night 5, Night 6 and Night 7)

Sleepy time

Textbook. I put KD down easily and Rod took care of the Wee Man. He was back downstairs in record time. We actually sat down at the table to eat our dinner (beef stir-fry if you ask) and have a proper conversation.

1.30am

The Wee Man had a new trick, chucking his teddy down the stairs and then wailing for him. There were general shenanigans, but only for five minutes. He gave up and stayed in his bed pretty quickly. His cold meant he snuffled and shuffled for longer than usual, but I crept out without detection and was back in bed by 2.

4am

Rod’s turn. As if by magic he was back in bed beside me. “That was quick!” I murmured. “Yep, no bother,” he said.

6am

Wake-up call. He sat in bed for all of ten minutes scrolling through YouTube (yep, I’m that mum) so we got up. Not a bad night all things considered. Can I psyche myself up for ditching the stool tonight?

Find out here

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Filed under Edinburgh, sleep, sleep training