Tag Archives: sleep

The gift of sleep


God knows how Santa got it all down my non-existent chimney – but I was thoroughly spoiled this year.

Most of the best gifts were sleep related; A White Company dressing gown (thanks Mum <3), an electric blanket, PJs, a new mattress…

That last gift arrived on the 27th and had been a very hasty iPhone purchase. Rod has been moaning about the mattress ever since we moved down from Aberdeen and the removal company placed it directly under a leak. One of our children also peed on it recently so – repulsed, when I changed the sheets, by the yellow stain – I hastily Googled “mattress sale” and PayPaled one that had a memory foam layer and hefty discount.

It was delivered rolled tightly into a tube by an Indian guy in a beany hat.

“Look boys it’s Santa!” I cried, so delighted was I to be sleeping hygienically. They looked at him, puzzled, but were happy to share in mummy’s joy.

Unwrapping it was like opening an adult-sized jack-in-the-box. It boinged as I cut through the shrink wrap and then bounced upright, terrifying the smaller one and sending the bigger one into hysterics. It smelled like fish.

“So did my flower necklaces when we opened them for my party,” the Wee Man’s girlfriend informed me when she came to play an hour later.

“It goes away.”

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So I left it lying on the bed frame and dragged the old one into KD’s room where the three kids discovered it was the best toy in the post-Christmas household. For hours they bounced on it and dragged it around, making dens and slides. Donutters, Duplo and Doh of the Play variety all lay untouched. At least there was minimal mess I told myself as I strictly supervised the jumping, convinced one of them would break a bone.

Later, as I un-boxed the new electric blanket, and made up the bed with freshly laundered sheets, I had a moment.

How old was I?

When exactly did shit like this start to matter to me?

I sat down on the showhome bed and couldn’t help but notice it was now lower with the new (cheap) mattress, so the reach up to the tallboy bedside tables was even more of a stretch. Rod was going to kill me. He hates my tallboy bedside tables. “I can’t reach shit,” he frequently complains, oblivious to the aesthetic.

AFTER: Bedroom

I bounced up and down experimentally. Not bad. Lower to the ground definitely – and therefore closer to the 85 chargers. Aha! I realised Rod would be pleased. A Kindle Fire and Apple Watch had also been in the Christmas haul, so two more chargers were joining the cable party trip hazard. I looked fondly at the Apple Watch charger. I was the proud owner – but had actually trumped his gift by also giving him a watch. His surprise had been delicious – after all, I’ve spent most of 2016 telling him we can’t afford a Tag Heuer. We still can’t, but when you choose a classic and finance it, rather than falling for the top of the range and wanting to buy it outright, we almost can.

Maybe we’re not completely pathetic, I reasoned, swaggering around with our wrist candy, eye bags reduced by our posh sleeping attire and cosy pee-free bed.

I wonder if my Apple Watch has a sleep app?



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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:

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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.


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.


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…


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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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Sleep Training Live: Night 7

(Catch up on Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4, Night 5 and Night 6 – though I don’t know why you’d want to, I’m boring myself)

Sleepy Time

A little bit of resistance from the Wee Man but generally a smooth bedtime with Rod back downstairs by 8.10pm


Well, the honest truth is, we failed.

The Wee Man was up even before Rod got into bed (I hit the sack much earlier, thanks to KD passing on his chest infection). He put him back, sat on the stool and climbed in beside me after ten minutes. I woke up a few hours later alone. KD was crying. I went through to him and had a peek into the Wee Man’s room. Rod was fast asleep in the other bed. KD didn’t settle for an hour an a half. I was beginning to wonder if I should just bring him in with me. We’d broken the rules with the Wee Man, might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. But I eventually managed to transfer him, sleeping, from my arms to the cot and climbed back into bed. All the kerfuffle with the small one had woken the big one and I wondered if Rod would come back through. He didn’t. I asked him this morning what happened. “He just wouldn’t settle,” was the reply.

Back to the drawing board tonight.

Read about it here

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Sleep Training Live: Night 6

(Catch up on Night 1, Night 2, Night 3, Night 4 and Night 5)

Sleepy Time

All three of us were knackered. We’d spent almost the entire day outside, at the park, in the garden and at Karrie and Andy’s (thanks guys for dinner!) so after a thorough scrub of my mucky pups in the bath, they went down no problem. Well, the Wee Man took exception to me trying to read from Conde Nast Traveller instead of Roald Dahl… But I sneaked out at 8, had one beer and went to bed.

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KD was moaning. I had to intercept him before it turned into a cry and woke the Wee Man. I crept across the landing, gave him a bottle and risked a trip to the loo. Big mistake. Like a bat, his supersonic hearing picked up the floorboard creaking. He settled quickly but I was only in bed five minutes before he was up again. This time there was a bit of screaming, a bit of blinds-rattling and a lot of chucking the duvet. He finally settled and I started to creep out. He heard me and it started all over again. After he settled I gave it an extra five minutes of deep breathing – but he heard me again. I swear I hardly made a sound. An hour and a half after first getting up I finally made it back to bed.


Footsteps. I intercepted him at his door and he settled quickly. I crept out without disturbing him, thank God.


I was like a recovering alcoholic hovering at the door to Oddbins – he was in my room and I could just let him get in. I could stay in my warm bed and we could both get a few more hours of sleep. I was so tired. But no. I stayed strong. I took him back to bed. He patted the stool to show me where he expected me. I sat on that f***ing stool. I waited for the sleep. I crept out.

I’m wondering if the stool is the problem. Maybe, now that we’ve established he has to stay in bed, it’s time to put him in it and leave the room. I can’t find my Supernanny book so I can’t remember the official rules. I think I’ll try it tonight though.

Read about how I get on here

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